Read about the story behind this campaign below or download the Rocket Kid Stories stories here

The story

To both celebrate the launch of Sir Elton’s life story movie ‘Rocket Man’, his art and how pleased he clearly is to be a dad, we’re declaring this week the #ARTofROCKETDADS week.

We announced it at a literacy conference we spoke at where we discovered a disturbing fact about the priority for reading in our schools.

So to encourage even greater child and dad (or mum, or creative carer) engagement, particularly around reading together, we’re going to write and publish a short story about a few of our rocket heroes every day this week to read together at bedtime.

We’re going to go into a school and do the first of our #WHATSYOURART19 sessions that we’ll be doing in schools all across the UK after half term.

But first a short film of the STEAM Co. story and how this whole #ART OF ROCKET DADS thing came about and some dad stories to show you why this is, unashamedly a dad thing, for just one week so please bear with us while we celebrate the #ARTofDADS. We’ll revert to geneder neutrality and the #ARTofMUMS next week!

(Please note this project is not formally endorsed by Sir Elton John or Rocket Entertainment,
his management company, though his gift was that song for which we were very grateful)

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SIGN UP FOR YOUR DAILY SHOT OF ROCKET FUEL NOW

To mark the launch of a film about the art of the other rocket man and his sheer delight at being a dad, and in the hope he’ll help us inspire other Rocket Dads across the UK we’re going to publish a short bedtime story about a rocket hero every day this week.

Sign up here to get it sent straight to you to read to your kids or share with your school community.

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SOME DADS

Father to the man, who so generously shared the story behind his global best seller ‘Rocket Boys’ book and box office smasher ‘October Sky’.  Initially unsupportive of Homer Jnr’s antics with rocket he cracked a smaile when he was allwoed to press the launch button ona rocket that went 6 miles in the sky.  He worked in a West Virginia coal mine for much of his life, losing an eye while trying to rescue trapped miners.

Father to the man, who so generously shared the story behind his global best seller ‘Rocket Boys’ book and box office smasher ‘October Sky’.

Initially unsupportive of Homer Jnr’s antics with rocket he cracked a smaile when he was allwoed to press the launch button ona rocket that went 6 miles in the sky.

He worked in a West Virginia coal mine for much of his life, losing an eye while trying to rescue trapped miners.

The embodiment of everything that is good about our schools, Ed is one of the most generous, creative and inspiring people we know.  This whole project is only possible because he gave Nick a speaker slot at his ‘Oxford Reading Spree’ literary conference the night before (that’s forward planning for Nick).  A primary teacher and co-founder of BrewEd who organise Saturday afternoon teacher confercnes in pubs (What’s not to like about that?) and within days of reading ‘Rocket Boys’, he’d bought and launched a rocket with his son.

The embodiment of everything that is good about our schools, Ed is one of the most generous, creative and inspiring people we know.

This whole project is only possible because he gave Nick a speaker slot at his ‘Oxford Reading Spree’ literary conference the night before (that’s forward planning for Nick).

A primary teacher and co-founder of BrewEd who organise Saturday afternoon teacher confercnes in pubs (What’s not to like about that?) and within days of reading ‘Rocket Boys’, he’d bought and launched a rocket with his son.

Rob Da Bank is allowed to break the rules, so we can by not just having a photo of him here but, Josie his wife and his whole family as it’s all their fault.  We were inspired to start STEAM Co. when we saw what they were doing at their off the scale creative family festival Camp Bestival.  Joise is very much Rob’s creative other half and we’re sure if they hadn’t had kids they’d just be running festivals in Ibiza, Morocco, The Nevada Desert and a Balanese Beach which is all very well for those who haven’t got kids yet, or thought of borrowing a few on a STEAM Co. Day.

Rob Da Bank is allowed to break the rules, so we can by not just having a photo of him here but, Josie his wife and his whole family as it’s all their fault.

We were inspired to start STEAM Co. when we saw what they were doing at their off the scale creative family festival Camp Bestival.

Joise is very much Rob’s creative other half and we’re sure if they hadn’t had kids they’d just be running festivals in Ibiza, Morocco, The Nevada Desert and a Balanese Beach which is all very well for those who haven’t got kids yet, or thought of borrowing a few on a STEAM Co. Day.

(Roll over images to find out more)

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FUELLED BY SERENDIPITY

Every once in a while you might look to the sky and, instead of seeing a Sputnik Satellite like Homer Hickam and his mates did back in the 1950’s, you might see the stars all in a line.

And we really feel like our stars have aligned in the last few months, well all but one and we’re hoping that after reading this web page he will too.

In the same way that Homer Hickam gave us his story to share with children and school communities across the UK, Elton John gave us a song and John Lewis gave us a train set.

You really won’t believe this part of our journey.

As we say, serendipity is our rocket fuel here at STEAM Co.

This week, the movie of Sir Elton John’s art-powered life story opens in London and to celebrate we’ve declared this the #ART OF ROCKET DADS week to launch our summer #WHATS YOUR ART 19 Summer Tour

The story so far

This part of our story started five years ago when we relaunched STEAM Co. at the Royal Institution, The Guardian wrote about us and our Co-Founder, Nick Corston was invited to New York for a STEM summit which coincided with the World Maker Fair, where he was given an air rocket kit which he used in his pitch at the RSA called ‘Creativity in Education, walking the talk’.

Nick’s 83 year old dad then found a book called ‘Rocket Boys’ in the Oxfam Bookshop he volunteers in and gave it to Nick, saying it was the best book he’d ever read. (Theres a film of it called ‘October Sky’ - any good at anagrams ;-)

Nick connected with the author, Homer Hickam, who gave STEAM Co. permission to share his story with #RocketKids in schools and at festivals across the UK.

Check out that session in the film over there.

The Greatest Gift

When one of the world’s leading creative companies, Adam & Eve made a film with Elton John for John Lewis about a similar Christmas gift moment in Sir Elton’s creative journey, it was the greatest gift to us.

Truth be told we’d believed the rumours, that the film would use Sir Elton’s ‘Rocket Man’ in the ad which would have linked well with our #ARTofROCKETS work, but were delighted with their choice of ‘Your Song’ because that ‘one’ was for us too.

Adam & Eve sure know how to pick a tune, you’d think they were co-founded by a wannabe DJ too ;-)

We made our own version of their film ‘The Boy and The Piano’ with subtitles highlighting the impending Creativity Crisis brewing in our schools that will doubtless ultimately impact our economy and broader society.

Elton John RT’d it, and it had 50k views in an hour so we took it on a 2 week tour of UK School communites. You won’t believe what happened after we hitched the Pop Up STEAM Co. Day Drop Truck to a space age style rocket car loaned to us via Peugeot’s ad agency Havas and hit the road.

See the film here which we called ‘The boy and the Trainset’.

The #ARTCONNECTS19 Festival

On New Years Day we gave ourselves just 30 days to co-create a launch week for a nationwide #ARTCONNECTS19 Festival of Creative Schools, Work and Lives - a Celebration of the Power of Creativity, Tech and People to help remind Britain what it's great at and to make sure our young people have the inspiration and creative skills to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution.

It was inspired by a quote from a man, considered by many to be the most influential business blogger in the world:

"Art is what we call it when what we do might connect us to someone else"

Seth Godin

It was to be a collaboration with some of the 20 schools we’d connected with on our Twelve Days of (Creative) Christmas Tour which culminated in a little Yorkshire lad getting a train set, a symbol of the power of a gift to unleash his imagination and creativity.

The #WHAT’S YOUR ART 19 SUMMER TOUR

It’s the #ARTCONNECTS19 Summer Tour - asking the all important question during our #ARTCONNECTS19 Festival of Creative Schools, Work and Lives: ‘What’s Your Art’?

Your chance to have a STEAM Co. Session in your school.

We have half and full day sessions and evening events for the whole school community that combine creativity, science, tech, numeracy and literacy.

It goes a little like this (see film below)

  • All School Asssembly - in this engaging, informative and inspiring 45 minute session for the whole school community we talk about art, what it is and why it’s important along. We look at the 21st Century Skills our kids will need to outpace the robots.

  • Workshop - 1 to 6 sessions with our resources and your school community’s help, depending on whether half or whole day

  • Rocket Launch - a home time finale to get your whole school community buzzing like fridges. Sen da group text home to get everyon ein 15 minutes early.

The STEAM skills are important but reading trumps them all.

We can bring everything you need. You just need to provide children and creative carers - like teachers, parents and other member of your community.

To help Connect our Kids with their Art and our Communities with their Schools.

Find out more and book your session here now - we have a few slots left.

DADS ROCK

Every once in a while you have to throw political correctness out of the window and tell it like it is.

Sorry, but this campign was inspired by a dad, run and run by a dad who knows chidlren need their dads, especially boys.

That’s not to say that this week isn’t for mums or any other type of creative carer.

Elton John might help us out my sponsoring one o four half or full days sessions. We do waht we can to inspire the shcoosl we can get into but at the end of the day our kids need you, creative #carers like you.

We were really taken by an interview in the Daily Mirror with Elton John about the joy he found in parenting and almost how unfulfilled his life had been to that point. How many ‘have it all’ celebrities with everyhting seemingly to live for have we lost these last few years who didn’t find this joy?

“I've learned that the simplest things in life, like having a minute with them, are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or hit record.Before we had the children we just had our lives and we would spend money because we didn't have anything else to focus on.”

Sir Elton John in The Daily MIrror

We’re not advocating that everyone rush out and have children or bring another dog into the world for that matter, but we woudl aks them to have a closer look at what we do here at STEAM Co. to connect our kids with their art and our communities with their schools.

Check these two films out of days we’ve run and the sheer pleasure volunterrs get, especially when they don’t have their own kids and can give these ones back at 3pm!


#ART OF ROCKET DADS WEEK

To mark the launch of Elton John’s ‘Rocket Boys’ movie and our #WHATS YOUR ART 19 Summer Tour we’re going to publish a short bedtime story about our rocket heroes, sign up here to get them and to enquire about us visiting your school after half term.

Sign up here to get it sent straight to you to read to your kids or share with your school community.

Please note that STEAM Co. and The Art of Rocket Dads is not formally endorsed by Sir Elton John or Rocket Entertainment, but we’re working on it. WIsh us luck. It could make a big difference to a lot of young lives.