Tinkerfest 2018 Emphasizes Health with Maker-Centric Family Fun

 Visitors show off their pedal-art creations they made during Family FunDay on Aug. 11, 2018. Pedal-powered art is just one of the many activities planned during ASC's Tinkerfest 2018, to be held 1-3 p.m. Sept. 8.

Visitors show off their pedal-art creations they made during Family FunDay on Aug. 11, 2018. Pedal-powered art is just one of the many activities planned during ASC's Tinkerfest 2018, to be held 1-3 p.m. Sept. 8.

Tinkerfest_Theaterfest_logo.jpeg

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)

Kids Cook! 
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)
Location: Studio
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. 

Smoothie Station
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.

 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.

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.

 An example of the groovy art created using pedal power!

An example of the groovy art created using pedal power!