Holiday Family Maker Night Engages Community and Benefits Student Food Pantry

Sierra Makerspaces held its annual Holiday Family Maker Night at Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College on Friday, December 7, 2018 in Rocklin.  The event attracted more than 200 guests and featured 22 maker stations supported by more than 45 team members, students and volunteers.  Associate Dean Darlene welcomed the community at the check in table, collecting donated food and money, and handing out bags in which to keep their soon-to-be acquired Maker treasures.  The Sierra Robotics Club managed the BBQ hot dog dinner, Sierra Makerspaces students lead the ‘make your own sugar scrub’ station and the 3D printed chocolate station, the Math Club lead the origami station, faculty and staff members lead stations featuring jewelry making, felt ornaments, decorative pine cones, alcohol dyed tiles, sewn hand warmers and candy wrappers, no-sew quilt blocks, mini-canvas paintings, and more.  Hacker Lab staff lead a wood burning coaster project and kept the hot cocoa on tap.  Student and community volunteers guided guests on the design and fabrication process.  Fashion design student Bonji brought friends and they all performed beautiful music, and the children had the karaoke going non-stop.   Santa arrived in a ’67 Mustang and had a long line of children waiting to share their Christmas wishes.

At the post-event  organizational debrief, comments included:

  • Everything went smoothly – the number of stations and choices for making was great.
  • The map that Heather created for guests was really helpful.  People used it to find maker stations that they really wanted to try.
  • The karaoke was super popular with the kids, and the parents faces (watching and videoing their kids singing) was amazing and sweet.
  • As parents came in the front door, they immediately got on their smart phones and called friends to come!
  • Everyone loved the fire tiles.
  • People came and stayed the entire time.  They left with bags full of maker items.
  • This was an event that parents and grandparents chose to take their children to – they felt it was fun and creative, and very affordable ($20 per family). No one got hurt, parents felt that children were well supervised, they let their children explore and ask questions.
  • Parents made items too – and they loved being with their kids while making.
  • Lots of families from the home school community, and from the art community.
  • One boy watched the 3D printer work the entire time, he didn’t want to leave to go home.
  • Overheard: “Boy, this is the first thing I’ve ever sewed.”  “Now that I finished the wood burning project, I can go back to sewing!”  “This is the best Christmas ever!”  “Is it always this awesome here?”

Proceeds from the event benefited the Sierra College student food pantry. Bags of canned food as well as $1,063 was raised (a 165% increase over last year!).

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