- GEEK (Games Expo East Kent) will work regionally and nationally as it aims to reduce the digital skills gap through its education strategy in 2018.
- GEEK and Dreamland are set to become the first Makey Makey education partner in the UK and Europe.
- Dreamland Margate is part of the ‘STEM to STEAM’ network.
Dreamland Margate has programmed workshops and events to support its huge festival of play and games, GEEK. Part of the festival’s activity will involve working with invention kit Makey Makey’s Vice President of Education, Tom Heck, at Dreamland Margate and King’s College London.
GEEK is hosting a workshop with Tom Heck at Dreamland for educators working with young people in schools, alternative provisions, students and artists. Using the award-winning Makey Makey invention kit, participants will learn how to teach skills with the kit, including making and design thinking, with the company’s Vice President of Education. The workshop has been delivered by Makey Makey throughout the US and now for the first time in the UK.
Two GEEK Lab school days will see 250 pupils from 12 schools in East Kent attend a free education event organised by the festival in partnership with the Kent and Medway STEM learning team and Kent County Council. There will be a range of activities with the aim of raising self-awareness and aspirations in young people, with a particular focus on the skills and attitudes required for employment within the industries that feature at GEEK. Activities will include coding and animation.
In partnership with Computing at School (CAS), GEEK will host a one-day workshop, ‘Train the Trainer’ with Tom Heck. This is for educators who introduce STEM through physical computing and will be held at King’s College London.
As GEEK itself fuses together games and play with learning, the event will have learning opportunities throughout. Margate-based digital artists Genetic Moo, who are also present at the school days, will showcase their commission for GEEK, and there will be activities with Sphero, Makey Makey and more. Local colleges and universities, as well as people of all ages who attend the festival, are invited to look at the creative skills that come together to make a game. This includes coding, narrative, musical composition, art and design, resource management and branding. There will be extra making activities for families on Sunday.
Victoria Barrow-Williams, Education and Community Officer at Dreamland Margate said: “GEEK and Dreamland are working together to raise aspirations, deliver skills and employment opportunities, and to put the fun back into learning. We recognise that digital confidence and competence is a basic life skill and are looking forward to working with many different groups in the community and beyond.
Dreamland is a pioneering cultural destination for education. We are working hard to provide a stand-out educational programme with credible content that may not otherwise be accessible in the South East. There is so much potential for learning at Dreamland as a destination and with the events and content that we showcase. We plan to strengthen our working partnerships with educational institutions throughout 2018.”