A festival of children’s making
“We must inspire our kids to become makers of things, not just consumers of things.”
President Barack Obama, 2009.
In May 2015, The Institute of Imagination held its inaugural Mini Maker Faire on London’s Southbank. We invited children aged 5-11 and their carers from across London to join our team of 18 innovative Makers to re-imagine the world through playfulness and experimentation. Throughout the one-day faire they crafted, fixed and explored the wonderful worlds of 3D printing, virtual reality, robotics, animation and more.
Adults were encouraged to explore and create alongside their child, with children leading the way through workshops exploring a wide range of making including digital coding, zoetrope building and the exploration of the brain through neural necklaces. All activities were child-led and involved problem solving, collaboration and creativity. Each fostered a spirit of learning by doing, and celebrated the bond between adult and child developed through the act of making.
Maker Faires are billed as the greatest show and tell on earth: festivals of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. They bring together inventive makers keen to explore new ideas with curious minds eager to try something new. Curiosity and invention sit at the heart of imagination, something Sir Ken Robinson, one of iOi’s advisors, refers to as “the source of every human achievement”.
The Institute is delighted to be working with Maker Faire and working collaboratively to bring the exploration of both the sciences and the arts to children and families across London and beyond. In 2016 we will be expanding The Institute of Imagination Mini Maker Faire by inviting more makers to join us and to offer even greater opportunities for children to explore, experiment, make, create and let their imaginations run free.
Our 2015 Makers
Children were given the opportunity to learn how to operate an OhBot using key programming concepts including sequences, repetition, selection and variables.
Using the Fixperts design thinking and design challenge methodology, children were invited to apply design thinking skills to apply to the topic of a child’s health and their wellbeing.
Children has the chance to see products designed and made to promote transparency and thoughtfulness in manufacturing including a Bluetooth speaker with touch interface made of clay.
Children were given the opportunity to augment a personalised butterfly using the Blippar augmented reality App which enabled the butterfly to lift off the page and fly away.
Children were given the tools to create their own zoetrope device, the original that brought moving images to the masses. Once constructed they were invited to create an animation.
Crafting with cardboard and fabrics was on offer from the maker team at Machines Rooms as children were offered to create masks, embellish them using paint, paper and felts.
Working technologist and educationalist Paul Clifford, children helped to create simple artworks, objects, sounds and actions which interacted with various devices including Makey Makey, Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
Kidesign 3D printing
Using Kideville, Kidesign’s 3D printing city template, children aged 8-11 were offered a quick introduction to 3D design through 2D drawing and 3D design using CAD software. Children helped develop new architecture for Nepal, which had recently suffered severe earthquake damages.
Children were given the opportunity to build their own drawing robot from a paper cup, a motor and felt pens. The activity enabled children to use their creative engineering skills to master their Drawbot’s performance on a large shared drawing canvas.
Technology Will Save us
TWSU gave opportunities to children to make their own electronic circuits and digital creations and using our conductive play dough, bringing them to life with LED eyes, buzzing bodies and silly switches.
London Brain Project
Children were introduced to their brain through the exploration of what happens in our brains when one gets out of bed, eats your breakfast, goes to school and more. LBP helped children discover which parts of the brain they use for different activities, manifesting each story into a child built neural necklace.
The Institutes very own Imagination Pods enabled younger children to create immersive spaces using a range of colorful materials.
Children entered into the world of Scratch, a coding and storytelling tool designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They helped children understand the basics of code in half an hour.
Children worked with Goldie on the development of a new touring imagination lab space by creating a hands-on miniaturized cityscape, allowing children and their families to digitally paint on top of buildings, people, and urban objects.
Virtual Reality Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard
Children were given the chance to experience the very latest in virtual technology with the Oculus Rift. Children immersed themselves in alternate worlds and adults turned their smartphones into a virtual reality device with a simple cardboard kit.
Buzz Technology 3D printing
Children were given a demonstration of next generation product creation using desktop 3D printers with robotic assembly capabilities.