Anastasia Ward’s transdisciplinary approach includes collaboration and partnership with community hubs, education centers, experts, and industry to provide underrepresented communities with opportunities to access Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). As a practicing artist, Ward believes artistic mediums and content provide an accessible STEAM platform for inquiry-based learning and doing.
In 2014 Ward co-founded REcharge Labs, a wind and solar education company focused on hands-on learning for K-12 students. In five years, as REcharge’s Director of Outreach, she led 120 professional development workshops for K-12 educators in 25 states and Canada, and presented in 45 national events and conferences. Ward led in the development of nine standards-based wind and solar lessons and the Power Grid Kit, a functional model power grid for ages eight and up, used on a national level as an educational model for environmental centers, utilities, colleges, museums and formal and informal educational hubs.
Before working at REcharge, Ward worked for seven years at the Science Museum of Minnesota as a Program Specialist and Artist in Residence. She developed volunteer exhibit prototypes, developed new programs, ran camps and classes, provided professional development trainings to volunteers and educators and was an active team member on National Science Foundation grants.
Her artistic practice is in the form of animatronics, data driven interactive games, immersive responsive environments, large scale solar powered sculpture and community driven projections. What motivates her is the opportunity to do something really big, really impactful, and really meaningful. Ward’s best work has been through collaboration, like the Plume Project, which was a city scale spectacle about District Energy St. Paul’s biomass power plant. The project garnered statewide publicity and was used as a community symbol for the City of St. Pauls and District Energy St. Paul. Energy was the theme of the Power Grid Kit, a far reaching project developed under Ward’s company REcharge Labs. A functional model power grid for ages 8 and up, the kits are used on a national level as an educational model for environmental centers, utilities, colleges, museums and formal and informal educational hubs.