TouchTomorrow a festival of science, technology and robots
We were pleased to participate in a great event the first week-end of April: The TouchTomorrow Festival that took place at Polar Park in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
TouchTomorrow was launched initially in 2012 to celebrate WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)’s designation as host of NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge, which marked the first time a college campus hosted a NASA Centennial Challenge. Like all Centennial Challenges, it promoted technological innovations that could aid in NASA’s mission and work—in this case, the development of a new generation of autonomous planetary rovers to explore diverse landscapes.
Through the years, TouchTomorrow has held on to that same spark of curiosity, discovery, and fun that first drew NASA to campus while simultaneously building upon it with activities ranging from hands-on experiments and demonstrations to lab tours and exciting stage programming.
Nowadays, TouchTomorrow is a FREE family festival aimed at demystifying STEM in K-12 students and families. After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, the event comes back this year. Hosted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the festival offers hands-on activities, exhibits, and demonstrations that inspire curiosity and new passions in STEM.
SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids at TouchTomorrow
Thousands of visitors came to one of the first in person events of the year that day, including a lot of families. Seven volunteers from SOLIDWORKS R&D and Edu teams kindly attended the festival to present SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. Due to the huge number of visitors it was difficult to organize hands-on sessions about the use of Apps for Kids itself so we decided to propose alternative activities.
Apps for Kids workshop
One of the main activity we proposed was a simulation of 3D printing with different coloring cube boxes. The young visitors who stopped by our booth helped create cubes using different color papers and assembled them into layers to form shape of animals (dolphin, chicken, and monkey) with the pattern maps.
We prepared color markers and sheets with illustrated options of an airplane, bird, and scout robot. The kids who love coloring could pick up the one they liked and color it at the table or bring it back home. They could also choose to make 3D cube with a 2D printing and image of different figures on each side.
We invited children to come to our table and pick up a paper with the printed-out number codes to color it. Then we helped find the spot on the wall sheet to match the number code and paste it on and kids came back later to discover what it could be.
Apps for Kids presentation to parents and organizations
While the kids were working on their hands-on projects, we started chatting with the parents and presenting SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. Most parents showed great interest in learning more, watched the video, and took flyers from our exhibition table. A middle school boy told us that he knew the application from his teacher, who also offered to print out the creation with the 3D Printer at her home.
We were happy to get some schoolteachers and executives from the non-profits education association and organization came to us to get more information about the application.
We had a busy day and a good time engaging in such a great event, having the interactive conversation in person with visitors to present SOLIDWORKS App for Kids and answer their inquiries.
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