2018 Was Some Zing to Celebrate
A big year calls for a big celebration, and 2018 was huge at the Scott Family Amazeum. So, we we threw a party with almost 2,000 guests to help us celebrate 2018 and Zing in 2019 at our fourth annual (seriously, 4 years!) Zing in the New Year!
Our Education Team created activities based on common resolutions for families to enjoy at this year's event. Creation stations throughout the Amazeum gave families the opportunity to learn new skills while making a festive party hat, confetti popper, and/or noisemaker to help them celebrate; or try something different by exploring woodworking in the 3M Tinkering Hub, practicing the art of Tapigami and creating a contraption in the art studio. Getting more exercise is on many resolution lists, so we set up an exercise anywhere station with our green screen and soon guests were exercising virtually anywhere their imagination could take them. Making time for yourself is a perennial resolution and we helped guests’ kick start a self-care regimen with chocolate tasting in the Hershey’s Lab.
As in year's past, we built a WishZing Machine. But this year, we had help from a couple of creative engineers. At Tinkerfest in October, we asked kids to design this year’s machine. Fourth graders Braeden Will from Fort Smith and Bennett Ambrose from Rogers designed and worked with our Exhibits Team to build this year’s incredible machine to deliver wishes that become part of our traditional balloon launch at day’s end. We collect all the wishes to discover what our community aspires to in 2019 and look for ways to help make those wishes a reality.
Our resolution for next year to continue to serve our curious, creative community by creating engaging, integrated experiences in STEAM for families. We resolve to continue providing innovative, relevant, fun educational experiences for children and families, educators, and our community while exploring new opportunities to provide our increasingly diverse community with high-quality learning experiences inside and outside the museum. We also resolve to continue pushing the boundaries of creativity and creative experiences for all. And have fun. Serious fun.
Makers in Residence Make 2018 Memorable
This year marked the beginning of our Maker in Residence Program. This program brought talented makers from throughout the United States and Northwest Arkansas to the Amazeum for extended periods to work with our team to develop new exhibits, experiences, and enhanced programming for our community.
In the past 12 months, we welcomed Mark Perez and his Life Size Mousetrap to our outdoor Playscape. Danny Schieble taught us Tapigami - the “art of applying imagination to tape”. Ryan Jenkins resided in the 3M Tinkering Hub for a number of weeks and facilitated workshops on creating automata, and incorporating digital elements and circuits into the often small, human-powered moving sculptures. Christa Flores worked with our team on enhancing integrated STEAM learning activities and growing a sustainable Maker Ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas. Metal sculptor Amanda Willshire worked with our team to create our first public art piece the Incredible Electric Technicolor Mockingbird on display outside the museum. Each of these Makers in Residence from outside of Northwest Arkansas expanded our capabilities and reach.
We recognized the importance placed on building creativity into social and economic platforms in Northwest Arkansas and building a culture of making in the region. Bringing diversely talented individuals in to work along side our team enhanced the abilities and opportunities for everyone. - Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean
Two makers were right at home in the Amazeum. And one literally moved in permanently.
Fayetteville maker Eugene Sargent's year-long tenure as a resident maker greatly impacted the museum and resulted in a number of new experiences and exhibits. Throughout the year, Eugene worked with our team to explore the boundaries of technology, engineering and art in experiences like Hot Wheels accelerators, smash bat photography and numerous sensor-enabled interactive sculptures. He collaborated with Amanda Willshire in creating the digital interface integrated into the Incredible Electric Technicolor Mockingbird.
Joel Gordon joined our team in late summer after his residency to become our Making and Tinkering
Manager responsible for collaborating with our team in creating new experiences in the 3M Tinkering Hub and for the museum. Joel beings extensive experience in making, tinkering and education from years of working in design/build environments in theatre and film and as the Executive Director of the Innovation Hub in North Little Rock, one of the state's first makerspaces. The addition of Joel to our team creates new possibilities as we head into 2019.
What's next for the Amazeum? Stay tuned. We've got some big plans for continuing to be the hub of curiosity for our creative community.
2018 certainly was an incredible year.