Diya's Amazeum Adventure

July 1, 2021

Say hello to our marketing and communications intern Diya. Diya is spending part of her time at the Amazeum this summer documenting activities that ignite creativity, and curiosity. Follow along as she shares her Amazeum adventures. 

Challenges in the 3M Tinkering Hub

July 13, 2021

All around us are structures - tall buildings, houses, stores, playgrounds. Behind each and every one of those structures took countless hours of work. But whether it be building legos or building skyscrapers, one of the most essential parts of the process is this: a big imagination.38CE144C DF34 48C9 A391 1890F3C87CF3 1 201 a

The Tinkering Hub at the Scott Family Amazeum offers plenty of unique opportunities for your imagination to be explored. This week, Tinkering Lead Alicia Jones introduced “Sticks and Bands”, an innovative, hands-on activity that utilizes artistic, scientific, and creative skills. The task was to build your own structure using wooden sticks, rubber bands, and of course, a brain full of ideas.

When I began this activity, I anticipated it to be quite simple. It only took me about twenty minutes to realize a task that seemed as straightforward as building a structure was a little more complicated than it seemed. Apart from the actual process of wrapping the bands around the sticks to create shapes in order to build a structure, what challenged me was the design aspect. How could I make my structure unique? Will it support weight? How big should it be? I then realized thatif I could visualize it, I could build it. After some time spent brainstorming and building, I managed to create a triangular structure with a square platform. Although it was small and simple, it was a product of my own imagination and creativity, which was the most exciting part of the process.

"I realized that if I could visualize it, I could build it.

An activity such as this one enhances skills that are beneficial for all ages and in all fields of work. Building, even if it’s just with sticks and rubber bands, IMG 5420strengthens motor control, visual and critical thinking skills, spatial awareness, and patience. In order to build any kind of structure, you have to be aware of what will and won’t work. I learned that problem solving and flexibility are key parts of the design and construction process. When I built something that didn’t end up functioning how I thought it would, I had to be flexible and readjust my design accordingly.

Lastly, I was able to explore a whole new realm of my creativity through building my structure. In an age where technology continues to dominate most fields of creation - I was reminded of the importance of relying on my hands, my brain, and my imagination - which is all it really takes to create something amazing.


Adventures in Screen Printing

July 1, 2021

When you get dressed in the morning, have you ever wondered who designed the cool graphic on your shirt? How was the shirt made? How was it designed? The fun visuals, cartoon characters, creative logos, slogans - a lot of it is done by screen printing. Screen printing is the process of ink being pressed through a stenciled mesh screen and transferred onto a flat surface to create a printed design. The technique has been around for hundreds of years and is used by a wide range of industries for a wide range of purposes. Apart from creating clothing designs, screen printing can be used for poster printing and artwork on canvases, paper, wood, or even metal. Although this process is not an exact science, screen printing is a complex art form that requires attention to detail, patience, and most importantly, creativity. IMG 2191

Maxi Dominguez, the founder of the creative platform La Rosa Collective, inspired creativity in teens at a screen printing workshop held at the Scott Family Amazeum. During this workshop, Dominguez emphasized the importance of imagination during the design aspect of the screen printing process. I joined a  group of teens in the workshop with Maxi and was introduced to Inkscape, a free graphics software, to create our own designs. We discovered how to use basic tools, build on ideas, and expand our boundaries as artists and creators with no limitations. 

I’ve always loved painting, drawing, collaging, arts and crafts, and a plethora of other mediums to channel my artistic mindset.

After some time was spent exploring Inkscape and its possibilities, Dominguez walked through the actual process of screen printing. He demonstrated how to prepare the mesh screen and with the help of a volunteer, coated the screen in a light-sensitive emulsion. The design was laid onto the screen and exposed to a bright light, which hardened the emulsion. After about twenty minutes, the screen was rinsed, dried, and ready for use. 

IMG 2207Lastly, we got a little taste of the screen printing world for ourselves. Using previously made stencils, we screen printed on blank tote bags using professional-grade printing presses, ink, and squeegees. During this part of the process, the tote bag was laid underneath the screen and flat on the printing board. Once the screen was lowered on top of the board, the squeegee was used to pull ink from the top end of the screen to the bottom end of the screen. This imprinted the design onto the tote bag. The tote bag was then dried and the process was repeated until the desired design was achieved. We printed shapes, logos, and slogans to design our own abstract creation. 

Art has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. I’ve always loved painting, drawing, collaging, arts and crafts, and a plethora of other mediums to channel my artistic mindset. However, screen printing and graphic design were art forms I had very little exposure to before. It was such a unique experience to get to utilize my artistic capabilities in a way I had never done before. Now that I’ve had a little experience post this workshop, I will definitely be jumping at the next opportunity to explore more of the digital art and design field.

As I participated in this screen printing workshop at the Amazeum, I learned the importance of thinking outside the box, paying attention to details, and letting my creative juices flow. Ultimately, the most essential part of graphic design and screen printing is to have fun and see where your imagination takes you. With little to no limits, the possibilities are endless.

About Diya

Diya headshotHi! My name is Diya Nambiar and I am a rising senior at Bentonville West High School. This summer, I am working with the Scott Family Amazeum as a Marketing and Communications Intern. I am so excited for this opportunity to strengthen my skills and contribute to the behind-the-scenes aspect of the Amazeum. This internship gives me the chance to work with the incredible staff and marketing team, but also to build a foundation for my future career. I am so grateful for this experience and excited to see where it will take me!