A Talk with Amy Raubenolt of Starry Night
On Sunday, April 6 from 2-6pm, Westerville South High School will host Starry Night, which its organizers, Amy Raubenolt and Michael Wander, describe as a multi-disciplinary festival for elementary and middle school families, combining art science and engineering to encourage innovation creativity and critical thinking. I talked to Amy for Craft on WCBE.
Doug Dangler: This is the second year for Starry Night, correct?
Amy Raubenolt: Yes, last year we had over 1,000 people there, with over 40 different exhibitors, and we’re very excited to put on our second year.
DD: What all can people expect to see and do at the event?
AR: We host a huge number of hands-on interactive exhibits for families, bringing in astronomy, geology, meteorology, sculpture, drama, painting, and history: really just creating opportunities for kids to really get in there and learn about a bunch of different disciplines and about the way they interact in the world
DD: How did Starry Night get started?
AR: About two years ago I had this idea while looking at Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting about how artists really have been looking to the stars and to science for inspiration for centuries. And it goes both ways: you really can’t study biology and or the Earth without really having appreciation for the beauty of that, too. Those disciplines are often taught independently but really our experience on this earth is so interdisciplinary, and so I conceived of this idea to create an educational event that would pull together all the different disciplines into this free event for families, where students could come in and learn about them and see how they interrelate.
DD: What event has really caught your eye for the event?
AR: The robotics event was really very popular with families. The Westerville WarBots allowed students to drive their robot and to fling Frisbees into a net. We also had Tom Burns from Perkins Observatory, who is a great presenter. One of my favorite exhibits last year was the Stonehenge exhibit, where we provided cardboard, tape, and volunteers to help students free-form build a large structure, like a Stonehenge. We talked about how Stonehenge was built to align with the Sun and then really just let them go crazy building this giant structure.
DD: Who are the sponsors for the event?
AR: Nationwide Children’s Hospital is our event sponsor this year.