During the San Jose Holiday craft fair, we conducted a mini survey for participants asking them what their dream toy was, and how they felt about kombucha and mycelium. More than the kids, we noticed that the adults were wary of touching the biomaterials because they were once alive. In general, people told us that the smell of kombucha was weird. From this we started to work on the smell by using green and oolong tea instead of english breakfast, and used cloves to mask the smell as well.
We presented at Fablearn, a maker conference held at Columbia's teacher college, about our explorations in kombucha leather. We were a part of the student panel, as well as a poster session.
Alliance for Youth Achievement Workshop
We also conducted a workshop with AYA, the Alliance for Youth Achievement, for middle schoolers in Alum Rock. The students came to our 2 hour workshop to learn how to create the kaleidoscope project in our kit.
Tech Interactive Workshop
In April, we were invited to hold a kombucha leather workshop at the Tech Interactive in San Jose. There, we tested our kombucha leather wings, paper dolls, and kaleidoscopes. 97 kids and parents participated in our workshop. We handed each participant a survey before the workshop. Before and after the workshop, we asked for age, gender, interest in science, interest in nature, if they knew what kombucha was, and what they thought about bacterial cellulose. From our pre and post assessments, we discovered that there was an increase in the “love” category for science, and a decrease in the “so-so” and “somewhat don’t like” categories. Just from our simple bio and craft projects, we got more kids and adults into science! We had more girls participate in our workshop than boys as 65% of the people who took our survey were girls and 28% were boys and 7% chose not to answer. The age group we had the most were 10 year olds, then teens and adults.
Biodesign Challenge Summit 2019
We presented at the Biodesign Challenge Summit in June, 2019 in New York. After our first presentation at the New School, we presented at MoMA as finalists and won Outstanding Field Research and Runner Up to the grand prize! Our kit was displayed at Parsons School of Design in an exhibit called “Life in Replay”.
Art and Design Thinking camp Workshop
We conducted a day of kombucha leather craft activities in Art and Design Thinking Camp, in Alum Rock, San Jose, California in the summer of 2019. We introduced middle school students to biomaterials and had them get hands on with kombucha leather through kombucha character clothes, kombucha kaleidoscopes, and kombucha wings.
MIT Global Community Bio Summit 2019
We will be presenting at the MIT Global Community Bio Summit in October, 2019. We will be presenting on our journey and explorations with biomaterials and our interactions with communities.