Hands-On, Mind-Tickling Fun at the Playhouse Build Fest Saturday April 11 at Parkway School

Published Monday, April 6, 2015 at 11:24 am

The Children’s Playhouse presents Playhouse Build Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 11th at Parkway School. This free event is part of the 2015 North Carolina Science Festival.

A free event for kids aged 2 to 12, Playhouse Build Fest will be a daylong celebration of creativity and problem-solving, offering over 30 hands-on STEM and Art 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.

“STEM is a hot buzzword which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” explains Playhouse Executive Director Kathy Parham, “but really this fest will have a head of STEAM because we’ll incorporate visual Arts as well.”  And that all translates into a lot of fun and learning for the inventors of the future.

Parham explains that activities will be provided by multiple Appalachian State University classes and clubs, including Appalachian Educators, Chemistry, Designer Craftsman, Industrial Design Student Association, Math Education, and Physics and Astronomy.

Watauga High School will be represented by the Robotics Club and Mountain Alliance.

Other community groups participating will be the Appalachian District Health Department, the Children’s Playhouse, High Country Girl Scouts-Peaks to Piedmont , Lettuce Learn, Mary’s Montessori School, NC Cooperative Extension and Greening My Plate, and Watauga County Library.

There will even be local toy inventors Richard Elaver of Joinks! and Noah Gordon of Box ‘n Balls. And one precocious youngster, Simon Elaver, son of Richard and Andrea Elaver, will host his own “insane domino trick” station.

The Presenting Sponsors are the OPSmiles (Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn, Hardaway, and Copley) and the NC Science Festival. Major Sponsors are Mast General Store, the High Country Home Builders. Contributing sponsors are Appalachian Regional Healthcare System/Harmony Center for Women’s Health and Vitality and Bluebird Exchange with additional support from Sarah B. Long Real Estate of Keller Williams Realty. The event supports The Children’s Playhouse, the High Country’s only nonprofit children’s museum.

There will be things everyone can enjoy such as the Lego Robots and the Pinewood Derby track, along with activities specifically designed for preschoolers, grades K-3, and grades 4-6. “I think every kid is going to find something to entrance them whether it’s making mini-marshmellow catapults or building a giant Cardboard City or burying their hands in some gloopy-gloppy Oobleck” says Playhouse Executive Director Kathy Parham.

The ASU departments of Chemistry and Physics are planning a demo show sure to amaze and engage all ages.

Admission will be free at the event but families making a day of it will want to purchase lunch at the festival. Pizza, fruit, gluten free Sunbutter and Jelly sandwiches, and water will be available.

This is the second year for Playhouse Build Fest. Last year’s event attracted 1000 kids and adults. For more information about Playhouse Build Fest, see www.goplayhouse.org or call 828-263-0011.

As an official 2015 North Carolina Science Festival presented by the Biogen Foundation event, Playhouse Build Fest is among hundreds of community-based events that are showcasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities for the citizens of North Carolina.

“The North Carolina Science Festival is about communities coming together to celebrate the wonders of science,” said Jonathan Frederick, Festival director. “Thanks to the talents of our event hosts across the state, there’s something for everyone.”

Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is the first statewide science festival in the United States.  During a two-week celebration each spring, the Festival brings hundreds of events (hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other community organizations) together under one banner to recognize the economic, educational and cultural impact of science in North Carolina. The Festival is presented by the Biogen Foundation and produced by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For more information, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.

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 $5 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. The Children’s Playhouse is supported in part by grants from the Barnickel Foundation, the Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation/ The Kennedy-Herterich Fund, the Town of Boone,  the Blood, Sweat, and Gears Foundation, and donations from individuals.  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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