Returning for a second year to the ArtPrize HUB/HQ is the STEAM Village powered by Switch. Curious about what you’ll be able to see and do at this year’s iteration? Read on for details!


The centerpiece of the STEAM Village space will be a drawing arena for three FIRST® Robotics teams from across Michigan to stage their creations. Grand Rapids Public Schools, East Kentwood and Flint teams have created robots that ArtPrize visitors will be able to control with tablets — making them move, draw and erase in the arena. At least one of the FIRST Robotics teams will be in the STEAM Village arena each day of ArtPrize, demonstrating their robots’ unique skills and assisting visitors in handling them.


Just outside the soundstage space, Casey Newberg, a senior from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), will involve visitors in the creation of 3D printed vases at the KCAD FlexLab. Newberg will create an interactive design and production studio to demonstrate the intersection of art and technology, and highlight KCAD FlexLab. The display will include a 3D printer along with an electroforming bath, studio artifacts, finished works by Newberg, as well as a question and response workshop area where ArtPrize visitors will help inform Newberg's art making process.


ArtPrize visitors will also be invited to the STEAM Village Tinker Table, where they can let their imaginations lift off the page and create their own work of art with 3D pens. Visitors will use the pens to draw with heated plastic, which instantly hardens, allowing them to create layers and draw in 3D. The Tinker Table will also feature BrushBots, a hands-on activity that introduces engineering and design concepts through the building of mini toothbrush robots.


Virtual reality (VR) — with a twist — will be returning to the STEAM Village this year. ArtPrize attendees can explore “Wounded Warrior Dogs” by James Mellick and “The Bureau of Personal Belonging” by Stacey Kirby. Mellick and Kirby won the ArtPrize Eight Public Vote Grand Prize and Juried Grand Prize, respectively.


Additionally, Axis Labs, The Geek Group, Treefort and Grand Circus will be making drop-in appearances at the STEAM Village throughout the 19-day event, bringing visitors a 3D printing demonstration, pop-up laser cutter workshops, a pop-up VR station, and mini coding workshops.

A full schedule of STEAM Village events can be found online at

By Jaenell Woods on