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Kids Discover and Create at BuildFest April 12

Thinker Linkers sept 2013 003

April 8, 2014. The Children’s Playhouse presents Playhouse BuildFest from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at Parkway School. This free event for kids ages 2-12 is part of the 2014 North Carolina Science Festival.  Families wanting a sneak peek at BuildFest offerings are invited to browse the Passport available at www.GoPlayhouse.org/events. 

Dr. Tonya Coffey will present a physics demo show at 11 a.m. This show is aimed at generating interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds. The heart of the program is a fast-paced presentation of physics demonstrations carefully chosen to be entertaining as well as educational. 

Not surprisingly, there will be lots of building at the festival including a huge cardboard fort facilitated by Mary’s Montessori School to miniature Fairy Houses offed by Appalachian Theater students. Thinker Linkers allow kids to build amazing structures out of wood. 

Kids will also get to operate working Lego robots built by Watauga High School Robotics Club. In another corner they will get to design the robot of their dreams using recycled materials. 

robot8190There will be a variety of races ranging from balloon powered rocket races offered by ASU Secondary Science Education; to the Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby track; to “Puff Mobiles” constructed by kids with help from Watauga 4-H. 

Preservice teachers from Appalachian State University have designed many of the activities and learned a lot in the process. For example, the “Eggsperts,” a child development group led by student Ali Rhodes will invite kids to “Test force and velocity as you drop paint-filled eggs from varying heights.” Don’t worry parents, the paint is washable!

Another group of ASU students will offer catapults kids can stomp on to launch a bean bag assault on wobbly cardboard towers. 

Respect for the environment will be a major theme. The ASU sustainability club will be constructing and testing clay watershed models to help kids learn about the connections between our land and the water while the Solar Decathlon team will help kids design a row house using a cardboard box, paper windows and photovoltaics to understand that a house functions like a human. Another activity offered by Appalachian State Child Development Department invites preschool children to help construct wetlands and savannah ecosystem models using playdough and natural materials. 

Professor Jeanne Mercer Ballard and graduate student Carson Cole of the ASU Department of Technology and Environmental Design will offer an intriguing lighting experiement. Cole also prepared the site plan for the festival. 

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

The Presenting Sponsors are the orthodontist and pediatric dentists Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway. Major sponsors are Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, the Children’s Council of Watauga County and Earth Fare Boone. Contributing sponsors are Bluebird Exchange and Boone Drug with additional support from the Sarah B. Long Real Estate of Keller Williams Realty and the Blue Ridge Center for Integrative Health. The event supports the Children’s Playhouse, the High Country’s only nonprofit children’s museum. 

For more information about Playhouse BuildFest, see www.GoPlayhouse.org or call 828-263-0011.

BuildFest is featured in 2014 North Carolina Science Festival (NCSF) promotions. NCSF spans two weeks, March 28-April 13 and features science events across the state.