The Light Parade, part of Chelmsford Festival of Lights is a brilliant, meaningful ‘real life’ STEAM project for schools and youth groups, engaging over 100 children across Chelmsford thanks to grants. We are focusing on working with children from deprived backgrounds who normally don’t get the opportunity to be part to such a project (because of parental barrier).
Link to 2019 Parade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2juWFN0sj7A
Link to 2018 Parade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt3AdnR5J-k
The two main objectives of the Light Parade are to:
- Provide STEAM opportunities to Chelmsford primary school age students. Nigel Fine, Chief Executive of The Institute of Engineers (IET Scholarship and Bursary Workshop and Celebration Ceremony 2020) said that future engineers develop their interest in engineering around the age of 8 years old.
- Using the arts to connect Essex people and encourage engagement: “Arts and Culture encourages participation”, RSA ‘s Nationwide creative engagement in building our future.
- Working with professional artists and coding engineers, the pupils build STEAM light sculptures including transporting frames. Each session (10 sessions) includes around 12 children working in small teams to:
- Project Manage the project: which includes discussing and deciding the theme, the structures they want to build, the logistics (storage/ transport), health and safety (writing real risk assessments), advertising, budget management, timescales etc
- Creation of Artwork: explore properties of different materials and build with the chosen materials
- Code the lights: explore coding including micro:bit (we have been successful in securing micro:bit kits from the Micro:bit Foundation). The children are then supported in developing a code specific to the animation of their lantern, based on their own design.