Digital Making with The Ada Show at the Luminate Festival, Oldham

We collaborated with The Ada Show again for the recent Luminate Festival in Oldham.

This time working at Oldham Library with a family event of digital making linked to Ada's Inventions of the Future.

Great to see intergenerational making with children as young as 3 years joining us to add circuits with LEDs into their wearable creations.

2 young girls wearing animal masks they've created with LEDs

Full photo gallery here.

This Girl Codes with Junction Arts

Continuation of This Girl Codes with Junction Arts in Chesterfield saw us extending digital making activities with the same group of Year 5 children.

In November 2017 the group collaborated to build lantern installations for the Bolsover Parade at the castle, using Codebug and LEDs to illuminate the entrance for visitors. Stunning displays shown on the video below, if you didn't get chance to see them:

This time the girls worked in pairs to link heritage with STEAM to produce light boxes inspired by a visit to Bolsover Castle.

How amazing to attend a school at the foot of the castle and to "take Science, Technology and History into the C21st through Art" as one of the groups commented.

This might just become our new definition of STEAM 😀

girl taking photograph of castle

The children led their own research using local heritage and the castle itself to incorporate images and layers into their final pieces.

girl tracing contour of a castle wall on an acetate

Technology included wearables and strings of glowbugs coded into patterns to suit their architectural themes.

project showing codebug wearables connected to LEDs

The lightboxes will be displayed at the castle for peers, the local community and visitors to Bolsover to discover.

Look out for more news about projects for the next stage of #ThisGirlCodes.

2 girls attaching wires and technology and lights to their art lightbox

Full image gallery here.

Building Networks and Adding Value to Communities

It's been a busy couple of weeks sharing and learning through the creative tech communities and contributing at events. Understanding the value of partnerships and collaborations has given us amazing opportunities with latest projects and plans moving forward.

Snippets below from some recent activities.

Andrew attended the Discover Shift symposium in Macclesfield on 13th February, and contributed to one of the panel discussions. Celebrating the pilot year of SHIFT, the cross sector symposium explored the convergence between the arts and digital, highlighting activities and themes developed throughout Cheshire East.

Another panel at The Things Network Conference saw Claire contributing to a 'building communities through LoRaWAN' discussion.

And the opportunity to share our strategies to help democratise access of the power of LoRaWAN for everyone through a keynote at the same conference.

Removing the barriers: Empowering communities to make a smarter, more connected world with LoRaWAN.

The presentation explores two areas of our programmes:

  1. How can we develop more diverse and inclusive programmes to engage all citizens in real world problems through digital making and adopting LoRaWAN?

  2. How can we effectively facilitate collections of digital storytelling projects engaging communities in cities across the North of England to creatively solve local issues?

In short?

With context and purpose through education:

Community Change Makers: Improving the air that we breathe

Our Awards for All bid to The Big Lottery Fund has been successful and we’re taking ‘Invent Things’ to Leeds!

Funding means that we’ll be bringing communities together across the city and immersing intergenerational groups in a series of imaginative and hands-on digital workshops to improve their own health, wellbeing and local environment. The focus will be on air quality, with communities collaborating to shape their own futures and drive changes towards a healthier outlook.

Groups will collaborate to identify an area to target for cleaner air and use digital making skills to ‘make it happen’. They'll be taking data-driven decisions to help change behaviours and measure the impact on the quality of air around them.

Updates about ‘Sense and Sense Air-bility’ projects will be shared on the Invent Things portal with blog posts showcasing progress and ideas that can be used by other groups - in Leeds and with the wider Things Network community.

How our 'Internet of Curious Things' project will inspire the engineers of tomorrow in your school

We’re so pleased to have been awarded funding from The Engineering Education Grant Scheme (EEGS), which provides support for UK-based educational projects that increase engineering knowledge in young people.

Our grant from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) will allow us to deliver our ‘Internet of Curious Things’ programme to schools in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire this Spring.

Alongside school workshops for 7-14 yr olds, we will also deliver intergenerational community learning events and hands-on teacher development sessions to extend, develop and excite audiences engaged through STEM innovations.

Young people will be empowered to invent with smart sensors and become changemakers in their own communities. Funding will facilitate the participation of over 300 children, teachers and family members in this series of innovative digital making workshops.

Interested to find out more as a teacher? Primary and secondary schools in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire can register an interest in becoming a host school here.

The Engineering Education Grant Scheme (EEGS), which is run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, aims to engage young people aged 5-19 in learning about engineering and to develop the professional skills of those involved in supporting Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning and careers awareness. The EEGS also supports projects that improve wider engineering literacy.

institute of mechanical engineers logo

Peter Finegold, Head of Education and Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “The Internet of Curious Things is a fantastic example of the kind of projects the EEGS scheme aims to promote. The UK is facing a critical engineering skills shortage and showing young people how creative and exciting engineering can be is a key way of inspiring the engineers of tomorrow.”

David Lakin, Head of Education at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said: “In order to tackle the engineering skills gap we need more graduates and apprentices to enter the profession, and this can only happen if more school-age children – girls as well as boys – are attracted to, and choose to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects. The IET is investing considerable resource in EEGS to support vital projects like The Internet of Curious Things, which highlight the exciting, creative and rewarding world of engineering careers to young people.”