Pop-up venture, Wigan S.T.E.A.M, will now be running regular science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics activities and projects for children, young people and their families thanks to support from The Deal for Communities Investment Fund. Wigan S.T.E.A.M is a community-based project that supports the development of people’s digital skills, engages communities in STEM subjects (science, technology engineering and mathematics) and provides creative learning spaces for people to use to innovate, share and connect.
Since autumn 2015, Wigan S.T.E.A.M has been springing up in different spaces to deliver activities such as S.T.E.A.MFest – an annual family festival for all things STEM and creative, prototype app development sessions in primary schools, Techathons for families that that use technology to address social issues and film festivals curated for and by young people! This 3-year funding will provide them with the resources to run more of these types of events from a soon-to-be-announced permanent space and in pop-up form via their S.T.E.A.M pods in communities around the Wigan Borough. They will also be developing their offer further by programming top-notch cultural events such as live music gigs in collaboration with Get It Loud In Libraries, curating heritage exhibits and activities with local partners, and offering more digital learning initiatives such as pre-school coding clubs and Maker Days.
Wigan S.T.E.A.M’s work delivers positive outcomes across the Borough as a whole, and with funding under the ‘Start Well’ priority of The Deal for Communities Investment Fund, the S.T.E.A.M team are really able to “put some welly” into their work with children, young people and families in order to support the development of the Borough’s next generation of creative geniuses. And who knows, we might have the next Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish – founders of notonthehighstreet.com – emerge from our town!
Underpinning this vision, is the creation of micro-enterprises in areas such as digital media production and product design that operate under the Wigan S.T.E.A.M banner and are designed to generate income to sustain the project long-term and to offer work experience opportunities. As Project Manager, Lizzie Griffiths explains, these enterprises will empower young people to develop their own businesses and begin contributing to the economy – “Raising the aspirations of the young people we work with is an important part of our vision. We want the young people we work with to not only have the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to make a positive impact on the world and to achieve their dreams, but also the confidence, resilience and access to support networks to make this happen.”
So if you want to “get your tech on”, be creative, learn news skills, and meet-up with other interesting folk… then get involved in Wigan S.T.E.A.M’s activities and keep checking out our blog and events calendar for all the latest updates!