If you want to see STEM in action, then there is no better place than the annual Maker Faire in San Mateo; it is a family-friendly environment that has something to see for kids of all ages (including grandparents).
Double-Sided Van Gogh
Among many things we find students showcasing their hard work creations. One of my favorite projects was the double-sided Van Gogh made by 8th graders to address energy efficiency & space saving concerns.
There is an abundance of wonderful projects showcased by kids. Another great one was from 13-year-old Jeffery visiting from Chicago. In his project, he created a remote control robot using Arduino based microcontroller that could control Lego Mindstorm motors in addition to normal DC motors. This required to get close & personal with both electronics and mobile application development.
Wii Refreshment Alarm
After a long day of attending the Faire I was getting a bit thirsty; but, it was great to find little inventors that address our home refreshment problem. These young engineers have hacked a Wii scale to detect a change in weight and get a notification; for example, get an alert when someone is removing favorite beverage from the cooler.
You have to attend the Maker Faire yourself to see the full spectrum of wonderful projects kids are able to undertake. Let us know what you think?