The Arts & Science Center held its annual Tinkerfest on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. This year’s Tinkerfest was full of engaging hands-on, sensory-exploring activities: Make-and-take sensory gel pads and stress balls, and an optical illusion station.Read More
The Arts & Science Center invites the public to its annual family-friendly event Tinkerfest from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7. This year’s Tinkerfest is full of engaging hands-on, sensory-exploring activities. The event will also feature a “Sensory Station,” designed to be a soothing, welcoming space for those who can experience sensory overload during public events.Read More
Visitors can learn how NASA missions are designed to help answer the big questions about our planet, our solar system and the wider universe in ASC’s latest exhibition, Sun, Earth, Universe.
Kids and adults can engineer their own model spacecraft and test its durability for surviving the forces of a rocket launch. They’ll get experience using tools that help researchers see the invisible aspects of space. And visitors will see how data collected can be presented in different forms to help broaden our understandings of what’s happening in space.
Explore seven hands-on stations:
We Ask Questions About the Sun: Compare images of that show the Sun at periods of high activity, called the solar maximum, and periods of low activity, the solar minimum.
We Ask Questions About the Universe: Are we alone? Spin a tumbler of 10,000 beads, representing all of the stars we can see from Earth to search for the unique one that represents our Sun.
We Ask Questions About the Solar System: What is it like on other planets? Use colored blocks to create a topographic map of elevations on Venus to learn how scientists use color to visualize data.
We Ask Questions About the Earth: How is Earth changing? Compare before and after satellite images of Earth to see how human-caused actions impact our home.
Design>Build>Test engineering activity: Design, build, and test your own spacecraft model that has key tools needed to complete a NASA mission.
Your Mission to Space board game: Put all your space mission-planning knowledge to the test by playing this board game. Will your mission be the first to be completed? What will you discover?
Use Tools to Detect the Invisible: Use an infrared camera, an ultraviolet (UV) light, a magnifying glass, and a magnetic field detector to reveal information not visible to human eyes.
The exhibition was created by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) in collaboration with NASA. NISE Network is a community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to supporting learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) across the United States. The Arkansas tour of the exhibition is made possible by a NISE grant to the Arkansas Discovery Network, of which the Arts & Science Center is a member.
The exhibition is on display in the Simmons Gallery through Saturday, June 29.
Limited Number of Scholarships Available
Spring is in its early days, but registration is already underway for the Arts & Science Center’s 2019 summer camps.
Students ages 7-17 can explore topics such as art, engineering, technology, game design and development, filmmaking, and theatre.
Both camps include lessons in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture with exploration of current ASC art exhibitions. Students will create 2D and 3D projects, and focus not only on artistic methods and working with different media, but also appreciating how to create and visualize art through nontraditional means. ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan will lead the art camps with workshops by guest instructors.
Art I will include a “puddle painting” workshop with guest artist Jeannie Stone. Art II will feature Build Your Own Altar with guest artist Suzannah Schreckhise. Both artists have works featured in the Our Front Porch exhibit, on view at ASC from April 25 through July 27.
In Filmmaking Camp (July 8-12), students ages 7-17 will experience all of the technological, creative and artistic aspects of filmmaking. They will explore storytelling as an art form, by developing a film idea, shooting the video, recording audio and editing their creation.
Eva Belle, mass communication instructor and debate coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, leads the camp.
One can see how much fun students had during the 2018 camp by checking out the films they created. (Last year’s camp films will also be shown at the 2019 UAPB Film Festival on April 10.)
ASC Digital Media Specialist Ashley Smith will lead the two STEAM camps, which are for ages 13-17.
Through hands-on building and experimentation, Engineering & Technology (July 15-19) students will be introduced to electric circuits, LEDs and switches, stop-motion animation, computer coding and apps, conductors and semiconductors, programming motors and app development.
Game Design & Development (July 15-19) students will use virtual development to learn the fundamentals of creating a game through computer programming and animation, creative problem solving, mathematics, storytelling and teamwork.
Students can enroll in both half-day camps for a full day of STEAM learning with a discounted fee.
Justin A. Pike returns to lead the theatre camps.
Theatre Camp is full-day, month-long (June 3-28) immersive camp for students ages 13-17. They will learn all aspect of theater production: from directing to acting, from scenery construction to light & sound design. Through theater, students will practice creativity and innovation while they improve their skills in performance, collaboration, and technology. The camp will culminate in a junior production.
Theatre Jr. Camp, a half-day, two-week (June 17-28) camp for ages 7-12, will introduce the basic concepts of storytelling, acting technique, and production tech. Students will have fun with lively drama games designed to support the budding thespian in your student. The camp will culminate with a skit performed for family and friends.
Pike is artistic director of The Studio Theatre in Little Rock, and director of the Young Players Second Stage program at The Royal Theater in Benton. Pike studied theater at the University of Central Arkansas.
A limited number of scholarships are available; eligibility is based on financial need, including household income and household size. The deadline for submitting scholarship applications is 10 days before the first day of the camp begins, but parents are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible. Scholarship application forms are available online or picked up at ASC’s front desk.
Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, and the June and Edmond Freeman Endowment are among the organizations graciously contributing to ASC’s scholarship fund.
Extended care is available for parents and guardians who need a little extra time to pick up their children from camp. Extended care lasts until 1 hour past the camps’ designated end time. Cost is $5 per day preregistered, or $8 per day unplanned.
Advanced registration is required for all camps. Camp registration and more details are available at the summer camp web page. For more information, email ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan at firstname.lastname@example.org or ASC Theatre Education Coordinator Lindsey Collins at or email@example.com, or call 870-536-3375.
Tinkerfest, the Arts & Science Center’s annual maker-centric festival, returns Saturday, Sept. 18, from 1-3 p.m. This year, we will explore the connections between the maker movement and health with a variety of fun and educational activities for the whole family.
“We’re doing all kinds of different things that involve tapping into creativity while exploring physical fitness and nutrition,” said ASC Public Programs Coordinator Leonor Colbert.
Admission to Tinkerfest and all activities are free.
Tinkerfest 2018 is sponsored by the Arkansas Art Council, Blue & You Foundation, the Discovery Network, and the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation. ASC is partnering with the Pine Bluff Jefferson County Library System, Tour de Bluff, and the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock for the event.
Highlights of this year's activities include: A hands-on cooking workshop; pedal-power stations for visitors to create art, blend delicious smoothies, and see their muscles turn energy into light; “bike rodeo,” and Yoga for Kids.
Thanks to a grant from the Blue & You Foundation, special guest Faith Anaya of Kids Cook! (a nonprofit organization based in Little Rock) will lead a cooking workshop for young people ages 6-13.
“Kids will be able to get their hands on the food, and try some different skills that they would be using in the kitchen like cutting and cooking,” Colbert said. “And we’ll get to sample the recipe that they create.“
There will be two separate sessions — a 1 p.m. session for ages 6-9, and a 2 p.m. session for ages 10-13. Each class can accommodate up to 12 children. Participants must sign up at the event — first come, first serve.
Bicycling is a natural bridge between health and tinkering, and Tinkerfest 2018 features a plethora of fun pedal-related activities.
Visitors can hop on one of the bikes to create a pedal-powered painting. How do you create art with a bike? The participant powers the bike, and through centrifugal force, paint “flings” outward from the center of the drum, creating a colorful swirling pattern. A sheet of paper is lowered into the floating paint to create a piece of art.
Visitors who bring their own bikes to Tinkerfest can create even more art. An attachment holding a large piece of chalk is connected to the back of a bike, and the visitor can pedal around to a draw vibrant patterns onto the asphalt.
At the bike power station, visitors can see how their pedaling generates electricity by using a bike connected to an LED tower.
Put together a variety of ingredients to create a unique smoothie recipe and blend it using the bike at the pedal-power smoothie station.
Volunteers from Tour de Bluff (Pine Bluff’s main annual bike event) will host a “bike rodeo,” or trick riding on BMX bikes. They’ll also share tips on bike safety, and how people in the area can get out and ride their bikes more.
Colbert will lead two Yoga for Kids sessions — one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 2:30 p.m. Each session has room for 12 participants. Participants must sign up at the event — first come, first serve. (These two sessions are in addition to ASC’s weekly Yoga for Kids class, held every Saturday from 10:15-11 a.m. Yoga for Kids is a Healthy Living program for children ages 6 and up.)
Visitors will even be able to play the classic video game “Donkey Kong” using bananas, lead by Museum of Discovery staff. The fruit is converted into a controller with a Makey Makey — a kit which turns ordinary objects into touchpads.
“It will be like playing a video game but instead of sitting down and controlling it with your thumbs, you’re controlling your character in Donkey Kong with your whole body — moving around, jumping, touching things,” Colbert explained.
In addition to the Tinkerfest activities, ASC’s current exhibitions will be open. They include: Interactive exhibit Imaginate! in the International Paper Gallery, Creative Construction Zone in the Simmons Gallery, Small but Mighty in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery, UAPB & ASC: Five Decades of Collaboration in the Ben J. Altheimer Gallery, and Elsie Mistie Sterling: Pencil and Persistence in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theatre Hall.
TINKERFEST 2018 ACTIVITIES
(All activities take place between 1-3 p.m., unless otherwise specified)
Location: ASC Studio
1 p.m. session: Ages 6-9 (up to 12 children)
2 p.m. session: Ages 10-13 (up to 12 children)
Hands-on cooking class for kids.
Note: Participants must sign up. First come, first serve.
Makey-Makey Donkey Kong
(with Museum of Discovery)
Location: Bellamy Theatre Stage
Play “Donkey Kong” using a banana and your whole body.
Yoga for Kids
Location: Dressing Room/Studio
1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (up to 12 children per session)
Location: Dressing Rooms
Ages 6 and up
Note: Participants must sign up. First come, first serve.
Location: Catherine M. Bellamy Theatre Hall
Make your own smoothie using a bike-powered blender!
Tinkerfest Buttons and Take-and-Makes
Location: Simmons Gallery
Make a Tinkerfest 2018 button and do a health-inspired take-and-make activity.
Bike Rodeo (with Tour de Bluff)
Location: Front parking lot
Trick-riding demos from area cyclists.
Bike Art and Bike Power
Location: Front parking lot
Pedal-powered spin art, LED tower station.