Last week we were invited by All About STEM to collaborate on their Big Bang @ Schools programme which meant going in to secondary schools across Merseyside, taking part in an assembly explaining about maker spaces, and running a workshop that demonstrated the type of activity and learning that takes places at our maker space.

We set out bright and early on Tuesday morning to visit Cowley International College in St Helens. We had a small group of 22 year 10 computing students.

Dave and Tim from All About STEM lead the assembly, talking through the history of making, the industrial and digital revolutions and then touched on maker spaces before handing over to Helen to tell them about Little Sandbox, how small businesses are emerging out of maker spaces and how ideas and solutions develop in a collaborative manner. Then Chris introduced the robot they would be building in the workshop.

Not too scary, lots of fun and the kids all got stuck into the building. But they ran out of time… No worries, we learned a lot and returned to Little Sandbox to make some amendments to the build to make it a shorter activity.

The following morning, even brighter and earlier, we arrived at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn, this time with an assembly of 200 year 9 pupils followed by a workshop group of 28. Timings were strict, so we ran through the assembly quickly, and moved onto the build.

The new and improved build was much easier, the teams all completed their build and got their robots moving across the floor. Not quite enough time for racing but we will build on that for a future session.

All in all, the experience was a good one, the kids loved it, the teachers loved it and we loved it too. Looking forward to working with All About STEM again in future.