What do a hospital worker, video game designer, and a retired CIA agent have in common? They’ve all contributed to the STEAM realm and were a the highlight of the day for a first time attendee to CA STEAM 2017 conference.
Gokul Krishnan has been doing amazing work as he paves the way for Makerspaces in hospitals. “Maker therapy” is an intriguing way to have patients motivated to move more for needed exercise. And as seen in the following video from intern Ariane at the Innovation Pop-Up Space within the hospital, people can not always have control over their health situations, but at least they can find comfort in controlling their very own inventions:
Tracy Fullerton was another inspirational speaker during CA STEAM 2017. She mentioned that there is a difference between games and digital games. Games have always been around in our culture. Games teach children to follow specific rules in a set environment under certain conditions. This directly translates to situations in school settings, communal places, and the work force. Gaming is very relevant to our world today and everyone should be encouraged to play; even the weird ones that Tracy ideally wants sent her way at USC!
Carmen Medina rounded out the trio of special guests during Day 2 of CA STEAM. Her explanation of the science and art of diverse thinking would resonate with anyone working within a team. Diverse conflict is definitely needed to bring out the best ideas. She shared a good rule to keep in mind, “Diversity leads to better outcomes even when the dissenters are wrong”. It’s not always easy dealing with conflict, but we should remember to take things one day at a time.
The exhibit hall also had wonderful vendors! There were some familiar names like TinkerCAD, Autodesk, Raspberry Pi, Cubelets, Dash & Dot, Makey Makey, Keva Planks, and Lego Mindstorms to name a few; most of which are now available at South San Francisco Public Library! It was a great 2 day conference for educators and student makers alike! There were impressive student showcases in the Makerspace with students explaining their robotics projects. We’ll be looking forward to next year’s conference in Long Beach. If you decide to go, maybe we’ll see you there!