Visitors to Art in Bloom this weekend, May 9th and 10th, will get a sneak peek at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum’s TinkerFest taking place May 16th and 17th at the museum in Ashland. TinkerFest is a collaboration of the many innovators, inventors and out-of-the-box-creative thinkers in Southern Oregon. The event brings technology together with craftspeople, educators, families, and artists from throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California to play for an entire weekend: taking things apart, building and experimenting with new, sometimes zany, ideas.
Joining ScienceWorks at Art in Bloom will be students from Armadillo Technical Institute displaying and creating wire sculptures. Medford’s own Rogue Hack Lab will also be on site with a variety of materials to help visitors build and play their own instruments. “The best kind of education is when learners are intrinsically motivated,” Rogue Hack Lab’s co-founder Mica Cardillo said. “Through TinkerFest, we’re helping individuals discover something unexpected, find what they’re passionate about, and connect with others who enjoy sharing their unique skills and interests.”
Visitors to Art in Bloom will also have a chance to create their own scribble bots – a crazy combination of up-cycling plastic berry boxes and technology that make art – and construct elaborate marble ramps to test their engineering skills.
TinkerFest began at ScienceWorks in 2013, as a regional celebration of innovation and playful invention. Initially funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the City of Ashland and inspired by MakerFaire and the MIT Media Lab’s Mindfest, TinkerFest brings together science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEM and STEAM) education with fun, hands-on opportunities to play with ideas and materials.
The festival has grown, and this year ScienceWorks has hosted regional preview events at the Grants Pass Growers Market and the Children’s Learning Fair in Klamath Falls, in addition to the upcoming Medford event.
The main TinkerFest weekend at ScienceWorks opens at 10am on Saturday, May 16th and runs through 5 pm on Sunday, May 17th. The weekend will include the Car Take-Apart, sponsored by Ashland Automotive, on both Saturday and Sunday. Back by popular demand, the car take-apart puts screwdrivers and wrenches in the hands of the young and old to help dismantle and discover the inner-workings of an automobile.
Other tinkering activities will include wire sculpting with students from Armadillo Tech Institute, a kids’ DIY workshop with The Home Depot, tech activities with Rogue Hack Lab, flower pressing, blacksmithing, wood carving demonstrations, needle felting, and much more.
TinkerFest admission is $7 for members and $12 for non-members, with weekend pass rates available. For more information and a complete listing of all festival offerings go to TinkerFest.org, or call ScienceWorks at (541) 482-6767.
ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum is a non-profit educational science center that has been serving the Rogue Valley region since 2002. Located at 1500 East Main Street in Ashland, the museum is home to more than 100 exhibits, and hosts themed weekends, and ongoing fun, educational, science programs for all ages year-round. For more information, call (541) 482-6767 or visit www.scienceworksmuseum.org.