STEAM Fair


  • STEAM

    April 27, 2018

    Exploding water rockets! Liquid nitrogen ice cream! Not to mention fossils, 3D printing, mechanized LEGO and more than 50 other Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) subjects to explore… it’s no wonder the STEAM Fair is one day at Laurel that our children will never forget!
     
    It’s also a highlight of the school year for almost 200 parent volunteers, who join forces to become teachers for a half day, running 25 to 40-minute workshops to a few small groups of kids.
     
    Whether you are new to Laurel or a longtime parent, you surely will want to join your child and be a part of this incredible day of learning, adventure and fun.
     
    Not a scientist? Not an artist? Not a problem! You will be provided with thorough instructions to ensure your workshop is a success. So mark the date now and plan to participate!
     
    Sign up now here or contact steam@laurelpto.org on how to get involved.
  • When is STEAM Fair? Do I need to be available for the whole day?

    STEAM Fair will take place on Friday, April 28, 2017, rain or shine. The morning (8:35 AM to noon) will be for Third Graders to Fifth Graders and the workshops will take place at the Laurel upper campus. The afternoon (12:30 PM to 2:55 PM) will be for the Kindergarteners to Second Graders and the workshops will take place at the lower campus. You only need to be available for the morning (or afternoon) for your workshop, but do plan to arrive early for setup. If you have children at both campuses and would like to get involved in both parts of the STEAM Fair, you are welcomed to sign up on the website and specify the workshops that you would like to do.


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    When do I need to arrive, and when can I leave?

    For upper campus, volunteers are asked to arrive by 8:15 AM at the latest on the morning of the fair. Students will arrive to participate in the first workshop at 8:45 AM, but you need to sign in, find your station, and set up. For lower campus, volunteers are asked to arrive by 12:10 PM and the first workshop will begin at 12:40 PM.
     
    Some volunteers will need to arrive earlier, depending on the nature of their workshop, and others may even want to set up the afternoon before the fair. 


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    How many workshops will I teach?

    At upper campus, you will teach the same workshop three times, to three different groups of kids. Each workshop will be 40 minutes long. At lower campus, you will teach the same workshop four times, to four different groups of kids. Each workshop will be 25 minutes long.


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    How many kids are in each workshop?
     

    Each workshop has up to 15 students. Shortly before the fair, the STEAM committee will email you a precise headcount.


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    What does it mean to "lead" a workshop, and what does it mean to "assist"?

    It is the workshop leader’s responsibility to contact the other assistant volunteers for the workshop, and arrange/coordinate: 

    • procurement of supplies
    • trial run of the workshop 
    • set-up on the day of the fair
    • division of labor during workshops

    The assistants will help the leaders with set-up and provide general support.


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    How do I know what to teach? 

    A folder with instructions, supply lists, tips from past leaders, and other resources. Many workshops also have perennial supplies that are stored at Laurel and handed out each year before the fair.


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    When do I pick up the folder of instructions and supplies? 

    These are generally passed out about one month before the fair. The STEAM committee will email all volunteers with the times and dates for pick-up at Laurel. 


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    Will all supplies be provided, or do I need to go shopping? 

    It depends on the workshop, but it’s fair to say that most workshops require some supplies to be procured. 


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    Do I have to cover the cost of extra supplies? 

    Past volunteers have had great success in soliciting donations and/or discounts from local (and not so local!) businesses. Please try this before buying supplies.  The STEAM committee will reimburse you for any costs up to $75. Supplies costing more than $75 require the advance permission of the STEAM committee – email steam@laurelpto.org.

    Reimbursement forms will be emailed to you prior to the fair, and they are also available from the Laurel front office. If you choose to make a tax-deductible donation of these items, fill out a reimbursement form and indicate that you are making a donation. 


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    What can I offer a local business if they donate supplies? 

    Donors will receive recognition in the Laurel PTO newsletter, which has more than 1,000 parent recipients, as well as on the Laurel website, and signage at the event.


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    Who else is volunteering in this workshop with me? 

    You will receive an email from the STEAM committee listing all the volunteers in your workshop. 


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    I signed up as an assistant, but I haven't heard a thing from the leader. What should I do?
     

    If you’re concerned, please try calling the leader (check for their number in the District Directory). If this is unsuccessful, please let the STEAM committee know steam@laurelpto.org.


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    I signed up as a leader, and my assistants aren't getting back to me. What should I do? 

    If you’re concerned, please try calling the assistants (check for their numbers in the District Directory). If this is unsuccessful, please let the STEAM committee know steam@laurelpto.org.


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    I've never done anything like this before. Can I practice beforehand? 

    Yes! We highly recommend a test-run at home, using your own children and a few borrowed ones. It really helps to practice in real-time, see where kids get excited and where their attention may wane. Please arrange with the other volunteers in your workshop to do a dry-run before the fair. 


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    I don't understand the instructions in the folder. Can I talk to someone about it? 

    Absolutely. Your best bet is to contact the leaders from past years, whose evaluations will be printed out in the folder. Failing that, please contact steam@laurelpto.org for help.


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    I just found out that I have to travel for work (go to an important meeting, etc) and cannot volunteer at the fair. What should I do? 

    It is your responsibility to find a replacement volunteer. You probably won’t have to look too far to find someone kicking themselves for not having signed up in time to volunteer. Once you have your replacement, please email steam@laurelpto.org to pass on the name and contact details of the new volunteer. 


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    Is my child guaranteed a place in the workshop I've volunteered for? 

    Absolutely. When the time comes to sign your child up for workshops, be sure to check the box that you are volunteering rank the workshop that you are teaching first on your child’s list of preferences.


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    My child doesn't want to be in my workshop, and I'm okay with that. How do I handle it when I sign her up? 

    Do not rank your workshop first in your child’s preferences, and send an email to steam@laurelpto.org confirming that your child does not want to attend the workshop you’re teaching.


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    I have two children at Laurel School. Can I volunteer for half the fair in one grade, and half the fair in another? 

    This is possible only if one of your children is in the upper campus and another is in the lower campus.  Otherwise, it will leave the remaining volunteers short. You have two options: volunteer for one child’s grade level, and have another parent/family member/friend volunteer in the other. Or, you can volunteer in one child’s grade this year, and for the other child next year. 


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    My child's grandmother/uncle/nanny wants to volunteer for the fair. Is this permitted? 

    Certainly! Just sign them up with all their contact details, and we’ll take it from there. 


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