Robots and More at Piedmont School Maker Faire

Maker News
Robots and More at Piedmont School Maker Faire

Sunday, May 21, 2023 * 11am-3pm * Piedmont High School

Nestled in the East Bay, across the water from San Francisco and sandwiched between the more notorious cities of Berkeley and Oakland, lies Piedmont–a small town in a big city with a strong commitment to STEAM education. The 9th annual Piedmont School Maker Faire returns to the Piedmont High School campus this Sunday, May 21 11am – 3pm! Come celebrate K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math education for the Piedmont community & beyond. Organized by Piedmont Makers, the event will showcase more than 80 projects featuring the STEAM creativity, passion, and effort of over 200 Makers in our community. Many of these projects are created by Piedmont students from Wildwood Elementary, Havens Elementary, Beach Elementary, Piedmont Middle School, and Piedmont High School.

In fact, Piedmont was the pilot district and event for what would eventually turn into the global School maker Faire program, which provides resources to schools across the world. Founded and still helmed by district parent David Ragones, the event has grown in scope while retaining its original focus to support STEAM learning across the district, which is an active partner in the event. In addition to holding the annual event, Piedmont Makers–the non-profit that was created to organized and run the faire–organizes FIRST LEGO and FIRST robotics teams throughout the year. In the 2022-2023 season, Piedmont Makers organized 60+ robotics teams with 400+ students across all four levels of FIRST, making it the largest community robotics league in Northern California.

Makers + Workshops

In addition to the inspiring projects completed before the Faire, there are many hands-on activities to engage Makers of all ages! Some examples include the ever popular Nerdy Derby where you can design a race car and race it down the track, pressurized air rockets where you can launch rockets high into the air, or River Raft Run where you can design a raft to float down a lazy river, and many more. Musical guests include the Piedmont Middle School 8th Grade Jazz Combo and Cello Joe who plays the cello while beatboxing, looping, and singing. His lyrics weave together sustainability, environmental justice, and social awareness. They entertain, inspire, and make you wonder. 

More About School Maker Faire

School Maker Faires are collaborative, innovative, generative, and fun. These in-school events celebrate invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. Students can show what they’ve made and share what they’ve learned with others—a great match for any educational community. In short, develop thinkers and doers with the skills to excel in and innovate the future.

School Maker Faire organizers can be teachers, parents, administrators, and even students. “Makers” are primarily students—individuals, clubs, classes, or groups.

    • Showcase the making already taking place on campus.
    • Replace a more limited science fair model.
    • Connect with larger creativity, innovation, STEM, or art initiatives.
    • Cultivate awareness of the Maker movement.
    • Develop and integrate the school community in new ways.

The result of a School Maker Faire? A student body bursting with creative invention and excited to get more into making and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).

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Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee


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