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  • Kelsey Dubois

2018 STEAM Fest on the Square

The Redwood City Library held its third annual STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) event, STEAM Fest on the Square, on April 28 in downtown Redwood City.

The event was the culmination of approximately 6 months of meetings and planning by the STEAM Fest committee, chaired by Keith Blackey and Janet Lawson, with a Kick-off party held for sponsors, exhibitors, and volunteers at Box, Inc. on April 25. STEAM Fest was free to everyone and included free admission to the San Mateo Historical Museum, which hosted Maritime Day activities and other exhibits. Exhibitor booths had STEAM-related activities and demonstrations for children, age 5-12, and saw an estimated 4000 attendees during the day. Exhibitor fees and sponsorships raised over $25,000 for the Redwood City Library Bridging the Digital Divide program, which makes mobile hotspots and laptops available for checkout.


Approximately 20 local businesses sponsored the event and the 60 exhibitors included county and city organizations, local schools, and local STEAM-related businesses. Dozens of volunteers helped with setup and teardown, assisted attendees, and helped lead activities during the event. Exhibits included building projects, arts and crafts, hands-on coding, and other computer activities.


The Woodside High School Robotics team brought their robot. Canada and Foothill colleges and several local elementary schools had booths.


In the museum, kids were building a future Redwood City out of cardboard, directed by the San Mateo County Office of Education, and building spy glasses and cork boats.

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s forensic lab demonstrated fingerprinting and DNA profiling; the Marine Science Institute brought a tank with three sharks; and the Redwood City Fire Department showed off one of its trucks.


The San Mateo County Office of Sustainability and the Port of Redwood City, along with some port businesses, had recycling activities. In other booths, kids built paper airplanes and structures with marshmallows and toothpicks, made electrical circuits with clay and batteries, and created mini flash lights. Several exhibitors showed kids how to code or demonstrated digital printers. Art projects included centrifugal painting, license plate art, and decorating cups, stones, and paper rockets. And for the adults, several local dealers brought energy-efficient cars to the Eco Alley display.


Feedback from exhibitors and attendees was very positive, with many saying they planned on returning next year!


2019 STEAM Fest on the Square will be on April 27, 2019!


STEAMFest on the Square 2018 Pictures


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