Creative Kids Programming at the intersection of Art, Technology, and Community-Building
Fab Lab El Paso – Dr. Gustavo Arriaga, Cathy Chen, Sergio Ramos
Fab Lab El Paso, a grassroots Fab Lab in the dynamic, multicultural city bordering Juarez City, Mexico, fosters a harmonious integration of the sciences with the arts through creative, hands-on, project-based workshops that are freely open to the public—with especial attention in outreach to youths ages 8-14.
Over the past year, we hosted creative workshops at least once a month, including five popular Fab Kids workshops for which we received 1st place for the Chevron STEM Education Prize. These workshops allow participants to learn skills they need to take advantage of digital fabrication tools such as 3D printers and scanners, laser cutters, CNC mills, coding and biology for a variety of new media art projects. Through community feedback we continue to tailor our most popular kids-oriented workshops to be as engaging as possible for our youth participants. In fact, children under 16 make up more than half of our workshop attendees. Of those youths in attendance, more than 60% are girls aged 8-12 years with growing interest in creative STE(A)M fields.
During this workshop, we will offer an in-depth look at our kids programming—from creative ideation, grant-seeking, budget allocation, to marketing best practices and final implementation. We will share program descriptions and media samples as well as a critical examination of the highlights and lessons learned from our 2015-2016 year. We will invite participants to brainstorm a kids STE(A)M workshop that synthesizes art, technology, and community-building. At the end of the workshop, we will give constructive feedback to each individual project proposal and answer any questions in an open Q and A session.