It’s almost that time again!
Twirl Taos’ 5th Annual Invent Event will take place on Saturday, April 27th 12-4pm at the Enos Garcia Elementary School Gym.
As usual this is a free community Maker Faire with plenty of fun hands-on activities for you and your kids!
When I dropped in on Anais Rumfelt and Nina Silfverberg at their lab (Twirl Too), last week, they were busy prepping the materials needed for Twirl’s “Wacky Wheels” – loosely based on the Nerdy Derby – Wacky Wheels is an opportunity to learn about the mechanics of vehicles and motion through play, creativity and problem solving.
“We have a huge event planned this year,” Nina told me.
“And as always it’s free fun for the whole family,” Anais reminded me.
The 2019 Station Activities include: Solar Power, Fiber Play, Robotics Challenge, Trashy Robot building, Fun With Pinball, Metal Sand Casting, Wacky Vehicles, Coding, Print-Making, Tinker Toddlers, Early Childhood Sensory Play, Clay Play, Pedal Power Milkshakes, Secret Garden Fence Project, Basket Weaving, Jewelry Making, Augmented Reality Sandbox, Seed Play, Sand Casting, Bio-STEAM Lab, Word Art, Food Fun, Super-Cube Shuffle Math Puzzle, Science On A Sphere, Metal Tooling, Water Exploration, Giant Slingshot, Dino-Lite Exploration, Circus Play with Acro Yoga and Stilt Walking, 3D Printing, Nature Play, Live Radio Broadcasting, Paint By Number Mural, Capitol Xmas Tree Ornament Making with US Forest Service, Woodworking and the list goes on!
There will also be food courtesy of Laine Ember and 108 Roving Food!
The annual Invent Event is a true Makers Fair; a festival in fact geared toward (and celebrating), the children of our community.
“We collaborate with schools and some of them are representing at the event, hosting cool activities.” Said Anais. “ We have been doing the Robotics program in the schools, and that will be represented in the Robotics competition at the event.”
The whole entity of Twirl Taos is a non-profit; including the store, the playgrounds and everything we do in the community.
“This is always about the people who step in year in and year out to volunteer.” Anais told me. “We could not pull off an event of this scale without them.”
“And the most incredible aspect of this,” Nina chimed in, “is the fact that many of the same people return to assist us every year, it’s really become somewhat of a tradition.”
“It’s truly about community,” said Anais, “ and Twirl’s ethos and mission which is about learning through creativity.”
“And technology.” Nina interjected, reminding us that Invent Event finds its footing firmly in the present.
The activities are varied but all are hands on and interactive. For example at the Super Cube Shuffle (Explora) Station participants of all ages get to explore a fast-paced, hands-on math puzzle game.
The Pin-Ball Machine Exhibit (Fun With Pinball/Mark Gibson) is another tactile interactive exhibit built from retired pinball machine parts, designed to foster curiosity and creativity enabling participants to interact with the machinery of pinball machines including the electromagnetics, relays and more.
Twirl’s Robot Play Outreach program for 5th graders culminates in a Robotics Rally for all students who have been involved in the program. Various robotics challenges will be set up and robots available for competing and testing.
Making Trashy Robots, based on the concept of Hebocon that is a “robot sumo competition for robots with low technical ability”, this station explores low tech, high imagination and creative problem solving while making Trashy Robots out of hackable toys, recycled materials, wheels and other consumable materials.
Participants can then enter their Trashy Robot in the Tournament, with emcee Rita O’Connell engaging with both the robots and their makers drawing on her considerable skills as a thespian to bring a sense of drama and play to the competition.
There are over thirty activities/stations planned to this year’s Invent Event, the biggest ever, and on a day where other activities for kids (including Taos Youth Ballet’s two performances at the TCA and an exhibit of local kids’ art at the Stables Gallery), there is no excuse not to get out “en famille” and enjoy the day!
I left the two women with their 2×4’s and saws, and walked outside, turning the corner as I neared Twirl Taos’ entry, I saw a (clearly visiting), couple with their two young kids, indecisively hovering outside.
“Oh do go in,” I urged them. “It’s a totally magical space the kids will never forget,”
“Is it a toy shop?” The husband asked me.
“Yes,” I replied, “but it’s so much more than that.”
I saw them a few hours later at the World Cup Cafe.
“That was so great,” their mother thanked me in thickly accented English as her children smiled.
“We spent over an hour there and the children played outside while we explored the toys!” She laughed.
2019 Invent Event Sponsors include Taos Ski Valley Foundation, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Centinel Bank, Taos Community Foundation, The Taos News, Taos Cow, Guerrilla Graphix, Magee Build, Brownrice Internet, Phoenix Mechanical, Collignon Roofing, Kit Carson Electric Co-op, Wolfgang Spa Works, Metric Motors, Pieces, Pizaños, Randall Lumber & Hardware, Dimond Mortgage, Taos Rockers..
For more about Twirl Taos and the 5th Annual Invent Event taking place at the Enos Garcia Elementary School Gym on April 27th from noon to 4pm, please visit their site linked below.
All stations at Invent Event are listed here!
All photographs thanks to Twirl