Russell the electric giraffe checking out an art exhibit at MoPA
  • Russell the electric giraffe checking out an art exhibit at MoPA
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This marks the first year that Balboa Park includes “A” for Art in their annual event to highlight the education movement traditionally known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Russell the electric giraffe at the San Diego Railroad Museum

On March 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., nearly two-dozen cultural organizations will participate to provide STEAM-related activities. Both inside museums and lining the El Prado walkway will be family-friendly interactive “demonstrations of new and exciting technology applications,” from free puppet-making with Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre to learning about Phantograms (distorted projections that create the illusion of 3D) at Museum of Photographic Arts. San Diego Air & Space Museum will be hosting a mass paper-airplane launch, the San Diego Automotive Museum will have electric cars and wooden carts and at Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, kids can take part in several activities, including a tinkering studio to explore the science of sound.

The STEAM movement was initiated by the Rhode Island School of Design, and has been making headway in Congress with its objectives to “place art and design at the center of STEM” and “influence employers to hire artists and designers to drive innovation.”

Among the Maker exhibits that will be in museums throughout the park are an interactive Giant Electric Giraffe named Russell, and Charlie and Pearl the Unicorn Bikes. Participating museums are offering free admission to children under 12 (with a paying adult), and activities outside and lining the El Prado walkway are free to all.

For more information about the specific activities and participating museums, visit the STEAM Day web site.

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