This might be my favorite idea ever! My kids would totally love this - because it is relevant to them and their individual passions. When I look at the effort spent by my daughter in putting together her ComicCon cosplay costume it is easy to see how invested a student can be in making, creating, building, and learning something when they deeply care.
This idea is like all the best parts of a science fair, without the baggage that they tend to carry. A teacher friend once commented to me why they hate science fair's which was that "they are rarely about real science, and almost never fair!"
This idea is like a CosplayMakerFaire mashup where kids explore and tinker with things they already love and care about - and learn along the way!
Anyways. I sooo love this idea and think kids would as well.
Yes a hundred times. And you know what! these people exist! We live in a pretty cool time when folks like Adam Savage and Kari Byron, and Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson (thanks Michael Schurr ) have fan clubs.
So how do we create more of these amazing people for our students to love and follow? How do teachers become these people?
I think the trick is to use STEM in ways that are relevant to kids. That's the one thing all those people above have found a way to do!