Storybook icons, S.T.E.A.M. benefit camp on tap Saturday in Scott Depot
Magic and science will merge for a fun-providing, thought-provoking and fundraising day Saturday, April 1 at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot.
During the morning, from 9 to 11 a.m., the church’s gymnasium will be transformed into a royal wonderland. Winfield-based Putnam Princess Parties will bring Belle and the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast” and Anna and Kristoff from “Frozen” costumed characters to meet, greet and mingle with visitors. The Easter Bunny, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse and Dora the Explorer are also attending, to entertain and interact with their fans.
Other activities will include a sing-along and storytime. Multiple fun stations will be open, including:
• Frog Prince Slime
• Jewelry making
• Kiddo mini-manicures
• A photo backdrop for character selfies
• Coloring stations
• Prince and princess crown creations
• Robot Mania and Lego building and racing station.
The cost of the morning event is $20 per child; one parent is admitted free with the child’s entry fee. RSVPs are required by noon Friday, March 31. Email the number of children attending and their ages to: PutnamPinkLadies@gmail.com
From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, the gym will become the site of a Spring Into S.T.E.A.M. camp experience for first- through fifth-grade students.
The afternoon of events will merge STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities with Art and Music added for a S.T.E.A.M. curriculum.
Professional engineers, business owners, an agricultural specialist, a robotics guru and business and parent volunteers will lead the camp programs, which are scheduled to include:
• Raging Rocketry
• Super Slime-Making
• Robot Madness
• Lego and K’Nex Building
• Dry Ice Potions
• Pneumatic Robots
• Catapult Physics
• Artistic Adventure Station
• Roller Coaster Chaos.
The cost of the Spring Into S.T.E.A.M. four-hour mini-camp is $50 per child. RSVPs are required by noon Friday, March 31; include the parent’s name, student’s name, student’s grade and school and contact information, such as email address, mailing address and telephone number. These RSVPs can also be made to PutnamPinkLadies@gmail.com.
Proceeds from the day’s events will be directed to the Pink Ladies, the Mountain View Elementary School Lego robotics team, to subsidize their upcoming trip to the North American First Lego League Championship in Carlsbad, California. The only team to attend the event from West Virginia this year, the Pink Ladies members are MVES fifth-grade students Jordyn Arey, Katelynn Cox, Shayla Marshall, Olivia Smith and Paisley Tabor. They will be among 75 teams from around the world who will attend the event at Legoland May 21 through May 23.
Paisley’s mother, Lesley Rosier-Tabor, volunteers as a co-coach of the MVES Pink Ladies Lego robotics squad, along with Jenny Totten. She said Saturday’s afternoon S.T.E.A.M. events at St. John UMC are an outgrowth of a similar camp conducted in July 2016.
“I’m a professional engineer and so is my husband,” Rosier-Tabor said. “We’ve always tried to do STEM-related activities at my daughter’s school. A few years ago, we learned about the First Lego League, which is an international competition. Paisley was 8 and into Legos hot and heavy at the time and was interested in starting a team. All five girls were in the same class and were interested in joining in.
“We held a S.T.E.A.M. activity last summer, and it was very successful. Our principal had moved on to the Board office and recognized the efforts of the team and parent volunteers to bring STEM outreach to our school. We helped the Putnam Board of Education host a three-day, intensive S.T.E.A.M. camp for elementary-age students in July.
“We started brainstorming for activities for the girls that were both meaningful and would benefit the Putnam County community. We decided, why not try another S.T.E.A.M. camp, for a nominal fee. We’re going to take what we did in a three-day event and condense it to an afternoon of fun and learning for any kid in Putnam County. We’ve even had some students from Kanawha County who will be coming to our camp on Saturday,” Rosier-Tabor said.
The Hurricane resident said the MVES robotics team needs approximately $15,000 to $20,000 to travel cross-country. “Right now, we’re a little over halfway there. The girls attended the West Virginia Construction and Design Expo at the Civic Center this week. We recognized that these are the type of people who want to support youngsters looking at a STEM field, possibly engineering, in their future. We attended and they shared their robot demonstration and their research project. We got a lot of feedback and collected some donations there.
“We’re in the neighborhood of $10,000, so [Saturday’s programs] probably won’t push us over the top, but it will certainly put a big dent in helping us reach our goal. And our goal is not just to fund this trip, but also to interest other kids in starting their own teams,” Rosier-Tabor said.
“Putnam Princess Parties is so happy to help Mountain View Elementary raise funds for the Pink Ladies as they compete at the international level,” Putnam Princess Parties owner Rudi Arrowood said in an email message. “We are constantly working to encourage children, especially young ladies, that it’s not about looks, it’s about brains. STEM-related programs are fantastic for children, and we look forward to seeing these local girls use their brain power to perform at the top level -- plus, they look pretty cute doing it, too.”
St. John United Methodist Church is located at 4536 Teays Valley Road in Scott Depot.
Donations to the Pink Ladies’ California trip can also be made online at www.gofundme.com. Search for the “Send the Pink Ladies to California” link to contribute.
The Pink Ladies also maintain a fan page on Facebook to announce upcoming fundraising and other public appearances.