One of the most important things about STEAM education is that it helps students develop critical thinking while still having fun. It’s the critical thinking that is so important to them being able to live and be employed in this modern world – computers, smart machines, technologies, apps, music, gaming and so much more, there is a whole world available to them.

A collaborative team of interdisciplinary experts called The North London Skills Collaborative, (NLSC), provide young people with the creative thinking and tech skills that will prepare them for this exciting modern world.

In May 2019, CREATE Ambassador Graham Ogunleye, from the NLSC ran a Digital Tech and Makercraft Workshop for young people aged 12 -16. The aims and objectives of this workshop was to support young people at centres like The Edge, Young Hackney, in their quest to support the uptake of 3D digital design and makercraft. In this blog Graham shares details about the workshop, some examples of the activities and the NLSC’s plans for the future.

The taster / “show and tell” event at The Edge Young Hackney went really well. We introduced the kids to 3D printing, digital computer programs and 3D scanning.

It was an impressive event that showcased the inherent creativity and innovative potential in the children and staff.

Once they had signed in we got them to make name tags on 3D Digital Design computer programs and getting them 3D printing to show them the workflow process and what they could imagine and create.

In addition there were maker-craft activities using recycled plastic and a Mini Electronics project using LED’s. However, the quick draw was getting something printed in 3D. The young people joined in with the different activities on show and seemed to enjoy themselves. We made name tags for all the attending young people and the staff.

Equipment & materials utilised in this workshop:

  • 3D Printers
  • 3D Scanners
  • Digital Design Laptop computers
  • Electronic Components, LED lights
  • Recycled plastic bottles to make ‘wearable’ items
  • Plastic milk and water bottles and old used craft materials
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

The young people participated in the following wearable tech & makercraft activities:

  • Using their imaginations to design and make wearable items out of recycled plastic – and craft materials.
  • Replicating two simple examples provided: LED light-up keychain/flashlight.
  • Making & 3D Printing Keyring name tags.

A huge thank you to the facilitators / Learning Advisors for this workshop:

  • Bee V Moore: Graphic Design, Animation & Maker-craft Witty Ditty Designs
  • Graham Ogunleye: 3D Digital Design, CREATE Education

Outcomes from activities during the session confirmed possibilities for:

  • New design skills acquisition
  • New or improved design and creative thinking skills
  • 3D maker-craft modeling techniques
  • Sharing what they had learned with others
  • Make something unique and wearable
  • Learning to applying ideas from head – to model making – to computer.
  • Learning and applying newly acquired digital and tech skills.
  • Using new 3D computer programs
  • Improve their *STEAM skills

We hope the young people all enjoyed making something and they continue to be a reminder of the many wonderful things that can be done with new and existing tech, craft and graphic design. In future sessions we will focus on finding the right projects to inspire them. Something that sparks their imaginations. Working closely with the Team at the Edge we will identify what the young people would like to do.

We recommend a series of ongoing makercraft and tech workshops aimed at different age groups. This is best approached on a project by project basis. This is so that there is a beginning and an end point to the delivery of learning and skills acquisition.

We will ensure there is a display gallery of pre-made maker-craft examples, as described in the list above, laid out to show them the amazing things they can design, craft, make and use, (probably the torch light).

The Staff were very supportive and took a keen interest in what we brought and how it benefited the children. They were also very keen to have us come back and do more with all the age ranges of children that visit, attend and use the centre.

Future maker-craft design project ideas:

  • Recycled plastic LED torch
  • Concrete table lights
  • Jewellery / keyrings made from recycled plastic

Future 3D digital design project ideas:

  • 3D printed light or torch design
  • Games content design and music
  • 3D printed jewellery
  • 3D printed wearable tech

The North London Skills Collective would like to thank the Edge Youth Hub very much for the warm welcome.

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