What an amAzing day

This is what it looks like when a community comes together. For its children's futures.

An amazing day we collaborated on with communities from across Shropshire, The Welsh Marches and West Midlands and two tireless, generous and well connected local consultants, Richard Smith at Amazing ICT and Susan Coleman of Susan's STEM Zone.

Watch this short film of the day:

It was held at Enginuity, the National Centre for Design and Technology in Ironbridge in collaboration with two local primaries, Hadley Leanring Community school, BT,  Barclays, CapGemini, The RAF and The Coop among many many others.

The Minister of Creative Industries and Digital Economy Matt Hancock at DCMS recorded a welcome film for us and we had messages of support from Shadow Culture Minister Tom Watson and Dame Jane Bonham Carter made a film abotu STEAM at the V&A.

For now this piece on BBC Shropshire sums up the day perfectly.

And includes footage of our finale: the Rocket Launch, on which we all made a wish!

An a fantastic set of photos here, mostly by our friend Stephen Faulkner at SJF Productions.



We’re on the verge of what is being called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and many jobs from car making and car driving to professions like law, medicine and finance will simply vanish.


Research shows that there is one large group of jobs that computers won’t be able to do; jobs that involve critical skills and creativity, which already contribute £84 billion to the UK economy. And jobs are available in these sectors now.

There are just a few things that every parent, carer and teacher needs to know and simple things they can do to give children the best start in life. And the best life chances.


Intro film by Shropshire Lad/Dad Nick Corston

Simple, come to this inspiring event being organised by the national community-led charitable initiative STEAM Co. who are working with primary and secondary schools in the UK, inspiring children with creativity.

They are working closely with Enginuity, Hadley Learning Community, local schools in Shropshire and tow local connectors Rchard Smith (Amazing ICT) and Susan Coleman (Susan's STEM Zone).

Inspiring talks

Ideas and answers in this day of short talks by some of the country’s most inspiring and experienced people: artists, technologists, educators, parents and business people.

  • Josh Valman, CEO RPD International – teenage entrepreneur and Robot Wars competitor
  • Nick Corston, Co-founder of STEAM Co. will talk about his vision for STEAM Co. in Shropshire and the Marches
  • Colin Bannon, Director of Design and Transformation, BT on their innovative initiative to connect children with creative industries

Plus a range of speakers from the creative industries including artists, visual effects specialists and writers.

A series of short films have also been submitted to complement the talks.


Local children were also  invited in for a day of creative thinking and doing activities on a Pop-Up STEAM CO. Day being staged by local creatives, technologists, engineers and employers.

BBC Radio Shropshire talk to Susan Coleman one of our local community collaborators


We're delighted to announce our keynote speaker and can't think of a better person to kick off an event talking about educating our children for a world that's changed so quickly than hearing from someone who left school only a year or so ago and who now runs a multi-million pound global innovation business.

After being inspired by Robowars, by the age of 19, just two years ago, Josh Valman had built a global manufacturing company, valued at more than £1m. Today, as well as being a contestant in Robowars his company outsources research and development to global centres of innovation excellence, boasts 96 corporate clients including Unilever, Vodafone and Heineken and he’s done two TEDx talks.

When he was 13, Josh sent his life savings of £500 to China to have his drawings turned into real components. “They were machined from scratch to my specifications,” he says. “I built my first robot and haven’t looked back since.”

FULL SPeaker line up

  • Anna Brennand, CEO of Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust will talk about the role of culture and digital technology to engage children both in their history and future opportunities.
  • Nick Corston, Co-founder of STEAM Co. will talk about his vision for STEAM Co. in Shropshire and the Marches
  • Nicola Grant, Deputy Head at Ludlow Primary will describe their experience of running to STEAM Co. Days of creativity in their school community
  • Colin Bannon, Director of Design and Transformation, BT on their innovative initiative to connect children with creative industries, BT’s Tech Literacy work and Barefoot computing. 
  • Jed Picksley, Artist/maker at Wheatstone Wirework will talk about turning techno-waste into appealing art
  • Richard Smith, TechLiteracy evangelist with Amazing ICT will talk about his work engaging children with tech activities and helping parnets understand the implications of technology.
  • Ian Palmer, Head of Escape Studios, Europe's leading visual effects academy, will talk about the opportunities that exist in the UK in animation, games and film industries.
  • Monty Lowe, Ludlow Buttercross Museum will tell a little-known story about how a computers game empire was set up in Ludlow with local school children and how it connects with the world’s bestselling video game ever.
  • Nicky Morgan, Leading Education Consultant at NSMTC, Cardiff will talk on the power of parental engagement in children’s education 
  • Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal, Community Banking Director, Barclays will talk about the role of business in the community
  • Susan Coleman of Susan’s STEM Zone will talk about her experiences connecting employers and schools across Shropshire.
  • Writer    Sally Clifford will talk about how writing can liberate the mind, for both writer and reader.        
  • John Sayer, District Governor, Rotary will talk about the role of over 50’s in community engagement projects like STEAM Co.
  • Bryn Llewellyn of Tagtiv8 Active Learning will look at the impact of active learning on schools using a blend of research & playfulness
  • Katy Langham from Education and Employers will show how ‘Inspiring the Future’ is the quick, easy, free way to support schools connect with volunteers from the world of work.

Exclusive filmed contributions will also come from world famous artists, designer, inventor and STEAM Co. Inspirator Dominic Wilcox and renowned artist David Mach who recently created a sculpture with 27 tons of newspapers.


12th June: Community Screening/discussion

To start the conversation and launch the event, we were delighted to collaborate with Hadley Learning  Community on a community screening/discussion around ‘Most Likely to Succeed’, a multi-award winning education documentary film that looks at how education might change to meet the needs of the fourth industrial revolution. It features Sir Ken Robinson and follows a group of students through a highly innovative school in California that focusses on creativity and collaboration. 

After the film, an invited panel discussed their reaction to points raised in the film with questions from the audience. See trailer film above.