WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) A child’s creativity is truly a wonderful thing to witness, and you need a place that not only caters to this creativity, but thrives on it! Somewhere like CrashWorks STEAM Studio and Makerspace.
As a former teacher and mother of 8 children, CrashWorks owner Shauna LaRocque has created a vibrant place to educate and entertain kids both young in age and young of heart.
“The kids usually come in and they immediately have ideas for what they want to do and the experience that they get here is not like something else that you will find anywhere in town,” says Shauna.
People from all corners of Texas have traveled to Crashworks to get a look at their STEAM studio, which stands for: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
The way STEAM is incorporated at Crashworks is through lessons, activities, demonstrations with fun things like slime, workshops for woodworking or tech engineering, camps, and creative free-time.
“Everything we do has somewhat of a STEAM focus and it really varies depending on the level and development of the kid that we’re working with,” says Shauna. “We have our makerspace where we use about 80 percent of recycled materials and the kids do a lot of engineering and building, art projects, things like that.”
For almost a year, parent Madison Hasson, has brought his kids to CrashWorks not just for the fun of it, but for the comfort it provides them.
“One of my sons was autistic and he is very creative and very capable of doing things but when he was in public school he was teased because he was different and so he really shut down himself on his creativity because he wasn’t receiving encouragement or having a safe space to try it,” says Madison, “Well now that he has a safe place to try, he has built many catapults, many crossbows and all other types of devices all on his own and had a great time doing it.”
While there are many awesome things that are happening at CrashWorks, they need a lot of TLC, because things are looking less colorful now that COVID-19 has cast its ugly shadow over it.
“It really hit for us when the St. Patrick’s day festival was canceled,” says Shauna. “COVID and hands-on, those two things people tend to think of them as clashing because they don’t want to bring their kid some place where they can potentially get sick.”
Despite upping their sanitation policies, doing virtual classes, getting help from other small businesses, and even creating a community Kickstarter, Shauna fears the worst.
“It’s an all or nothing type of deal, so if we do not reach $50,000 goal that we’ve set in the next 35 days, then we won’t get any of those funds.”
Shauna tearfully adds, “The idea of COVID killing this for not just my kids but the kids that we see come in, we know love it so much is devastating not just for me but for them.”
In order to breath life back into this wonderful little workshop, CrashWorks needs the community’s help.