BOONE—More than 200 people from Appalachian State University and the Boone community volunteered at Playhouse Buildfest, a signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival.
Buildfest is the largest annual event hosted by The Children’s Playhouse, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit children’s museum.
Each year BuildFest offers activities suitable for children of all ages, as well as activities specifically designed for children in preschool and grades K-3 and 4-6. Organizations and individuals from both Appalachian and the Boone community served as activity partners by sponsoring and running various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities throughout the day.
“BuildFest involves months of planning, but it’s worth it to see how much the kids and parents love it,” said Kathy Parham, executive director of The Children’s Playhouse.
BuildFest 2016 activity partners included Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Geology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Art, GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and the Aging, Growth, & Experience (AGE) Labs.
Several of Appalachian’s student clubs and organizations also participated, including PCEA (Professional Construction Estimators Association of America), Child Advocacy Club, Physics & Astronomy Club, Appalachian Educators and 19 sororities and fraternities.
Community partners included the Watauga County Library, Thinkers Linkers by Murrah Woodcraft, Boone Bouncers Jump Rope Team & Club, Lynn Mountain Farm, BRAHM (Blowing Rock Art & History Museum), Mountain Alliance, The Children’s Council, Lettuce Learn and the Watauga County Extension Center.
“BuildFest brings together a variety of organizations from our community and shows how important a wide range of experiences can help build a child’s confidence in making healthy choices as well as igniting their love for learning,” said Courtney Baines Smith, director of Lettuce Learn, an organization in Boone that provides support and resources to educators and child care providers for garden growing as a means of education.
Sponsors of the event include OP Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentists, Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Conn and Hardaway and the North Carolina Science Festival, ECRS, The Retail Success Company, Mast General Store, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Boone Drug, Bluebird Exchange, LifeStore Insurance, Pell’s Angels Painting, Blue Ridge Pediatric, Eggers, Eggers, Eggers, & Eggers Law Firm, Galileo’s, Boone Paint and Wendy’s Tar Heel Capital.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.