Full STEAM Ahead: Building a Community
Memorial University Faculty of Education, Office of Public Engagement, and The Rooms, presented this collaborative event connecting children, families, and educators to their communities through arts and technology. This project consisted of numerous makerspaces and pop-ups where local artists were invited to share in this experience in the areas of net making, knotting, textiles, and rug hooking that are significant crafts of local culture. This project reinforces cultural making and critical citizenship for children as they re-imagined images from their local landscapes.
Event 1: Engaging Evening Talk at the ROOMS with Kristiina Kumpulainen
In her presentation, Dr. Kumpulainen presentation explored the educational potential of makerspaces to promote young children's maker literacies and civic engagement. There was an exploration of the concept of maker literacies, drawing on the notions of transformative agency, creative citizenship, multiliteracies and multimodality. Dr. Kumpulainen presented maker literacies in action via our ongoing research on young children and makerspaces in and across early childhood education centres and libraries, demonstrating how children's creative activities realised through their interest driven engagement in the design, arts, and multimodal meaning making had a civic effect.This reasearch examines of how these multimodal and creative maker activities contributed to these children's transformative agency, as well as to the development of their maker literacies and sense of citizenship.
Event 2: Thursday Coffee at the ROOMS Catherine Wright Danielle Irvine and Natasha Hart
Teachers visited in the morning to hear these teachers and artists discuss Makerspaces . The afternoon was followed by a public panel to discuss Art and Technology.
Event 3: A makerspace event which focused on how to bring art and technology together. It was quite successful with teachers engaging in workshops as well. Further discussions lead to new project considering digital storytelling and the ROOMS as a partner, Another successful part of this project has been the creation and learning space the Discovery Play Centre at the Faculty of Education for young children to explore makerspaces.
Further making workshops took place with teachers and Laura Molyneux for children in the classroom, alongside professional making activities in the summer of 2020. Arrangement are now being made by a committee of teachers for a virtual exhibit.
These events fostered an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship in the business and arts sectors, enabling schools, museums, and galleries in this area to develop tools and templates for engaging multiple generations in liaison with other public centres and schools. We had both an Immersive technology 3RdI come to create a partnership with the ROOMS and is working toward a future project with the Botanical gardens and Geo centre. Other important growth has resulted in community curation of culture which the NFB is interested in partnering in the future.