Festival sparks creativity

Jan. 5 Da Vinci Fest features science, art, film

The Da Vinci Fest is about inspiration.

The annual event, hosted by the Partnership Plan is Jan. 5 at Stillwater Area High School in Oak Park Heights and celebrates Independent School District 834 students’ work in science, art, and technology.

“Last year we had about 500 students participate and we expect the same this year,” said Partnership Plan director Laura Fredericks.

About 3,500 people attended the event last year, according to Fredericks.

“For the community, seeing these amazing projects is great,” she said. “These are amazing projects that these kids do and it’s great for the community to see how amazing the creativity is in the district. We’ve had some really awesome projects in the past.”

This year’s event features science and art fairs and film festival. Students in fourth through 12th grades are welcome to participate in each of the events.

The science fair takes place in the SAHS gym. Fourth- and fifth-graders receive a participation certificate. Students in grades six through 12 have their work judged on Saturday morning and some students could move on to the state science fair if they do well.

On the art side, students have the opportunity to show their work to family and friends at a Jan. 4 event that will resemble a gallery opening, according to Fredericks. All forms of media are accepted and students in seventh through 12th grades can op to have their works judged Jan. 5.  Of students whose works are judged, grand champions will be selected at the junior and senior levels and medals will be awarded to first- and second-place winners. Winners will have their art displayed at a special Da Vinci Fest show.

The event also features a Film Festival sponsored by Cutaway Productions, a student film club and class at the high school. Videos can be on any subject including music videos, public service announcements or another topic. Films submitted must be positive and appropriate for all audiences.

The event also features a variety of exhibitors from 60 groups that include the University of Minnesota Physics Club. Also, the SAHS Fab Lab hosts an open house so students can show off the lab’s new machines.

“We hope that the event sparks creativity and that students will be inspired by seeing someone else’s project,” Fredericks said. “Hopefully the younger kids will be inspired by what the older kids are doing and the older students can be inspired by the exhibitors. Hopefully they can gain inspiration by being around other like-minded kids.”

Students who are interested in participating in Da Vinci Fest should go to www.partnershipplan.org and register. The registration deadline is Dec. 7.

The public portion of the event is 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 5. Awards are presented at 5:30 p.m.