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STEAM FAIR
 
Friday April 10, 2015
 
Exploding water rockets! Liquid nitrogen ice cream! Not to mention fossils, 3D printing, mechanized LEGO and more than 50 other Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) subjects to explore… it’s no wonder the STEAM Fair is one day at Laurel that our children will never forget!
 
It’s also a highlight of the school year for almost 200 parent volunteers, who join forces to become teachers for a morning, running 40-minute art workshops to four small groups of kids.
 
Whether you are new to Laurel or a longtime parent, you surely will want to join your child and be a part of this incredible day of learning, adventure and fun.
 
Not a scientist? Not an artist? Not a problem! You will be provided with thorough instructions to ensure your workshop is a success. So mark the date now and plan to participate!
 
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact steam@laurelpto.org
 
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STEAM Fair FAQ

What date is the fair? 

When do I need to arrive, and when can I leave? 

How many workshops will I teach?

How many kids are in each workshop? 

What does it mean to "lead" a workshop, and what does it mean to "assist"?

How do I know what to teach? 

When do I pick up the folder and supplies? 

Will all supplies be provided, or do I need to go shopping? 

Do I have to cover the cost of extra supplies? 

What can I offer a local business if they donate supplies? 

Who else is volunteering in this workshop with me? 

I signed up as an assistant, but I haven't heard a thing from the leader. What should I do? 

I signed up as a leader, and my assistants aren't getting back to me. What should I do? 

I've never done anything like this before. Can I practice beforehand? 

I don't understand the instructions in the folder. Can I talk to someone about it? 

I just found out that I have to travel for work (go to an important meeting, etc) and cannot volunteer at the fair. What should I do? 

Is my child guaranteed a place in the workshop I've volunteered for? 

My child doesn't want to be in my workshop, and I'm okay with that. How do I handle it when I sign her up? 

I have two children at Laurel School. Can I volunteer for half the fair in one grade, and half the fair in another? 

My child's grandmother/uncle/nanny wants to volunteer for the fair. Is this permitted? 

 

What date is the fair? 

The fair will be held Friday, April 10, 2015. 

When do I need to arrive, and when can I leave

Volunteers are asked to arrive by 8:15am at the latest on the morning of the fair. Students will arrive to participate in the first workshop at 9am, but you need to sign in, find your station, and set up. Some volunteers will need to arrive earlier, depending on the nature of their workshop, and others may even want to set up the afternoon before the fair. 

How many workshops will I teach?

You will teach the same workshop four times, to four different groups of kids. 

How many kids are in each workshop

Each workshop has a maximum of 12 students. Shortly before the fair, the STEAM committee will email you a precise headcount. 

What does it mean to "lead" a workshop, and what does it mean to "assist"?

It is the workshop leader’s responsibility to contact the other assistant volunteers for the workshop, and arrange/coordinate: 

  • procurement of supplies
  • trial run of the workshop 
  • set-up on the day of the fair
  • division of labor during workshops

How do I know what to teach? 

A folder with instructions, supply lists, tips from past leaders, and other resources. Many workshops also have perennial supplies that are stored at Laurel and handed out each year before the fair. 

When do I pick up the folder of instructions and supplies? 

These are generally passed out about one month before the fair. The STEAM committee will email all volunteers with the times and dates for pick-up at Laurel. 

Will all supplies be provided, or do I need to go shopping? 

It depends on the workshop, but it’s fair to say that most workshops require some supplies to be procured. 

Do I have to cover the cost of extra supplies? 

Past volunteers have had great success in soliciting donations and/or discounts from local (and not so local!) businesses. Please try this before buying supplies.  The STEAM committee will reimburse you for any costs up to $75. Supplies costing more than $75 require the advance permission of the STEAM committee – email steam@laurelpto.org

Reimbursement forms will be emailed to you prior to the fair, and they are also available from the Laurel front office. If you choose to make a tax-deductible donation of these items, fill out a reimbursement form and indicate that you are making a donation. 

Donors will receive recognition in the Laurel PTO newsletter, which has more than 1000 parent recipients, as well as on the Laurel website, and in the video that is shown to all parents at Back to School Night. 

Who else is volunteering in this workshop with me? 

You will receive an email from the STEAM committee listing all the volunteers in your workshop. 

I signed up as an assistant, but I haven't heard a thing from the leader. What should I do? 

If you’re concerned, please try calling the leader (check for their number in the District Directory). If this is unsuccessful, please let the STEAM committee know steam@laurelpto.org

I signed up as a leader, and my assistants aren't getting back to me. What should I do? 

If you’re concerned, please try calling the assistants (check for their numbers in the District Directory). If this is unsuccessful, please let the STEAM committee know steam@laurelpto.org

I’ve never done anything like this before. Can I practice beforehand? 

Yes! We highly recommend a test-run at home, using your own children and a few borrowed ones. It really helps to practice in real-time, see where kids get excited and where their attention may wane. Please arrange with the other volunteers in your workshop to do a dry-run before the fair. 

I don't understand the instructions in the folder. Can I talk to someone about it? 

Absolutely. Your best bet is to contact the leaders from past years, whose evaluations will be printed out in the folder. Failing that, please contact steam@laurelpto.org for help

I just found out that I have to travel for work (go to an important meeting, etc) and cannot volunteer at the fair. What should I do? 

It is your responsibility to find a replacement volunteer. You probably won’t have to look too far to find someone kicking themselves for not having signed up in time to volunteer. Once you have your replacement, please email steam@laurelpto.org to pass on the name and contact details of the new volunteer. 

Is my child guaranteed a place in the workshop I've volunteered for? 

Absolutely. When the time comes to sign your child up for workshops, be sure to check the box that you are volunteering rank the workshop that you are teaching first on your child’s list of preferences

My child doesn't want to be in my workshop, and I'm okay with that. How do I handle it when I sign her up? 

Do not rank your workshop first in your child’s preferences, and send an email to steam@laurelpto.org confirming that your child does not want to attend the workshop you’re teaching

I have two children at Laurel School. Can I volunteer for half the fair in one grade, and half the fair in another? 

Unfortunately this is not possible, because it will leave the remaining volunteers short. You have two options: volunteer for one child’s grade level, and have another parent/family member/friend volunteer in the other. Or, you can volunteer in one child’s grade this year, and for the other child next year. 

My child's grandmother/uncle/nanny wants to volunteer for the fair. Is this permitted? 

Certainly! Just sign them up with all their contact details, and we’ll take it from there. 

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