Science- And Tech-Focused ‘STEAM Carnival’ Hits Its Kickstarter Goal

Looks like Kickstarter can add “reimagined” carnivals with “robots, fire, and lasers” to the list of things that its users have crowdfunded.

Earlier today, an event called the STEAM Carnival, put together by a company called Two Bit Circus, reached its $100,000 Kickstarter goal. The initials are a twist on STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — the A adds “art” to the equation.

Here’s how the Kickstarter page outlines the vision:

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 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 kids into STEAM than to show them 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.

As planned, the event will include a number of high-tech, educational games that are currently being developed by Two Bit Circus, such as the “Motion Capture Spinning Bull” and “Laser Maze Limbo.” It will also showcase the kids’ work. Apparently something that combined a traditional hammer carnival game with lots of electricity was demonstrated onstage at the D11 conference earlier this week.

Two Bit Circus is led by Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman. Bushnell is an engineer and an entrepreneur who was featured as an inventor on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (he’s also the son of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, who’s on the advisory board), and Gradman says his background includes experience as a circus performer, professional whistler, roboticist and inventor.

The current plan is to hold events in San Francisco and Los Angeles next spring. And even though the STEAM Carnival has hit its funding target, the team is hoping to raise more money for a pretty straightforward stretch goal — bringing the event to more cities.