Shipley's Choice Elementary's Makers Faire nurtures innovation

Shipley's Choice Elementary School fifth-graders, from left, Naomi Willis, Sophia Procaccini and Isabelle Chen model pocketbooks, T-shirts, bows, sashes and other decorative items they made from colored tapes for their Makers Faire project.
Shipley's Choice Elementary School fifth-graders, from left, Naomi Willis, Sophia Procaccini and Isabelle Chen model pocketbooks, T-shirts, bows, sashes and other decorative items they made from colored tapes for their Makers Faire project. (Sharon Lee Tegler / Correspondent)

The lightning associated with last week’s rains was short-lived, but the spark of innovation burned brightly at Shipley’s Choice Elementary School’s fourth annual Makers Faire.

Umbrellas were the accessory of choice on May 16 as families confronted an ongoing downpour to attend the event. Inside, 90 fourth- and fifth-graders showed off the diverse array of projects they made.


An interactive cardboard game exhibit ran the length of the gymnasium. On the near end, creators Matthew Marshiano and Giovanni Barsoni challenged fellow students to play a soccer game they fashioned from a box with hand-painted playing field and duct tape covered goal posts.

Around the corner, fifth-graders Naomi Willis, Sophia Procaccini and Isabelle Chen showed off colorful pocketbooks, T-shirts, bows, sashes and other decorative items from their duct tape art project. Their extensive display included how-to books on making duct tape art.


On the opposite side of the gym, an interactive deconstruction exhibit drew groups of energetic kids who gloried in using various tools to disassemble old electronics. The stated objective of the popular project was to separate components to be recycled or repurposed.

Third-graders Paul Habicht and Shaina Naran were too young to be makers of the perler bead exhibit designs of older schoolmates. But they volunteered to make simple crafts from a tray of brightly tinted beads and precut templates.

Nearby, fourth-graders Nora Zevine, Jordan Sain and Lyla Winship modeled costumes they created to “make something different from everyone else.” Nora, a devil complete with horns, contrasted starkly with Jordan, an angel in white, and Lyla, a bluebird with an outsized beak.

A construction exhibit assembled by fourth-graders Will Andrioni and Garrett Moden using Legos to construct a pyramid, maze and other structures was popular with the smallest children. They flocked around the older boys who told them “look but don’t touch.”

The Makers Faire extended beyond the gymnasium to the media center. At the entrance, attendees found myriad computers that student Boone Anderson explained displayed “coded” games, stories and playlists created by fourth- and fifth-graders.

Moving into the main space of the media center, visitors encountered pre-staged “sets” with props that enabled participants to use pre-programed electronic tablets to make their own stop motion films. The scenarios ranged from train yards to villages to Jurassic parks and props from people and animals to automobiles and trains.

Two-year-old Mia Carpenter had great fun running her choo choo around the tracks while students wearing Shipley’s Choice Makers T-shirts assisted with the filming. Across the media center Mia’s brother, Max, who’s in kindergarten, was mesmerized watching a robot being put through its motions. His mother Megan said Max was thrilled.

“On the ride over, he said he couldn’t wait to be in fourth grade so he could make something,” she said.

A circle of onlookers formed around fourth-graders Lane August, Evan Boucher and Michael Queen who created an R2-D2 robot using LittleBits circuit components. The robot performed perfectly.

Visitors ended their Makers Faire in the foyer where vendors, including SCES fifth-graders with hand-decorated cups, shared space with Severna Park Community Library’s display of “how to make it” books.

STEM Night for Girls

Kate Bray, a Girl Scout with Troop 4608 and Severna Park High School junior, conceived a unique Gold Award project. Kate is hosting a STEM Night for Girls at Severna Park Middle School from 6 to 8 pm. Tuesday.

She’s invited science, technology, engineering and math related companies and organizations from Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties to provide fun activities aimed at elementary and middle school aged girls.


A student in SPHS’ pre-engineering Project Lead the Way Program, Kate was aware of a need to attract more girls to math and science related fields.

“When I was a freshman, half of my engineering class was girls,” she said. “By my third year, I’m one of only three girls left. I think it’s sad that more girls don’t want to pursue the STEM courses that lead to high paying jobs in the future.”

Kate believes the high enthusiasm of girls’ male classmates may be an intimidating factor for them and hopes her event helps counter that perception. Learn more at www.girlpoweredstem.org.

Severna Park High graduation

Graduation ceremonies for Severna Park High School’s Class of 2018 will be held Tuesday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County at 10 a.m.

Baldwin United Methodist auto show

Automobile enthusiasts can indulge their passion June 2 while attending the Baldwin United Methodist Church Car and Truck Show and Flea Market at 921 Generals Highway in Millersville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the automotive portion of the event are being donated to SPAN Inc.

There will be a DJ, hot dogs, raw oysters and a bake table. Attendees may bring in-date canned goods for SPAN. For information, call 410-533-5370.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun