Over 5 years ago we had the idea, as a bunch of parents in a state primary school in Paddington, to bring artists, companies and the wider community into our children's school, to inspire them with creativity.

We called it the 'Little House of Fairy Tales', having been inspired by the fantastic work of Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis at the House of Fairy Tales, who we had met at Camp Bestival.


2 years ago we decided to relaunch and change the name to STEAM Co.

But how could we do this? Because nobody had heard of us they wouldn’t let us speak at their conference, or feature us in their magazine.

What’s education and creativity got to do with parents after all?


But The Guardian believed in us and Harriet Green, Editor of Guardian Family commissioned a fantastic article about what we had done already, and our vision, under the headline:

”I just talk quickly until people say yes”

Anybody who's been pestered by me in the last 5 years on the STEAM Co. blagging journey will know how true that is and I can only apologise, but thank you for listening, believing and doing.

A week later we staged a conference called' KidCrafters' - for parents who care, think and do - at the Royal Institution. Website here.

The first speaker to confirm was Professor Guy Claxton whose book ‘What's the point of school’ inspired me to look closer and do something in the very first place, together with Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk (who did a talk at our Liverpool launch).


With him on board, the rolling stone could only gather moss, with keynote speakers like Steve Vranakis, Creative Director at Google, and global parenting guru  Noel Janis-Norton stepping up together with Dan Tomlinson, teenage technology editor of The Observer..

Other parents, artists and collaborators filled the gaps with short 20 x 20 Pecha Kucha talks.

A week before the event we hadn't attracted any funding to cover the costs of the venue hire or sold any tickets and nearly had to cancel.

A friend suggested the idea of breaking the cost down to bitesize chunks and number of organisations generously chipped in to help cover the costs and provide free tickets for 'unwaged, but engaged' families.

Nearly 400 people turned up in the end which quite simply blew us away.

We launched STEAM Co. and here on the right is a short film of the day and a snipped of each speaker.

The whole 6 hour long event was filmed and is available here.

We can't thank everybody involved in that enough, from the speakers to the organisations that provided sponsorship including James at Adam and Eve DDB, Andrew and Victor at Code Factory, Ian at Dell, Steve at Google and others who shall remain, and wish to remain nameless.


We've had quite a journey since then which you can read about on this website, but what really blew me away this week though and prompted this blog, was getting an email from somebody who had been at the Royal Institution 2 years ago and went away inspired enough to go and run their own STEAM day a year ago.

Here’s the film the of the first STEAM day run at St Andrew's Primary School in Bath by the their community.

They claim that they did it for just £100, which is amazing, but believable given the effort they put into beg stealing and borrowing various resources and supporters. 

Let's call these DIY STEAM Co. Days #SCODIY. We've also had home educators run their own STEAM CO. Days - #SCOHED and we're about to announce the next batch of Pop UP STEAM CO. Days #SCOPOP across the UK.


The main cost of a STEAM Co. Day is paying creatives who run activities. Creatives are people whose art is their livelihood, they shouldn't always have to do it for free, unless maybe they are parents in the school and it's their contribution in kind, while other parents in lucrative careers can donate money.

This school however were able to pull favours from within their community, which will not always be the case and we have to work out a way to help schools that do not have access to the facilities, people and resources.

STEAM Co. is about 'we, not me'.

Schools like Marva Rollins', in Edmonton North London with a parent community, which she described as "broke not broken", where 50% of the children come from the poorest 10% of the UK and up to six families are sharing a house.

Marva will be speaking at our upcoming Blue Sky event about what a STEAM Co. Day would mean to her children. We'll also hear from a digital agency in trendy Shoreditch who are going to close for a day to run a  STEAM Co. Day for a school in Tower Hamlets in the shadow of the Canary Wharf towers.

Our challenge and mission is to help those communities stage and benefit from STEAM Co. days as much as anybody else  


In just over a week we hold the next milestone event for STEAM Co. In a world of extreme thinking, whether it's left .v. right, or black .v. white, we believe it's time for some blue sky thinking.

Some Blue Sky thinking, talking and DOING and have announced our Blue Sky creativity event.

It's being generously hosted by one of our first sponsors Barclays (See what we've been up to with them here. National Grid are also sponsoring us, but we need 4 more) at the top of their tower in Canary Wharf.

The evening is going to be a celebration of creativity and how it can inspire children, innovate business and connect communities.

So far every batch of tickets we’ve released has sold out within 24 hours. Book or join the wait list here.

We have the most amazing lineup of speakers from the inspiring poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE (‘In creativity I saw light’) to world famous Professor Robert Winston (‘You've got to get them in primary’) to our latest Inspirator Martyn Ware (Heaven 17/Illustrious)

And dozens of teachers will be sharing best practice in the UK's first art/creativity focused TeachMeet, the #ATeachMeet.


We’ll be live streaming and capturing the event to our YouTube channel for everybody to not only enjoy at another time but most importantly to be used to inspire their communities to go and run their own STEAM Co. days. Sign up here for updates.

Bear with us while we work on producing resources that everybody can use, they may come from the AccessArt people who just published the most amazing art and making book, from galleries/museums or be activities created and fronted by our Inspirators like Dominic Wilcox, Martyn Ware and Tom Morley.

By the end of the summer term we hope to see a dozen or so pop up STEAM Co. Days run across the UK using our resources and have already heard from communities keen to do this from Hartlepool, Newcastle and Middlesbrough in the Great North East, down to a school in Penzance Cornwall, an amazing primary up in Birmingham and a few around London.

Watch this space.  

Because as McFadden and Whitehead said:

There's been so many things that's held us down
But now it looks like things are finally comin' around
I know we've got, a long long way to go
And where we'll end up, I don't know

But we won't let nothin' hold us back
We're putting our selves together
We're polishing up our act!
If you felt we've been held down before

I know you'll refuse to be held down anymore!
Don't you let nothing, nothing
Stand in your way!
I want ya'll to listen, listen

To every word I say, every word I say!
Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!
We're on the move!
Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!

We've got the groove!
Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!
We're on the move!
Ain't No Stoppin Us Now!

Thank you. And YOU.