After 4 year's thinking, planning, talking and a bit of doing, it was time for the first regional STEAM Co. launch event..
We're finally ready to inspire, to power, to connect a community to walk the talk, to inspire their children with creativity by telling them all about what we've been doing at STEAM Co. for 4 years now and giving them all they need to take and run their own STEAM Co. Days.
And we chose Liverpool, or did Liverpool choose us? We certainly weren't arguing about it.
Here's a short film we made of the weekend.
Be sure to watch the trailer above to get a feel for what we're all about and see our awesome Augmented Reality video enabled posters and flyers in action.
A WEEKEND LIKE NO OTHER
We held 2 day weekend event to launch STEAM Co. in Liverpool:
- Day 1 (Fri 24th) : we offered a selection of local schools a taster of a STEAM Co. Day and an exclusive talk by the global educational guru Prof Guy Claxton with the help of a few others.
- Day 2 (Sat 25th) : a day of short talks to inspire parents and teachers to go away and run their own STEAM Co. Days. We were delighted that Sir Ken Robinson did an exclusive Q&A for us from LA.
Films of the event and all the talks will be posted here in the next week or so.
A TEAM EFFORT
We were delighted to work with Liverpool's creative, civic and business community on this:
The Baltic Triangle is Liverpool's creative quarter, with many companies located in Baltic Creative's spaces.
With a great cultural and commercial heritage, Liverpool is thriving, as showcased by this team.
With the superport, new retail and innovative industries choosing Liverpool, the LEP connect us with local firms.
LIverpool is home of many of the world's famous creatives and artists (people who did things that might connect people), people who used their creativity to start whole industries or to issue wake up calls to the world.
Indeed one particularly famous Liverpudlian, Sir Ken Robinson said that "creativity is as important as literacy" in a TED talk that has been seen by 28m people around the world and which went on to inspire us to start STEAM Co.
His new book 'Creative Schools' is dynamite and we were delighted when he generously offered to do a talk for us, which you can see here.
But, the first STEAM Co. regional launch weekend is about walking the talk, both celebrating an area's creative talent and connecting it with parents, teachers, businesses and schools - to power children's futures with creative skills, lives and attitudes to prepare them for a world that is constantly changing.
And were offered the use of an epic venue, home of two of the UK's most amazing schools within the Northern Schools Trust, led by 'industrialist turned educator' Nigel Ward.
The Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC) is a former arts centre that was converted to support Liverpool's year as cultural capital, from an old Tate and Lyle sugar warehouse in the old docks, now the thriving 'Baltic Triangle' creative quarter.
It's now home to two of the trust's schools: Liverpool Life Sciences UTC and The Studio, both power houses for developing STEAM skills in the opportunities they now offer the local 14-19 year olds who study there and are going on to great things (on our last visit a group of soon to be leavers had been invited to Balliol College Oxford).
See this blog post for more info on the schools and the inspiring story/people behind them.
Education or creativity? Or both?
A few people asked us whether we are focussed on education or creativity. And the answer is both as we can't see how you separate them at such a crucial time as primary school.
Given that Sir Ken Robinson's No 1 TED talk on how schools can teach creativity out of children inspired us to start STEAM Co. it's clear we feel that the education system in the UK if not the world needs to embrace the skills our children need and to focus on creativity in all its forms.
Call it serendipity or luck, but we were delighted to find that both Sir Ken Robinson and Prof Guy Claxton were launching new books about how they feel education needs to change, even more so when they agreed to help us out at this event.
<< Here's a radio interview where STEAM Co. Co-founder, Nick Corston got a right grilling form a cynical drivetime presenter on BBC Radio Merseyside just before the event.
Was he convinced? You decide,
And below is a short promo film we made for the weekend
FRI 24th : STEAM Co. DAY FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS and GUY CLAXTON TALK
To show local parents, schools, creatives and businesses what a STEAM Co. Day looks and feels like we ran one. Well, the staff, pupils and local community of Liverpool ran one, in the CUC, with a little help from us.
It was an invitation only event for a group of KS1-2 children from local primaries.
All we asked was that the group be accompanied by at least 2 teachers (inc a member of the school leadership team) and two parents (ideally one from the PTA) and that they promised that you're coming to see what a STEAM Co. Day is like for themselves and to be prepared to consider running one themselves once they knew more.
We were delighted to announce that the day would also include an exclusive keynote talk by the global education guru Prof Guy Claxton, author of ‘What ‘s the point of school’ and the Building Learning Power programme.
He showed how his thinking has transformed schools in the UK and talking about his new book ‘Educating Ruby’.
SAT 25th : STEAM Co. KICK OFF - Day of talks INC SIR KEN ROBINSON
The Saturday was a day of inspiring short talks by world-class global and local speakers, thinkers and doers, teachers, parent and creatives on creativity, education and community.
We had four, twenty minute key note talks and twenty or so, rapid fire 6 minute talks. A real roller coaster that might just be a day of your life.
And don't worry. If you couldn't get along, we filmed it all to go on our YouTube channel.
To get a feel for what you can expect, have a look at the bottom of this page at the short film of Kidcrafters, a similar event that the same team ran last year for parents.
Sir Ken Robinson keynote
We're over the moon to be able to announce Sir Ken Robinson's support for the event. He connected with us from LA for a Q&A around his times in the city, his thoughts on creativity, education and parenting and an overview of his new book 'Creative Schools' - which frankly is dynamite.
THE speaker line-up
We were inundated by speaker offers from a range of artists, gurus, teachers and parents alike.
These were presented as 20 minute keynotes or 20x20 talks (where the speaker has 20 slides each of which are on screen for just 20 seconds so it was pacy with no chance of 'Death by PowerPoint).
Here's the line up, films of all the talks will follow. Watch this space:
Walking the talk with Creative Schools*
Keynote Q&A: Sir Ken Robinson : From LA
Schools in a sugar warehouse?
Nigel Ward : Northern Schools Trust
Liverpool does digital
Shaun McIneary : The Studio School
Art in science
Dr Dave Hornby : LifeSciences UTC
Creatives juggling creativity
Pamela Sullivan : Williamson Art Gallery &Museum
The boy who shot a book
Jane Davis : The Reader
Connecting communities with creativity
Keynote: Stella Duffy : Fun Palaces
Embracing STEM - a Creative's Tale
Johanna Stokes : as creatives
Getting parents involved
Lindsey Woodford : St Saviours C of E Primary
Pimp my Raspberry Pi
Timothy Jones : Wishtrac
How robots grab kids
Paul McKnight : Vex Robotics
The value of ideas and golden toilets
Geoff Wainright : 2 Bio
Variations on normal
Keynote: Dominic Wilcox : #Inspirator and inventor
How to be awesome
Tim Slack : Appreciating People
Building the creative family
Freya Hardy : AQUILA magazine
Death of the selfie & solving slavery
Angela Lake : Fifty Eight
Connecting with kids through chemistry
Brigitte West : Beauty by the Geeks
Hackaball - the computer you can throw
William Owen : Made by Many
Educating Ruby - from grade D to C*
Paul Phillips :Gladstone School
Your STEAM Co. Day starts here
Nick Corston : STEAM Co
It's Your turn
Jamie Edwards : Trained Brain