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Family Challenge Night to Boost Student Interest in STEAM
12:15PM / Monday, October 17, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Flying Cloud Institute (FCI) will lead a free night of hands-on science and arts exploration for students in grades K-8 and their families at Hancock Shaker Village on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, from 4:30-6:30 pm. 
This is the third STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Challenge Night led by FCI, with support from the Berkshire STEM Pipeline and Hancock Shaker Village. The event coincides with Massachusetts' 5th Annual STEM Week to boost students' interest in STEM fields.
"Flying Cloud Institute looks forward to an exciting evening of creativity and innovation and invites local families to attend. We feel this event is so important for children after two years of disrupted learning during the pandemic," said FCI Executive Director Maria Rundle.
Students and their families will spend the evening problem-solving together in ways that involve exploring, tinkering, and creating. 
Several local organizations will be leading challenges: Volunteers from Hancock Shaker Village will help participants explore traditional water turbines and make suncatchers in honor of the work of Korean artist Kimsooja. Berkshire Community College and Berkshire Innovation Center will explore 3-D scanning and printing. Berkshire Museum will challenge students to build and run a zipline, while Berkshire Arts Center leads a Shape Sculpture Building Challenge, and Crane Currency instructs in the art of papermaking. Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing will give each participant a bottle full of glitter "germs" to filter and fill into a vial so that the end result is glitter-free. The Black Arts Council will lead a STEAM activity. Bottomless Bricks will help students design and build catapults using LEGO elements, while an engineer from General Dynamics leads popsicle bridge building competitions. Mass Audubon will host a Wildlife Tracking Challenge where students use field guides and measuring tools to unravel stories written in the tracks of animals. Flying Cloud Institute will present an array of activities including robotics, a Laws of Motion Derby and circuitry artmaking workshop. 
In addition, prizes will be raffled off to families, including a Ward’s Nursery gift card, theater tickets, candy, children's books, Dinosaur Discover Packs, an Atom Building Game, Yellow Scope DNA & Traits Kit, CityScape kits and other fun games. These prizes will be awarded thanks to the generosity of local businesses and organizations including The Gifted Child, Matrushka Toys and Gifts, Price Chopper, Shakespeare and Company, Sweet Dreams Bakery and Ward's Nursery. This event is made possible thanks to contributions by the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing and The Bookloft. 
Those interested in being a community sponsor or donating items to this event, please contact Angela Parker, FCI S•M•Art Educator, at (413) 645-3058 or visit for the sign-up form.
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