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Draper Journal

Channing Hall Fall Festival combines traditional carnival with Maker Fair fun

Oct 02, 2019 02:20PM ● By Julie Slama

Last year, Channing Hall incorporated Maker Fair projects, such as rocket making, to the fall festival, which this year is set for Oct. 4. (Photo courtesy of Missy Badberg/Channing Hall)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Families can create with circuits or motors as well as have fun with carnival games at Channing Hall’s ninth annual Fall Festival, which is open to the community.

Originally began as a historically harvest-themed event, the fall festival has transitioned from pumpkins and petting zoo to carnival games and cotton candy to creating a cardboard city and robotics.

“Last year, we had a great opportunity to transition it to include a Maker Fair, which gives families another way to participate,” said Missy Badberg, think lab teacher and librarian. “We’re continuing that again this year, with some new activities, plus a make-and-take robotic circuit they can do at home.”

The three-hour event, with the theme of “Ready Player One,” begins at 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4 at the school campus, 13515 S. 150 East. Tickets will be sold for the various activities and food items, such as pizza and nachos. Activities will be held, rain or shine.

While there still will be bounce houses, Bingo, a green screen photo booth and other various carnival-type activities, both Badberg and librarian Sarah Holland are planning the Maker Fair projects.

These include rockets with a stomp launcher, vintage video games, a Pac-Man robot that has a vibrating motor, a helicopter with a programmable circuit to flash lights, 3D pens for creating designs, virtual reality games, pre-printed items from 3D printers to select and various items — nuts, bolts, connectors, cardboard – where “they can upcycle and recycle and create their own items,” Badberg said. 

Many of the activities tie into the school’s recently opened Think Lab. The Think Lab has one wall created just of Legos, a green screen on another, and on other walls, six desktop computers, a couple 3D printers and reference books. There are 15 iPads and 30 Chromebooks students can use throughout the room or bring to their next project and of course, carts of supplies — Sphero robots to Raspberry Pis and programmed microbits to bristle bots.

The school, which serves 625 students from kindergarten through eighth grade, has a ratio of 1-to-1 devices for students in fourth grade and older.

The fall festival not only serves as a community event, but also as a fundraiser.

“Half of the money raised during the Fall Festival will go to help fund teacher aides,” Holland said.

Last year, school business manager Jen Barrett said their school board is committed to providing that additional instructional support.

Barrett said the fall festival brought in $60,000, thanks to “very generous families. Each year, we pick a different project to support. Last year, it was our Think Lab, which has been very popular with our students and has helped them increase their STEM learning.”