There was plenty of fun to go around at STAR Education’s 2nd S.T.E.A.M.Topia! Over 150 young innovators showed up for a day of hands-on learning, experimenting, and exploration! Focused on the S.T.E.A.M. disciplines of Science, Technlogy, Engineering, Art, and Math, S.T.E.A.M.Topia is designed to show how S.T.E.A.M. disciplines work together to illuminate principles behind fascinating phenomena in the human experience, and how these subjects are easily applicable in the real world.
Elementary and middle school children were able to test their engineering abilities by designing the car of the future, discover the math behind wilderness survival skills, explore the technology behind artificial intelligence through Turing tests, build a survival dome to withstand the elements, craft high-flying rockets, design 3D forced perspective art, study electric circuitry, and learn the behind-the-scenes of toy making!
Students from the STAR LEGO© Robotics program also competed in the Battle of the Brains! Battle of the Brains is an opportunity for students to battle their Mindstorm sumo-bots that they have spent 12 weeks designing, building, and programming using mechanical engineering, computer programming, special reasoning, teamwork, aesthetic and functional design and other S.T.E.A.M. based skills.
The action didn’t stop there – students also had the opportunity to ride a real hovercraft, experience the science of break-dancing and hula hooping, build at the LEGO© booth, put on a sumo suit to explore the physics behind sumo-wrestling, engage in interactive technology exhibits, and so much more!
The STAR S.T.E.A.M. Initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) has introduced thousands of students to cutting edge and innovative programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. S.T.E.A.M. utilizes specialized, multidisciplinary curricula propelled by problem solving, discovery, and exploratory learning, which encourage students to actively engage in a situation in order to find its solution. STAR S.T.E.A.M. programs aim to engage students to solve real world challenges and ignite their interest in college and future careers. S.T.E.A.M.topia is part of STAR Education’s initiative to support the growing trend in education to stress practical, hands-on, and innovative curricula. STAR is an active member of the S.T.E.M. Education Coalition and is at the forefront of promoting S.T.E.A.M. programs in California.
This week the LA Parent Magazine 2012 Readers Choice BEST OF Issue hit newsstands and for the fourth year in a row LA’s parents have voted STAR Education the Best After School Program, Best Educational and Tutoring Program, Best Early Childhood Program, Best Summer Camp, Best Art Program and Best Performing Arts Program! We even came in second place for Best Cooking Program for the first time! (Next year we promise it will be first.)
For each category STAR qualifies for, we rose to the top, making us in the eyes of those that matter most, the parents, the BEST of the BEST in Los Angeles. Christine Abraham of Pacific Palisades called us “a working parent’s best friend”*. This proves, once again, that our continued and tireless dedication to bringing the families of Southern California the highest quality education, enrichment and recreation programs is what brings STAR Education back into the schools year after year.
STAR is always working for you and your children, making sure that our staff is thoroughly vetted while also meeting the highest standards of education and enthusiasm. We are always striving for new and innovative classes and curricula to keep our students learning, engaged and of course, having fun! Our educational successes are measurable. Beyond the Bell has called STAR Education the “golden standard” of after school education. Our staff has helped raise test scores by up to 44 points in this last year alone!
Our Galaxy programs are head and shoulders above the average after school child care program. We were rated the Best Educational and Tutoring Program because we give every STAR child specially designated time to do their homework and our college educated staff is there ready and excited to help.
“Parents rave about the professionalism and caring of the staff, convenience and affordability of the program, and the fun their kids have. They also enjoy that STAR gives kids a head-start on homework. ‘My child begs to stay every day after school,’ says Jillion Weisberg of Los Angeles. ‘I have to limit her to two classes a day because I miss her. She has taken everything from dance to gardening to science.’”*
There’s organized sports activities, as well as built-in enrichment classes at every school site. In 2011, we were voted the Best Sports Program in LA Parent as well!
We are dedicated to making our students STARs! In the last year our events have become even bigger powerhouses with our first RockSTAR WinterFest on the Sunset Strip giving our STAR kids the chance to rock out on professional stages TWICE in one year, including our 7th Annual Battle of the Bands at the House of Blues. We had two original plays: A Cinderella Tale taught students and audiences important lessons about preventing bullying during the winter session and My Favorite Alien, a technological and astronomical extravaganza inspired by Cirque du Soleil, brought STAR families to their feet in the spring. Our 12th Annual Children’s Earth Day at the STAR Eco Station not only featured performances by all of our STAR kids, but special appearances by local politicians like Culver City Mayor Andrew Weissman and former Mayor Micheál O’Leary, environmental organizations such as Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation and the cast of Disney’s A.N.T. Farm!
With after school programming budgets under the microscope, it is more important than ever that we honor your vote of confidence. Thank you for your incredible recognition of our organization, our magnificent, dedicated and enthusiastic staff and all of our hard work. All of our efforts are for you, the parents, and your children. We promise to continue to offer the same quality programming that has gained us such overwhelming support from the community. Thank you for making STAR Education a part of your lives!
*“Best of 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards.” LA Parent August 1, 2012: 18-31.
The artwork of over 2,500 pint-sized Picassos was on display when STAR Education hosted its annual Children’s Art Festival on Saturday, May 21st in the STAR Convention Center. Students in STAR Education’s Art Program created amazing pieces that incorporated all manner of media, from acrylic paint to pastels, from sculpture to beadwork, from minimalism to murals.
Young artists received their own official “Artist” I.D. badge. Over a thousand students, parents and other community members were in attendance and placed their votes for the best in show. First place honors went to Hannah Smith of Overland STAR, who won $100 in art supplies.
Everyone at STAR was a winner as they celebrated the art of their peers and participated in workshops that exposed them to cutting-edge artistic techniques. The festival was a great success, and we look forward to seeing you next year for more art appreciation and creation!
Our annual African-American Art Festival on Saturday, February 12, was a joyous celebration of African-American Heritage month as STAR showcased the works of emerging and established artists with performances by hip-hop dancers and musicians, as well as celebrity guests – plus food vendors, crafts and more!
STAR has led the way in after school arts programs since 1986, and so it was a great honor but no great surprise when the Los Angeles County Office of Education selected STAR to oversee the official statewide guide for after school arts curriculum. The guide, part of the California County Superintendents Arts Initiative, offers simple, clear-cut, innovative ways to foster in students both a knowledge and a love of the arts.
To view the guide, please visit http://www.ccsesaarts.org/content/toolbox.asp. We’re thrilled to be able to deliver to art educators throughout California the insights we’ve gained through almost 25 years of stellar after school art education!
This year’s STAR Children’s Art Festival on Saturday, May 8th, drew hundreds of art enthusiasts to check out row after row of masterpieces in the STAR, Inc. Convention Center. The works employed all forms of media, from clay to paint to beads to pastels, along with skills learned in STAR art classes and a healthy dose of imagination.
Congratulations not just to the winners but to all of the fine and creative artists who made the Children’s Arts Festival such a success! You are all amazing! Let your inner artist continue to blossom at STAR Camp! http://www.starcamps.org/art.html
5thgrader Alessandro Morales of Carthay Elementary took first prize for his sculpture of a seahorse, and Alina Baron, a 4th grader at Mar Vista Elementary nabbed 2nd place with her painting of a flower. The “Group Win” went to the students of Clover Elementary for their variations on Monet’s Water Lilies.
Please join us for our annual African-American Art Festival and help us celebrate African-American Heritage month as we showcase the works of emerging and established artists and feature performances by hip-hop dancers and musicians, along with celebrity guests – plus food vendors, crafts and more!
Saturday, February 6th
STAR ECO Station
10101 Jefferson Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232 • 310 842 8060