26 April 2016: After much deliberating and while we continue to get our other ducks in a row, we've decided to help 10 communities run their own STEAM Co Day at the end of Summer term 2016. The other 16,829 primary schools in the UK are of course welcome to draw on our inspiration and run their own, but we're too small and perfectly formed to be able to offer much help just yet. That's the bigger plan. Manjana.
But back to today. Or tomorrow...
Why the wait?
Since we announced our intention to roll STEAM Co. out to every UK primary at the Kidcrafters Conference at the Ri in May 2015 it's been pretty full on, what with juggling what was left of day jobs and consultancy projects to keep the wolf from the door.
We set our sights on corporate sponsorship and a few grants and despite some great successes, for various reasons it's taking a while to materialise which has knocked the master plan back a bit - namely to package up all our experience, activities and to recruit #inspirators as well as a detailed end-to-end gamified project plan for every UK primary school community to use.
But we didn't want to wait that long so came up with this idea to get balls rolling.
Perfectly timed for SUMMER term
If you're a parent/carer you might be looking for ways to get involved in your chidlren's education.
If you're a teacher you might feel like you just can't add anything else to your schedule and are waiting for superman to rock up and take the class for a day. Believe us he won't - see the trailer for the film of the same name here (it's on Netflix).
If you're in civvy street, maybe as a lawyer, or accountant or a builder, architect, mechanic or factory worker, you might wish you worked for a business that believed in their role in community and gave their staff time to contribute to that community.
You might be between jobs and simply bursting with enthusiasm and ideas to inspire children in your community. Been there. Done that and in fact that's where we got the drive to start STEAM Co. - it's never easy but sometimes its amazing what comes out when you put yourself in.
To all of the above. Yes, it's #yourturn and it's for all of you that we came up with the Pop-up STEAM Co. Day : #SCOPOP
Just add kids and carers
With a Pop-up STEAM Co. Day, you'll get a ton of inspiration and resources to power your community to inspire your (or their) children with creativity. We'll help you run a STEAM Co. Day, a school day like no other in your community.
Watch this film to see what the Pop Up STEAM Co. Day looked like that the community of the Spinney School in Cambridge ran: grandads and grandaughters, plumbers/artists, rocket scientists, hair braiders and a bunch of mums running the Dominic Wilcox 'Re-imagining Normal' activity.
And you don't need to be a parent, though you may have been, may want to be or may never be.
All you need is a bunch of primary school children. A willing head teacher, leadership team and a bunch of carers.
By carers we don't necessarily mean people who necessarily look after children as parents might.
By carers, we mean people who care. Funny that eh? (We save the Rocket Science for our Rocket Science activity!).
By carers we mean:
- Parents and carers - people who look after the children in the primary school in question
- Secondary pupils - for a variety of reasons, not all schools can rely on engaged parents. But fear not, as one of the things that came out of our Liverpool kick off event, hosted by Liverpool LifeSciences UTC and the Studio School was the role that secondary pupils can play in facilitating a STEAM Co. Day. A STEAM Co. Day in Bexley recently saw hep come from a local secondary school, an Oxfordshire secondary and a local Design and Engineering UTC.
Ye s, we're breaking down those 'never the twain shall meet' silos and collaborating.
And who knows, as a secondary school it might be the last tick you need on your form to get OFSTED Outstanding as described in this blog post.
- Local Businesses - STEAM sympathetic companies might decide to help run a STEAM Co. Day. Whether you're a trendy design agency, a greasy motor mechanics, an uprightbuilding firm or a straight solicitor, if 'what you do might connect people', you're an artist in our book and should be getting involved. We don't do elitist. At STEAM Co. we're all artists.
Look at the film here to see the great work that Barclays are doing. Maybe your local branch will be able to help on your STEAM Co. Day? Don't ask. Don't get.
WHAT YOU'LL GET
Funnily enough, you'll get everything you need to run a Summer Term Pop Up STEAM Co. Day.
- Plan - A no nonsense schedule and to-do list for the 8-12 weeks planning cycle leading up to your STEAM Co. Day.
- Activities- we'll pick our favourite 20 thinking and doing activities across the STEAM skills. We'll give you fully documented activity guides for activities like Rocket Science, Coder Corner, Newspaper Engineering, Cardboard Challenge, T-shirt Design Studio, Wall of Clay, Spin Painting. Bubbletastic, U U Ukulele, Improv, Big Little Disco, etc.
- Inspirators - we'll give you everything you need to run an activity by our first inspirator: Dominic's Wilcox's 'Variations on Normal Activity' and possibly even have him present it in your assembly. All activity plans will have full risk assessment and briefs for activity leaders and helpers
- Resources - we'll give you posters, letter copy, invitations, Passport template and even a website framework with social media integration to get your community buzzing.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
We have a rule of thumb that the STEAM Co. Days we've run so far for a school of 250 pupils be delivered on a budget of up to £3,000. And it's worked for 5 years. That includes all materials, outside artists and various bits and pieces (we did cheat a bit as we hammered the school photocopier though, but some parents can get copying done at work when the boss isn't looking ;-)
So where does that money come from. In the short term this will be the crunch. And does it have to cost that much? The main cost is paying outside creatives who come in to run your flagship activities as their art is their living and we have to respect that and in fact we want to see STEAM Co. create work for these creatives in future, though for these Pop-up STEAM Co. Days you might be able to find a local community of creatives who will help you out.
At one STEAM Co. Day a fantastic art and design community in East London brought in a pinball table they'd made from junk found in skips and ran a 'Design your own pinball table, before we let you play on ours' activity!
We've been very lucky as we've aimed for and successfully raised £1,500 from company sponsorship £750 for headline sponsorship (they get their logo on a few things and a quote in the press release) and three £250 supporter sponsors (named in marketing materials and a fuzzy warm feeling).
These have always been via parents’ firms or connections in the community, tho many big firms like Ford have grants available for projects that connect community like this as do the National Lottery.
In time we hope that schools will be able to allocate pupil premium grants to running STEAM Co. Days, but probably not just yet.
The balance of the £3,000, the final £1,500 has been raised from PTA funds and parental contributions via brown envelope that gets sent home. STEAM Co. is inclusive and we are adamant that no one be made to pay to attend a STEAM Co. Day or either shamed if they don't contribute or glorified if they do.
SHUTTING UP SHOP
We're talking to all sorts of trade bodies across all areas about encouraging their members to help out on and even run STEAM Co. Days for schools.
At our #BlueSkyDOING event at Barclays in May, 'Your Favourite Story', a digital agency from the East End of London announced they'd close for the day to run one in Tower Hamlets.
Child safety and protection is our number one priory in STEAM Co. Days and to this we look to the safeguarding policies of the host school, it being their responsibility and we work closely to ensure they are followed. Any straying from this can and will not be tolerated
DBS certification is restricted to the specific activity for which it was granted so in many cases not valid unless specifically granted for use by that person in that school.
GET WITH THE PROGRAMME
So from here the plan is to register your interest We will chose the ten schools we will work with and take a view on whether we can give other schools the information and tools they need to run STEAM Co. Days without our help. It's not actually rocket science.
AND THE TEN SCHOOLS ARE:
We'll announce these as they book in.
Will we be adding you in here?
Can you help on the STEAM Co. Days that we're going to list here.
Let's do this. Together. #Artconnects
SIGN UP NOW
To register your interest in running a Pop-Up STEAM Co Day fill in the form below.
STEAM Co. is setting up as a charitable social enterprise which may not be in place for this event.
All the information on this web site and that will be given out as part of this project is provided in good faith for information purposes only and STEAM Co. can in no way be held accountable for its use or offer any warranty for its use or misuse.