A couple of years ago at this time of year, the book 'Your Turn' by Seth Godin provided inspiration for STEAM Co. and to encourage people to get involved in this community powered movement. To take their turn.

Recently another film popped up by the American poet Prince Ea (who had also made a film about how he 'sued the school system').

In his film 'Everybody dies, but not everybody lives' here, Prince Ea encourages people to live life to the full.

We'd hope that getting involved in STEAM CO. Days might be part of that for the over 50's who still have so much to give, maybe with the commitment of careers and families behind them.


A few weeks ago I saw leading children's author and educational consultant, Alan Gibbons touch on the subject of engaging older members of the community in schools at the 'Stand Up For Education' conference that I had been asked to keynote at.  

I grabbed Alan at the end of the day to make this short film sharing his thoughts and experiences on this subject.


In the above film Alan says "It's not just the kids that get something out of it, the adults get so much out of it too. They walk out of school actually walking on air, because they feel useful again, not just as a baby sitter picking up their own grand children, but they have a group of 30 children hanging on their every word"


At around the same time I saw a blog post on the Nesta website on the same subject introducing a project to engage over 50's they were running with DCMS/the Cabinet Office.

Formerly known as the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (one of the earliest owners of a STEAMish acronym anagram) , Nesta is a very interesting organisation who describe themselves as an 'Innovation charity that helps people and organisations bring great ideas to life'.


They have a fantastic 'Make Things Do Stuff' initiative and played a key role in the development of Code Club which we've done a lot of work to promote and mention to schools when we run coding activities on STEAM Co. Days.

They've published a wide range of reports on the digital economy and a map they designed showing the distribution of the creative economy specifically inspired us to choose Liverpool and Sunderland for our first major regional launch events over London.

I wrote a blog on a talk their CEO gave around 'Universities - Useful and Useless' and have attended a number of their events, most memorably one where Wil.I.Am was a special guest and where we first met the Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees, who as Baron of Ludlow gave a short introduction to other STEAM Co. Day we ran in Ludlow.

Yes, you'll meet lots of interesting and interested people at Nesta events. As we say at STEAM Co: #ARTconnects


They also do a lot of great work around the connected economy and social enterprise so it was with great interest we saw a call for proposals from Nesta with the Cabinet Office to 'mobilise the time and talents' of the over 50's in four key focus areas, two of which were children and young people.

It made me think back to various ways that over 50's in the carer community had contributed to a number of STEAM Co. Days we have seen.

A grandad and his grand daughter run a coding activity at the Spinney Pop-Up STEAM Co. Day in Cambridge

Inspiring introductory talk by the Astronomer Royal at Ludlow Junior School's STEAM Co. Day


Having seen first-hand the contribution that the experience, skills and availability of over 50’s can make to STEAM Co. Days we're keen to do as much as we can to engage them.  We want to provide confidence, direction and inspiration for these older carers, knowing the pleasure they, and children, can get out of a STEAM Co. Day.

Many will have had children, many won't have. But, given their life experience and life skills, both will have a lot to offer a STEAM Co. Day. And they certainly get a lot from helping on STEAM CO. Days too.

We are talking to two organisations that will be key to making these connections: STEM Learning who manage the 35,000 STEM Ambassadors around the country and Rotary, whose national head of engagement Donna Wallbank who we met at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham and who came along to our evening of talks at Barclays recently.

In the film clip above, Donna describes Rotary's commitment to community and their work around making activities.


If you or your organisation represents over 50's or any group of people who would like to reconnect with their community to inspire our children through STEAM Co. Days then register for more info here.