- Hub staff

You have to between 8 and 11 to join the Art and Tech Explorers, but you're going to be so jealous that these classes are just for kids. The after-school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) classes are going to have all the coolest stuff.

The program is the brainchild of Joe Shouldice and Kristine Moran. They know that life is full of possibilities for girls and boys. Joe, the cricket farmer - YES ...crickets – is also a graphic designer. Kristine is a professional visual artist with an international career. But they've inventiongirlboth read the statistics that by grade four, the gender gap is well established. Girls have already self-selected away from too many life possibilities – astronaut, architect, inventor. They believe that if girls get their hands on robotics and electronics and make these life skills their own, they'll have options their mothers may have never even imagined.

“We may talk about the invention process and circuits in these classes, our tools may be DC motors, glue and glitter, but our real mission is providing kids a safe and fun environment to grow their confidence where they are free to explore and experiment. “

In every class they will work on a project that each student will work on individually. Kids will be learning the basics of a battery-powered invention with some combination of inputs (switches, toggles, buttons, sensors) and outputs (motors, lights, fans, buzzers). Experimentation, exploration, failure and iteration are all welcome parts of the learning process. After the base construction is done the students will have the opportunity to make the invention their own with supplied craft materials. The same elements could become dragster cars, a carriage for a princess, or creepy crawly moving creatures.

“The inventions and ll the electronics we use each week go home with the kids, “ says Joe, “So by the end of the six weeks they'll havebatteryboat a library of buzzers, lights, batteries, circuits and switches – plus the skills to rearrange them to create anything they want.”

Joe and Kristine are delighted to be in the new Georgian Bay Centre for the Arts, a huge flexible, multi-use space in downtown Owen Sound.

Art and Tech Explorers starts March 23rd – the week after March break. There is early-bird pricing on now until March 6th and space is limited.

Check out the gallery for some past inventions.





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