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You've heard of STEM... but we agree with John Maeda of RISD and MIT that Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math aren't complete without Art. Our culture isn't doing enough to get your kids
interested in STEAM. As professional inventors, we rely on these disciplines every day, and want to
share our excitement about them with kids young and old. Through years of building and
demonstrating fun games we've learned no better way to get you into STEAM than to show you an
amazing time. When you say 'engineering' to most kids, they zone out. But when you say 'lasers,
robots, and fire,' you have their undivided attention.

"Only 33% of eighth graders are interested in STEM majors and only 6% of high school seniors will get
a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field" (Source: Naval STEM)

"STEM employees earn 25% more than individuals in non-STEM fields" (Source: STEM Advantage )

In the spirit of a Science Fair (only the kids already interested in science attend that) the STEAM
Carnival (who doesn’t want to go to a carnival!) is designed to showcase kids' own work to the
community in an open-to-the-public fundraiser like no other. Our “Project Playbook” was developed to
help you create amusement-focused projects, art exhibits, and any invention inspired by a student, to
share in the Inventors’ Alley at your STEAM Carnival.

STEAM Carnival is designed to become a community of kids and teachers who share a passion for
STEAM and for the many ways to make it fun.

We’re on a mission to bring STEAM to communities nationwide with the STEAM Carnival School
Fundraising program to replace the boring old magazine drive (they keep half of what you raise -
outrageous) and bake sale with a cutting edge event featuring family fun (we keep 0%).

The goal of the event is to inspire more creative thinkers, and doers, through playful, meaningful,
immersive experiences. Our focus is on STEAM rather than STEM to emphasize the importance of art,
highlighting its contribution to invention and innovation. Aren’t we glad no one told Leonardo Da Vinci
that he had to keep his interest in Art separate from his interest in Science! STEAM Carnival
champions the mindset that these multiple disciplines are seamlessly integrated into how people live,
work, and play today.


STEAM Carnival offers a full stack replacement for the Science Fair and the Bake Sale. Students
spend a semester building attractions for their own carnival. They then collaborate, plan, drive
community awareness and execute the event. The whole process touches not only STEAM disciplines
to create the exhibits, but college and career readiness, through project management, marketing,
sales, and event production.


70% Student Work

Projects created from the Two Bit Circus
Foundation’s Project Playbook become
the main focus, alongside student’s
at-home inventions and contributions
20% Adult & Community Work
The Call for Carny’s program attracts
local STEAM mentors to show off their
projects alongside the work of students.
Exhibits by museums, local businesses
with STEAM projects, and creative art
installations can be included.
10% Performance
The visual storytellers of the STEAM
movement, performers can include
high-tech costumed characters, and
Carnival-spirited acts. Whoever in your
community brings performance and
STEAM to life.
Carnival attendees enter onto the “Inventors’ Alley,” a stretch of game-themed exhibits and projects
flanking an aisle invite the attendees to explore, appreciate, and sometimes play, with the inventions.
Larger booths stretch out hosting do-it-yourself type demonstrations led by instructors and kids
side-by-side. The Inventor’s Alley is the part of the STEAM Carnival we need your help with!


As outlined in the calendar breakdown, to make this an event that focuses on innovation and STEAM
concepts for students, we need projects created by students! What each school site should aim for is...

>10 “Small” Projects

a. These projects are what we consider to be smaller scale projects created by individuals,
pairs or smaller teams of students. These can focus on basic STEAM concepts similar to
how a science fair board would be presented.
b. This is a great opportunity to have student work that had been made previously during the
year for science fairs, afterschool programs, student clubs, or classroom specific lessons,
to be shown again. Why have only one opportunity to display a project that took a lot of
time and energy to create? The STEAM Carnival is another opportunity for students to
show off the hard work done throughout the year.
c. This is not limited to science fair-type projects. Although welcomed, we encourage students
to show things like LED fashion clothing to prototype inventions. Passion projects made in
both formal and informal learning environments.
d. If each school submits on average, ~10 projects of this
size, we will have at least 110 projects for our alley easy!
e. If you would like to encourage your students to create a
project from scratch, we encourage that as well
(please see our “Project Resources” section for ideas)

1 - 2 “Bigger” Projects
Disclaimer: going to be hard, and experimentation is needed,
but ultimately rewarding!
a. We encourage school sites to attempt
to build at least 1 STEAM Carnival-type game, interactive project or display
b. These projects are what we consider to be higher fidelity bigger
spectacle pieces. Imagine a group of students with more
hands-on-help from teachers, mentors, and members of the
community creating carnival-style games and interactive work,
all of which integrate STEAM concepts!
c. We are talking about cornhole games with a built in score trackers,
arcade game cabinets made with Raspberry Pis
Remember this is a Carnival, the projects should serve as a foundation,
the key is to think how can these things be gamified!
● Websites
○ Exploratorium’s The Tinkering Studio
Simple DIY projects that incorporate STEAM/upcycled material models.
● Digital Bling/Light Jewelry
● Paper Circuits
● Scribbling Machines:
○ Curiosity Machine
Contains an array of science projects for all ranges of maker experience
● Build Your Own Cantilever!
● Build Your Own Wind Powered Water Pump
● Hack Your Own Box
○ Instructables:
Open source website, with DIY projects from across the world!
● Solar Car:
● PinBall Machine:
● Mechanical Claw:
○ eHow:
DIY resource website-models and miniatures specifically has STEAM Carnival relevant
● Mechanical Clock:
● Christmas Lights Synced With Radio:
● Electricity Producing Windmill
○ Thingiverse:
website filled with open source 3D print models.
○ Github:
website filled with all the code you could ever dream of! Helpful for more advanced
Arduino and Raspberry Pi based projects.
● Youtube Channels
○ I Like To Make Stuff Channel:
Very interesting Raspberry Pi tutorials, that are also very doable. The channel itself has
many different maker activities.
■ Raspberry Pi-Arcade Machine
○ Creative Life:
here are some very cool at home projects, which require minimal supplies and also
reusable materials.
■ How to build a Vacuum Cleaner (could put all kinds of creative design spins on
○ Techbuilder Channel:
An incredible 17 year old that gives detailed tutorials for some AMAZING Inventions.
■ BB8 Phone Controlled Robot
■ Pocket Sized Cotton Candy Machine:
○ Arduino Projects:
This incredible piece of hardware is capable of some seriously amazing computing!
Many projects are featured on the Instructable website.
■ Sun responsive flower!
■ Bubble Machine!
○ Hackerhouse/ Hackster.IO:
A little advanced, but the channel has some at the very least inspiring STEAM ideas
■ A Hologram Music Visualizer:
● Books
○ “The Art of Tinkering”
■ Karen WIlkinson & Mike Petrich
■ 150+makers share the stories behind their bold, beautiful work
○ “20 Makey Makey Projects for the Evil Genius”
■ Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves
■ Easy to follow guide features 20 fun, innovative projects that clearly teach you
how to dream up and build your own cool inventions.
○ “Meaningful Making”
■ Paulo Blikstein, Sylvia Libow Martinez, Heather Allen Pang
■ Fablab Fellows share inspirational ideas from their learning spaces, assessment
strategies and recommended progrect across a broad range of age levels
○ “The Big Book of Makerspace Projects”
■ Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves
■ Features dozens of DIY low cost projects that arm you with the skills necessary
to dream up and build your own creations.

● 2BCF Project Playbook (Beta)

This is a beta of a Program Playbook that Two Bit Circus Foundation is currently developing
in-house. Heads up, it is rough, but we would love your feedback to make it better. Please use
this as an additional resource!

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to

Our team would be more than happy to assist you!