St. Martin’s faculty, staff, and students and the school’s Innovation + Design program stood out at the recent New Orleans Mini Maker Faire. Often described as part science fair, part county fair, and “the greatest show and tell on earth,” the Maker Faire inspires budding inventors and creators through hands-on crafts, projects and demonstrations. St. Martin’s had a strong presence, with several faculty members leading enjoyable and innovative activities.
For the second year in a row, Director of Performing Arts Meredith Long-Dieth and the seventh grade theater class hosted a Project Runway-esque activity, giving visitors the opportunity to try out costume and prop design. Participants were challenged to create a costume using just $20 in supplies and materials; they were allowed to use clothing and found materials in their designs.
St. Martin’s also hosted a duct tape maker's table. StM students helped visitors create their own pieces of work. The activity was so popular that visitors used more than 10 rolls of duct tape in less than three hours.
Art teacher Leslie Gamble displayed her Middle School classes’ LED shoe project. Visitors could see the different styles of LED integration and power solutions, including the strengths and weaknesses of each design decision.
Lower School teachers Pam Brierre and Natalie Ott ,with Innovation + Design team members Mary Lee Saucier and John Dicasali, hosted a table where guests made kazoos using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and plastic drinking straws. After making their kazoos, visitors could use an oscilloscope app on iPads to "see" their sounds, observing changes in pitch and volume when they blew on the kazoos. More than 300 parents and kids visited the StM table to make kazoos.
Launched in 2013, St. Martin's Innovation + Design program equips students with the skills and mindsets necessary to succeed in college and in life, such as problem-solving, adaptability, empathy, and collaboration. Students solve real-world problems through design projects integrated into their classes. The I+D program has been extremely busy this year, hosting a Lower School Family STeaM Night and a leprechaun trap challenge among other activities. In January the school celebrated the grand opening of The Gibbs Family Center for Innovation + Design. In addition, Middle School students participated in the Hour of Code, led by I+D team member John Dicasali.