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Reimagine STEM education at the STEAM Carnival with Two Bit Circus

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  • Robots, lasers, acrobatics, and cotton candy cooked up by seasoned inventors are just some of what will make up the STEAM Carnival, whose Kickstarter campaign [http://2bc.io/ks] launched April 30. This traveling high-tech amusement event will visit select U.S. cities starting Spring 2014 if it reaches its goal of $100,000 by June 3. The goal of the STEAM Carnival [http://steamcarnival.com] is to make education more entertaining and entertainment more educational, and to transform the way people view games and amusement, similar to how Cirque du Soleil transformed the performing arts.

    “When you say ‘engineering’ to most kids they zone out. But when you say ‘lasers, robots, and fire,’ you have their undivided attention,” said Two Bit Circus [http://twobitcircus.com] CEO and Co-founder, Brent Bushnell. “We’ve found that high-tech games spark curiosity about engineering and science so we created the STEAM Carnival to inspire the next generation of inventors,” said CTO and Co-founder, Eric Gradman.

    STEAM is a derivative of the more widely recognized acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The critical ‘A’, for Art, has been backed by celebrities like pop singer Will.i.am, cultural organizations, and adopted by some charter schools but has yet to pick up steam and spawn a movement – until now.

    In the spirit of a State Fair, the STEAM Carnival will showcase kids’ own work via creative competitions, a digital art gallery, a concert featuring musical robots, and a fashion show of wearable electronics. Kids can sign up at STEAMcarnival.com [http://steamcarnival.com] to receive one of several kits designed by Two Bit Circus to help kids create amusement-focused technical projects. People wishing to donate kits to kids from low-income communities can do so on the Kickstarter page.

    The Two Bit Circus team of roboticists, scientists, engineers, designers, and makers employs the STEAM disciplines everyday to create the fantastical in their downtown Los Angeles warehouse laboratory. In 2010, several 2BC team members gained notoriety from their involvement in the band OK Go’s music video This Too Shall Pass [http://youtu.be/qybUFnY7Y8w], a YouTube sensation with close to 40 million views to date. Said Lead Engineer Dan Busby, “The sheer volume of interest we received from science and math teachers around the world after that video is what spawned the idea for the STEAM Carnival.”

    For more information about the STEAM Carnival visit http://2bc.io/ks.

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