The Children’s Playhouse Presents 4th Annual Playhouse BuildFest at Watauga High School on Sat., Apr. 8 Now Designated Learning Day in Watauga Co.

Published Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 11:57 am

The Children’s Playhouse presents Playhouse BuildFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8th at Watauga High School. This free event is part of the 2017 North Carolina Science Festival.

There will be a “soft open” for kids with special needs from 9 am-10 am before the event opens to the general public at 10. The opening at 10 a.m. will also be attended by John Welch, Billy Kennedy and possibly other commissioners, Rennie Brantz and Loretta Clawson from the Boone Town Council, Dr. Scott Elliott from Watauga County schools, Sunni Dearman from our presenting sponsor OP Smiles, Tara Stollenmaier from Mast General Store and a representative from ECRS. 

Aimed at kids aged 2 to 12, Playhouse BuildFest will offer over 35 hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities and engaging demonstrations. There will be all ages activities as well as activities specifically designed for preschool, grades K-3, and grades 4-6. And that all translates into a lot of fun and learning for the inventors of the future.

“I think every kid is going to find something to entrance them whether it’s standing in a  whole body bubble, building a giant Cardboard City, launching a rocket, digging for fossils, or burying their hands in some goopy-gloppy Oobleck” says Playhouse Executive Director Kathy Parham.

Most of the huge event will be indoors, occupying both gyms and the cafeteria at the high school. Outside, kids will enjoy touring a fire engine from the Boone Fire Department.

This is the 4th year the event will be held. “BuildFest involves months of planning” said Playhouse Executive Director Kathy Parham, “but it’s worth it to see how much the kids and parents love it. Last year someone heard a kid say, ‘when I die, this is where I want to go.’”

Organizations and individuals from both Appalachian State University and the Watauga County community served as activity partners by sponsoring and running various STEAM activities throughout the day. The event also runs with the help of 200 event volunteers, many participating in ASU’s Greek Day of Service.

ASU Physics professor Brooke Hester has participated in the event for three years and will be leading a Physics demo show at 1 pm this year. She loves it because she feels, “This is the most important thing we can do as educators. If kids realize that STEAM is fun, especially minorities, then we can help to ensure a diverse skill set amongst our future educators, scientists, engineers, and legislators.”

Admission will be free at the event but families making a day of it will want to purchase lunch at the festival. Hot dogs, pizza, fruit, and water will be available for purchase

This is the fourth year for Playhouse BuildFest. Last year’s event attracted 1,200 kids and adults. For more information about Playhouse BuildFest, see www.goplayhouse.org or call 828-263-0011.

Generous sponsors keep the event free and support The Children’s Playhouse, the High Country’s only nonprofit children’s museum. The presenting Skyscraper sponsor is the Orthodontists and Pediatric Dentistry practice of Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn, and Copley, the Bridge sponsor is the North Carolina Science Festival. Window sponsors include Boone Drug, ECRS, and Mast General Store. Lightbulb sponsors are Anonymous and Harmony Center for Women’s Health. Brick sponsors are Eggers, Eggers, Eggers, and Eggers; and LifeStore Insurance.

As an official 2017 North Carolina Science Festival event, Playhouse BuildFest is among hundreds of community-based events that are showcasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities for the citizens of North Carolina.

Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is the first statewide science festival in the United States.  Through a two-week series of community-based events each spring (hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other local organizations), the Festival celebrates the economic, educational and cultural impact of science in North Carolina. For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.

 

On Apr. 4, the Board of Commissioners proclaimed that Apr. 8 will from now on be known as the Watauga County Family S.T.E.A.M. Learning Day in Watauga County. 

To see the Proclamation, visit 040417 Family STEAM Day Proclamation

About The Children’s Playhouse

A nonprofit children’s museum founded in 2002, The Children’s Playhouse provides an enriching play environment for children from birth to age eight while at the same time offering parents and caregivers friendly support in the important job of raising children. It is located at 400 Tracy Circle near downtown Boone.  Daily admission is $6 per person. A one year Playhouse Passport Membership for $125 includes admission to The Playhouse and half-price admission to more than 150 children’s museums nationwide. Scholarship memberships are available for families that meet income guidelines. For more information, call 828-263-0011, like it on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Childrens.Playhouse), or visit the website, www.goplayhouse.org.

 

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