Sunday, July 12, 2015

Photos from Silicon Valley STEAM Festival

The Silicon Valley STEAM Festival was amazing. It was loud and proud and fun and jammed with people, planes, cars, food, music, robots, and bubbles. Not a place you'd expect to find poems, but there we were!  Here are some photos of the scene, the kids and their families, and the poems we wrote. I worked with Erica Goss, newly minted CPITS poet/teacher and current Los Gatos Poet Laureate.

Click through here to read the San Jose Mercury News article about the event. Lots and lots of photos of cars and planes.
Here's Erica in the booth. We made our own CPITS sign, and had three tables inviting people in. We had chalk on the tarmac, but it didn't turn into kids writing on the ground. Please notice our Proceed With Kindness sign!  The inside of the booth was also decorated with bright colored paper chains and the chalkboard sign. (Erica wrote the great prompt on the chalkboard!!)
We hung sample plane poems from the paper chain. 
The booth had three tables: on this one I had anthologies, student poem bookmarks (it was really windy so we kept them in bundles, which meant that they didn't get taken unless we offered them) and business cards, CPITS flyers. There would have been Kleenex (see not about wind) and we had hand sanitizer, which a LOT of people liked. 
The longest table had white paper taped down, with poem prompts written in bright colors. We had planes and luggage tags for poems, different colored pens and pencils. This section was shady and had chairs.
The third table had the magnet poetry. This usually draws a lot of people, but I think most of the crowd were too overstimulated to play. Later in the day more did. 

Here are some of the kids and the poems they wrote. We had a lot of fun. 

At the end of the day, this is what three exhausted, wind-blown poets look like!

Erica Goss (CPITS poet/teacher), Amanda Williamson (Cupertino poet and CPITS friend), and me, Jennifer Swanton Brown (Santa Clara County Area Coordinator and poet/teacher)

"Write A Poem and Make it Fly Away!"" 

Here are some close ups some of the way the different poems could hang or be attached to strings or sticks. Holes at the top made the poems hang well from a string or bar. Holes at the nose of the plane made good "kites" and also could be tied to wrists. Sticks at the bottom made poem-plane puppets. One smart kid thought of tying the luggage tag behind the plane -- so I wrote an example of that to show (she took hers away before I could get a photo!)

This is friend's math limerick poem. It shows the custom stamp we made, too. "This is my poem" with the date and the CPITS website. This got stamped on every poem that walked out of the booth. 

This is Erica's poem. 
Planes are loud!  Planes are loud!  Poems are quiet. Poems are loud, too.

This is my daughter's STEAM haiku. 
This poem reads "There was a sad war and a sad song"
Kids are amazing. 

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