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February 13th, 2017 by Cherry

I’m planning to head to the Santa Monica Pier for the 4th Annual S.T.E.A.M. Innovation Fair and Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest on Sunday, March 5. I feel clever as heck just planning to attend and seeing the robots! The Free Festival Includes: A Contest of Student-Imagineered Rube Goldberg Machines, an Innovation Exhibition Featuring Soccer Matches between Guest-Operated LEGO Robots, and a Panel of NASA & JPL Engineers

The Santa Monica Pier will welcome many of the country’s brightest young inventors, tech leaders, educators and students for the 4th Annual S.T.E.A.M. Machines Innovation Fair. This one-day event is free to the public and summons all to playfully dive into an interactive experience that connects the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
Kicking off the event at 11:30am, S..E.A.M. will entertain, enlighten, and mesmerize in three ways: a Path to Innovation Panel hosting brilliant galactic and scientific minds, an Innovation Exhibition presenting a wonderland of experiential and groundbreaking delights, and the Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest featuring student teams from across Los Angeles and the nation.
Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest
The event will feature tiers of middle school, high school, and university squads in a battle of Rube Goldberg machines – overly engineered contraptions that achieve a simple end-game through the most complicated (and humorous) paths imaginable. Inspired by the Pulitzer Prize winning inventor and cartoonist Rube Goldberg, these contraptions inspire creativity and innovation. On the Internet, they’re viral video sensations, and in-person, they’re mechanical magic.

Student teams from Santa Monica to Alaska are scheming big for this year’s challenge – applying a Band-Aid in minimum of 20 chain reactions. Down the Santa Monica Pier, over a dozen machines will be operating in 10’x10’ plots, each tinkering towards that final Band-Aid mechanism. The winning team will be judged and awarded a cash prize and entry to the national competition by a creditable committee: Lyle Tavernier (NASA Educational Technology Specialist), Hector Alvarez (Two Bit Circus Creative Director), Brett Doar (celebrated Rube Goldberg machinist), Martin Tomasz (analog/radio/mixed-signal engineer), and Heather Doyle (S.T.E.A.M. Innovation Fair Creator).

Royal Rumble of Rube
11:30AM-2PM
Teams have taken DIY machine-building to new heights as they face off & compete for the best Rube Goldberg machine that can apply a BAND-AID™ in 20 steps or more! Prize money & everlasting glory are on the line so come pick a champ & cheer them on.

The Path to Innovation
2-3:30PM
A panel of innovators, including Michelle Easter of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Jeremy Selan of Valve virtual reality, Zaina Siyed highschool robotics champion and founder of the FemSTEM scholarship will discuss the challenges of their fields and the opportunities that await!

I am a Robot!
11AM-1:30PM

Curby, Santa Monica Public Work’s walking, talking recycling robot will be joining us for a limited time at the grand entrance to the Santa Monica Pier along Ocean Front Walk.

Get Your Build On
11AM-4PM

Build a fort out of cardboard boxes, a sculpture out of rolled newspaper, or help create a giant recycling machine. This day is a builder’s paradise!

Swim With the Fishes
11AM-4PM 

Visit Heal The Bay’s Aquarium under the Pier to check out the coolest creates and even pilot an underwater ROV mini-sub.

Path to Innovation Panel
A notable panel of scientific wizards will enlighten folks with visionary tales, discussing challenges in their fields and revealing secrets that the future holds.
  • Gray Bright: Host of the Tomorrow Show, standup comedian, robotic engineer, and Lego enthusiast.
  • Brent Bushnell: Board President and CEO (or Chief Rabble-Rouser) of Two Bit Circus, a Los Angeles-based experiential entertainment company.
  • Michelle Easter: former high fashion runway model who diverted at 26 to pursue an engineering degree. By 31, she had finished at the top of her class with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now a Mechatronics Engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Jeremy Selan: two-time Scientific and Technical Achievement Academy Award Winner and Valve developer making an impact in the virtual reality sector.
  • Zaina Siyed: local high school student, robotics champion and founder of FemSTEM – a foundation to help encourage girls to participate in STEM activities.
During the competition, innovation stations will be activated throughout the pier hosted by event partners and vendors. Each will spark curiosity and engagement from the crowds with its own brand of genius:
  • Columbia Memorial Space Center: guests can use LEGO robots to compete against each other at soccer.
  • Craig Burrows Photography: floral photography collection lauded by Wired for its ‘ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence’ technique.
  • Heal the Bay / Aquarium / FCEC: piloting an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), build boats out of aluminum foil and play around with a host of other technological gadgets.
  • Orchanic: showcasing an A.I. prototype that uses Deep Learning to identify trash on the beaches, the HEXA spider robot, and smart clothing.
  • Paisley Garbage: arts and craft vendor.
  • Peddler’s Creamery: churn delicious homemade ice cream by a bicycle.
  • reDiscover Center: turn massive amounts of recycled cardboard into anything imaginable.
  • STEMup4Youth: guests can let their imaginations go wild by building enormous structures out of recycles cardboard.
  • Steve Craig’s drawBot: a crowd favorite, Steve Craig returns again this year with his exceptionally popular drawing machines and more.
  • T4T.org: invites festival-goers to create the Ultimate Recycling Machine using their imagination, engineering skills, and some fun upcycled materials.
For more information, visit SteamMachinesLA.com; search for the official event hashtag #SteamMachines.
S.T.E.A.M. Machines
Innovation Fair & Rube Goldberg Contest
Sunday • March 5 • 11:30am
200 Santa Monica Pier,
Santa Monica, CA 90401
About The Rube Goldberg Curious Contraption Contest
Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor and author. He was the inspiration for the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, which challenges participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task. The contest is an annual international competition that challenges teams of students from middle school to college age to compete in building the most elaborate and hilarious Rube Goldberg Machine.

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