AniMakerspace, created by Redlands-based Garner Holt Education Through Imagination, is one of the 2021-22 recipients of a Thea award for outstanding achievement.
The award is from the Themed Entertainment Association, a global organization representing creativedesign and production companies and attraction owners.
AniMakerspace is an immersive educational experience that puts students from elementary school to college through a curriculum in a learning space designed to mimic a real theme park creative studio.
“We’re grateful to the TEA for this wonderful recognition,” Garner Holt, founder and president of Garner Holt Productions Inc., said in a news release.
“I think the AniMakerspace is the most important work we’ve ever done. It’s helping to give kids something totally different at school. It’s inspiring the next generation of dreamers and doers,” Holt said.
“The AniMakerspace is like a miniature Garner Holt Productions,” Ryan Rainbolt, president of Garner Holt Education Through Imagination, said in the news release.
“Students are learning about the creative process for animatronics from initial concept to programming and everything in between. They have all the tools and learn all the insights to have a realistic creative experience in a super detailed environment,” Rainbolt said.
The first AniMakerspace opened in 2018 at Franklin Elementary School in Redlands and since then nearly a dozen more have opened at schools from elementary to college level in California. Garner Holt Education Through Imagination plans more around the country.
Each AniMakerspace features design elements unique to its host school, but with a similar complement of high-tech machines, tools and instruction for students, according to the news release. The curriculum built around these tools and techniques focuses on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics).
“Makerspaces are not new to schools,” Rainbolt said in the news release. “But we took that concept to the next level with a themed environment and related curriculum. We’re teaching STEAM concepts butgeared towards things like rides and attractions with animatronics.”
In the AniMakerspace curriculum, students learn about character design, show writing, sculpting, engineering, costuming, lighting, voice recording, video production, controls programming and more.
Garner Holt Education through Imagination is a subsidiary of Garner Holt Productions Inc., a designer and producer of animatronic figures for theme parks and attractions.
For information about the Themed Entertainment Association, go to teaconnect.org.
Written by Staff Report for the San Bernardino Sun