Middle school hosts STEAM Expo


Last updated 5/5/2023 at 5:04pm

Photo by Charlie Kanzig

Students dug in to hands-on exhibits at a STEAM expo last week.

Sisters Middle School (SMS) was the place to be on Wednesday, April 12 for the annual STEAM Expo, which showcased some of the science, technology, engineering, art, and math learning that is happening at the school.

Visitors experienced exhibits and activities that ranged from stop-motion animation to squeegee art to fiddle musical chairs.

Brad Tisdel, the creative director for the Sisters Folk Festival, which has helped support the arts in Sisters for many years, said this type of event is important for a number of reasons.

"I think it represents and showcases the culture that has been cultivated in Sisters schools for many years that shows that art and music are valued and are supported by the community, including the Folk Festival," he said.

"All these things happening tonight are evidence that we want kids to have a variety of ways to express themselves, which is part of our identity as Sisters Outlaws."

Teresa Mills, finance manager for Sisters Folk Festival, echoed Tisdel's remarks and commented, "I just think it's so cool that so much positive energy has been put into this exposition, and it's so interactive, including the sculpture being built by passersby."

Wes Estvold, a teacher on special assignment as the instructional technology specialist for the Sisters School District, described the equipment used by students for the stop-motion animation, which is taught by Roger Martin at Sisters Middle School:

"The kids use iPads to make miniature movies by taking just one shot at a time with objects placed on what is called a Copernicus stand. The program then stitches each individual picture together to create the illusion of motion."

Estvold added that the blend of art and technology helps students really access all parts of the brain to create a final product.

Martin teaches moviemaking as an elective class at Sisters Middle School and leads the stop-motion movie class as part of the club program as well.

Judy Fuentes art teacher at Sisters Middle School, said that in her seven years at SMS there have been different iterations of the expo night.

"In the beginning the evening featured mainly student art, but it has grown into a more interactive experience now," she said. "Adults and students are creating art, writing poetry, playing drums, creating movies, and even playing musical chairs to fiddle music as they go along."

Principal Tim Roth praised his staff for making the evening happen and gave special thanks to Sisters Folk Festival, The Roundhouse Foundation, and the many parents and volunteers who support students throughout the year.


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