LAUNCH News

Children explore ‘living’ sculpture in new STEAM program

LAUNCH Waterloo brings world-leading innovation in living architecture to kids this summer

June 3, 2021 – Waterloo, ON

A new program from LAUNCH Waterloo gives children the unique opportunity to push the boundaries of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning, thanks to a world-class example of new living architecture.

Designed by Canadian artist, designer and University of Waterloo professor, Philip Beesley, Meander is a 4500 square foot, 30-foot-high installation of spheres, columns and canopies suspended from the ceiling at Tapestry Hall in Cambridge. Including more than 400,000 individual parts, Meander responds to its environment and visitors within it. LAUNCH’s new program, called Discover Meander, will take children through the design process behind the installation.

“Meander is a stunning example of the power of STEAM,” says Tobi Day-Hamilton, LAUNCH co-founder. “It’s not only a beautiful piece of art, but it’s also a feat of engineering, computing and imagination. Discover Meander will help children discover how bringing these fields together can create something spectacular.”

LAUNCH partnered with Beesley’s Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG) to develop Discover Meander. The program provides participants with a hands-on opportunity to engage, learn and solve real-world problems using their critical, creative and innovative thinking skills. Participants will explore themes of energy, biology, water and technology through the lens of Meander’s architecture and structure.

“Part of our goal at the LASG is to encourage people to think differently about the world around them,” says Rob Gorbet, LASG research lead for education. “STEAM education is an important facet of that and we’ve been so grateful for this partnership with LAUNCH Waterloo which will help us expand the minds and imaginations of kids participating in the program.”

Discover Meander will be first offered as a one-week online summer camp August 16-20. The summer camp features hands-on activities guided by live coaches. Each participant will receive a LAUNCH Box containing supplies and materials for the program, including their own Meander Cells Construction Kit. Participants will create and keep their own sculpture, using miniature spheres similar to the ones used by Meander’s designers.

Registration is open now for the Discover Meander Summer Camp and the dates for a fall program will be announced soon. For more information and to register online, visit www.launchwaterloo.ca.

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About LAUNCH Waterloo
LAUNCH Waterloo is a social enterprise with a bold vision: to inspire kids to be creative and ethical critical thinkers that embrace their own curiosity and imagination. To achieve our vision, we are transforming traditional STEAM programming from one-day or one-week touchpoints to long-term, progressive, fun recreational programs. Adopting a minor sports framework, LAUNCH hosts seasons of science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs for children. Visit LAUNCH Waterloo for more information.

About the Living Architecture Systems Group
The Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG) is an interdisciplinary partnership of researchers, artists, designers, and industry partners dedicated to creation of next-generation architectural environments and open-access knowledge resources. The LASG is developing test-beds, design methods and curriculum that positions architecture as a sentient near-living system. Collaborations with LASG artists, scientists and engineers has led to a diverse array of projects, from haute couture collections to complex electronic systems that can sense, react and learn. The LASG disseminates its work through exhibitions, publications, and events. The LASG is generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the University of Waterloo, and many others. Visit Living Systems Architecture Group for more information.

Media Contact
Tobi Day-Hamilton, Co-founder
LAUNCH Waterloo
P: 519-590-3551
E: tobi@launchwaterloo.ca

Loyalist College Teams Up with LAUNCH to Offer STEAM Summer Kids' Camps

Belleville, Ontario, May 19, 2021

Registration is open for several online science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) summer camps for children, offered by Loyalist College through social enterprise LAUNCH. Designed for children entering grades one through eight, the one-week camps, which begin July 5, incorporate STEAM subjects into everything from animation and architecture to creative storytelling, understanding laws of motion and building rockets. Campers explore fun and interactive activities, guided by caring camp leaders, using materials from a customized gift box they receive in advance.

“Our partnership with LAUNCH is the beginning of something special for campers in our Bay of Quinte region, as well as Loyalist College students who we plan to engage as camp leaders in future years,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO. “The focus on STEAM aligns perfectly with one of the six industry clusters around which we offer innovative programs and applied research to meet market needs. Through the camp’s fun, hands-on team-building activities, we hope to inspire and empower children to pursue STEAM in their future academic journeys.”

Summer Kids Camps include:
Slime!
Dates: July 5-9
Grades: 1-3 and 4-6
About: Campers explore all things slimy and squishy. They’ll make their own slime recipes and learn about slimy creatures on earth and why they need that slime to survive. Children will get gross on this adventure-filled week!

Animation Creations
Dates: July 12-16
Grades: 4-5 and 6-8
About: Everywhere we look we see moving pictures…we call them videos, movies and TV shows. In Animation Creations, campers will explore the concept of persistence of vision and how toys and moving pictures use this principle to create motion we see.

Best of STEAM
Dates: July 19-23
Grades: 1-3 and 4-6
About: Campers will discover all of the favourite STEAM activities and adventures. This is their chance to try a little bit of everything, meet LAUNCH coaches, and have lots of fun.

Rube Goldberg Design Challenge
Dates: July 26-30
Grades: 4-5 and 6-8
About: In this week-long challenge, campers learn about simple machines, complex machines, laws of motion and design principles. They’ll work to create and test a masterful machine that accomplishes a seemingly easy task in the most complicated way possible.

Space Explorers
Dates: August 9-13
Grades: 4-5 and 6-8
About: From planets and rockets to stars, there are so many amazing things in space. Even though they can’t get on a rocket and fly into space, campers can build rockets to blast off at home, while learning about how NASA plans missions. Activities will include creating models, painting planets, and exploring constellations.

STEAM Stories
Dates: August 16-20
Grades: 1-3
About: Campers will explore STEAM through hands-on activities related to stories. They’ll unpack the role of STEAM within each story in a fun, creative way! Books and stories included.

Discover Meander
Dates: August 16-20
Grades: 6-8
About: Meander is the largest permanent living architecture sculpture in the world. This summer campers will discover the soaring, flowing installation of spheres, columns and canopies, suspended from the ceiling of a historic limestone factory along the Grand River. Through hands-on and team-building activities, they’ll explore connections between art and the natural world.

“Kids are naturally curious,” says Tobi Day-Hamilton, co-founder of LAUNCH. “STEAM camps foster that curiosity and inspire kids to explore the world around them in new and interesting ways. I’m excited to partner with Loyalist College and help more children and youth discover the wonders of science and technology.”

LAUNCH also offers STEAM League, an eight-week, after school program that includes practices, team-based learning and an end-of-season tournament. The program features fun, hands-on activities in various aspects of STEAM, supported by HIP Developments, Google.org and the Bosch Community Fund.

About Loyalist College
Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges and #1 in the country for industry research income as a percentage of total research income, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2018-19 graduates, 88.8 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through LoyalistFocus.com, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.7 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $382 million annually to the regional economy – based on a March 2020 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit YoureGoingPlaces.com.

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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing, Communications and Recruitment
Loyalist College, klorimer@loyalistcollege.com, 613-969-1913, ext. 2536