What was obvious after spending the weekend as part of the STEAM Co (@st3amco) crew at Camp Bestival (@campbestival) was that creativity is definitely not dead.
My first question to Nick Corston, the driving force behind STEAM Co (http://www.steamco.org.uk/) was , “why spell STEM with an A”?
What become obvious over the course of the next three days was that he is very keen to spread Seth Godin’s message that, “Art is what we call it when what we do might connect people”, something that fits perfectly with the philosophy behind #teacher5aday. This simple modification of traditional STEM based activities allows creative arts an opportunity to contribute. Something in my opinion the government should make a note of.
So what did we do?
We provided the opportunity for children and their parents to create and fire rockets and presented a stage show inspired by ‘Rocket Boys’ written by Homer Hickam.
And it was awesome fun.
A three step guide including a piece of paper and some tape were the resources required to create a rocket. The special ingredient was watching parents and their children working and learning together. Conversations flowed from all concerned about drag, friction, PSI, fins and nose cones. We also laughed and enjoyed each other’s company, celebrating achievements and really learning from our failures. A collection of children and their parents came back every day to build a rocket. Lots modified their designs to make their rockets go higher. Everyone really enjoyed watching the rockets fly.
Nick would like to see the types of activities we provided at Camp Bestival available in all areas of the country. What is different about this project in my opinion is that it is about mobilising the community to lead STEAM Co days. To work in partnership with parents and businesses to provide an adrenaline shot of creativity. A day where thinking and doing activities across the spectrum of STEAM skills engage and excite the students about their possible careers and the opportunities that lay ahead of them.
What Nick is keen to do is create a STEAM Co network. A team of like-minded parents, schools, creatives and local businesses to help roll out the idea across the UK. Building and firing rockets will be part of my curriculum now as my daughters want their own launch pad in our back garden. Could it be part of yours, “because it takes a whole village to inspire a child”. Sponsorship is needed for Pop-Up STEAM Co. Day drop trucks in key locations around the UK which will contain everything you need to run a STEAM Co. Day – just add kids and carers!
Get in touch with Nick to find out more.