One robot used compressed air to wave at passersby at Little Mill Middle School, while others used animatronics to capture their audience’s attention.
Artwork and photography, too, hung in the hall, a showcase of the school’s students’ talents.
On Thursday, the school in northeast Forsyth held its third annual Art and Innovation Fair, an event intended to display the work of the middle schoolers and involve the entire campus.
“It all started as an idea of a way to showcase our student work,” said Beth Rimedio, an arts and enrichment teacher and co-organizer of the event. “We do many projects and we didn’t have a way to display how fabulous our kids are, so we kind of came up with this idea.
“We have art. We have an innovation hub. We have musical and theater performances. We have talks and speeches, and digital video production was our new category we added this year.”
In addition to showing off their projects, the fair offers students demonstrations and workshops from local agencies.
This year’s included a local DEA agent, members of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and its K-9 unit, a racecar and the car’s driver and a local weather news truck.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from our students and from those applying to the Art and Innovation Fair,” said Jessica Mundy, another arts and enrichment teacher and co-organizer of the event. “They are helping lead it. They guide tours around and they are emceeing some of our presentations. They’re participating in the music. They are so excited to be a part of it and just to have that engagement of students getting excited about being involved in something at school is, to me, great, and they’re showing off something important to them.
“[Their projects] deserve more than just sitting on my desk and getting a grade, and that’s what this is.”
More than 300 students applied to be a part of the show, with about 200 pieces of artwork being accepted.
Mundy said the school has about 55 students in the innovation hub section of the fair.
Prizes are given for the top projects in each category, something Mundy said the kids get very competitive about.
“In addition to our students presenting projects throughout the year — these amazing products — we also wanted to let them experience technology and art,” she said. “A lot of people bring in a lot of new innovative technology and arts so [students] really get to experience these new things, as well.”