Thanks to a partnership with SHAK Makerspace, Kokomo will become a part of international movement to celebrate STEAM-based education this weekend.
Blk Shp — pronounced “black sheep” —will be bringing together creators and collaborators with artists, educators and innovators to celebrate science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics on a seven-city bus tour.
Blk Shp first heard about Kokomo after watching Nan Braun, co-founder of SHAK Makerspace, and Mayor Greg Goodnight on Inside INdiana Business.
“I was talking about how what we were trying to do was get back to our roots of innovation and rejuvenate our innovative approach,” Braun said in an earlier interview with the Tribune.
Representatives from Blk Shp reached out to Braun, and the small city of Kokomo became a stop on a bus tour that features major cities including Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Other rural areas, including Holmes County, Ohio, and Huntington, N.C., are also on the bus tour. The Blk Shp will be hard to miss in an old Willie Nelson tour bus, complete with a Western painting of a cowboy on a horse.
It all starts on Saturday, May 12, with Pixar Senior Scientist and Lead Researcher Tony DeRose.
DeRose received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1986 to 1995, DeRose was a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington.
In 1998, he was a major contributor to the Academy Award-winning short film "Geri's Game”; in 1999 he received the ACM SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award and in 2006 he received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for his work on surface representations.
In addition to his research interests, DeRose is also involved in a number of initiatives to help make math, science and engineering education more inspiring and relevant for middle and high school students.
DeRose works with a Young Makers Program that supports youth in building ambitious, hand-on projects — something that SHAK Makerspace is also very passionate about. Another imitative, called “Pixar in a Box,” is a collaboration with Khan Academy designed to show students how creative challenges at Pixar are addressed using concepts they are learning in classrooms.
DeRose will speak at Indiana University Kokomo's Kresge Auditorium on Saturday. Doors will open at 4 p.m., and seating will be limited for the free, first-come, first-served event.
Afterwards, Blk Shp will host a Dine, Discuss and Design event at Bind Café in downtown Kokomo.
The dinner event will allow people to brainstorm and discuss ideas of how to make the community better. Round tables will be set up with plenty of paper and pens for those who want to engage and connect with the community.
Bind Café will be serving a Moroccan buffet, with smoked short ribs, carrot and chickpea tangine, beet and avocado salad, red lentil soup, khobz-Moroccan bread, mint iced tea and Moroccan snowball cookies for dessert.
The dinner and discussion is $25 and will begin at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, SHAK Makerspace and Blk Shp will be celebrating “Maker Moms” with a free, family-friendly event. There will be two sessions where families can work together to make something cool, one will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. and the other from 3-4:30 p.m. at SHAK Makerspace, located at 210 W. Monroe St.
At 7 p.m. that evening, SHAK will be co-hosting a discussion with IUK Business School about the Maker City Book Club.