Celebrating STEAM in the South West

Current stage: Awarded

Open Collective page

Collaborators

  • Seadream Education
  • Precious Plastic Plymouth
  • Tide Plymouth
  • South Dartmoor Energy Community
  • Lynher River Barge
  • Art & Energy

Collective’s aims and ideas

Our collective is called “Celebrate STEAM in the SW”. We want to share our passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM) in a collective way. We are all small, but growing, organisations. Growing in numbers, growing in our reach, growing in confidence and abilities. Although very capable in our own right; each member of the collective has skills and knowledge to share with the collective effort and aim to celebrate STEAM. We want to collaborate to design and deliver fun, innovative and bespoke resources for community engagement and school outreach that are focused on renewable energy and climate change impacts.
We would like to use this collective funding opportunity to develop Immersive Reality resources that could be used with phones, virtual reality (VR) headsets and projected in a dome. Our output ideas and our route to achieve this are taking shape, thanks to the pop collective process. Our collaborative output is shaping into a film/ trailer type footage that weaves our individual stories seamlessly. Flowing with the common thread to show how we are all dealing with different aspects of the climate emergency and other environmental issues. This collaborative output is not a normal film, as we are talking 360 degree so it can be used with multimedia, including the new Plymouth dome development. Social distancing measures have forced us all to adapt and an opportunity, born from this, is the production of more creative on-line resources. Our aim would be to take our audience on an adventure. To discover the underwater, and less accessible areas of Plymouth Sound. We would be highlighting both the positive, incredible beauty and diversity of nature and the negative impact that we are having in some areas. We are aiming to empower our audience; to show them that there are many small accessible organisations within Plymouth who are trying to tackle these issues. We would like them to connect with us so that we can help them to make their own small difference and not to feel helpless in the face of environmental challenges. Virtual reality is becoming rapidly cheaper and more accessible. We bought a children’s cardboard VR goggle kit which is used with a tablet, you can build it yourself quickly and cheaply. The short film that we are proposing would be an exciting, novel experience which could be widely shared and accessed from home. We hope to reach a broader, more diverse audience, particularly engaging with young people through the use of high-tech resources, it is their future which we are most concerned about protecting. The new dome at the Royal William Yard is expected to have a Marine theme at its launch next Spring and it would be really exciting for us to showcase our film here to highlight what we are doing already within Plymouth.

What advice are they asking for?

Our collective have had really exciting discussions, discovered how our missions overlap, and formed collaborations and friendships. We aim to have collaborative working sessions where we will plan a storyboard, the audio content, the overall design, what and where to film. We aum to film the content ourselves as a fun activity, but we do have access to experts for support, and, plan for professionals to edit the film, funded by this collaborative project. Seadream is currently on the Ideate Plymouth programme, funded by Creative England, receiving mentoring for developing Immersive resources and is working towards collecting bespoke filmed material. Seadream have purchased a drone, a 360-degree camera, and underwater housing for the camera which can be used for the collective project.
In 2017 Juliette founded the non-profit community interest company Seadream Education. Seadreams mission is to bring exciting science and engineering outreach to instil passion, awe, knowledge, understanding and respect for the world around us. Juliette is a trained energy advisor and has collaborated with South Dartmoor Community Energy (SDCE) on their Net Zero Hero community project. Juliette has experience as a scientific researcher of wave energy resources, bringing transferable knowledge and contacts for tidal energy – hence the link with Tide Plymouth.
Tide Plymouth is aiming to deliver projects that showcase ​the potential of marine renewable energy. This is particularly relevant as Plymouth is world renowned for its research and innovation in the marine science and technology field.
Art and Energy have experience with QR codes and augmented reality and are keen to work with like-minded organisations. Through their recent COP 26, Moths to a Flame activity they have experience of delivering their message to a large audience using high-tech resources. Their current crowdfunder will enable them to work with the broader Plymouth community. They will engage with participants through creative activities, opening the conversational doorway to positive environmental action, and encouraging participants to engage with the other collective members.
Kate Crawfurd of Precious Plastic is an artist and a doctorate marine scientist; her combined creativity and strong scientific background will benefit the project and help to ensure that an attractive and clear educational message comes through any material produced.
Art and Energy aim to generate conversation, education and celebration of renewable energy options. With a focus on solar energy and running workshops to create solar artworks (effectively paintings with integrated solar cells that can charge a battery). Hands-on creativity is an amazing way to engage and empower participants. Our Moths to a Flame project, working with Plymouth Energy Community is recording the eco-hopes of many people, with the goal of creating a mass-participation art installation in Glasgow to coincide with COP 26.
As a collective we can draw on a wealth of skills and knowledge. We can work more economically (time wise), have fun and enjoy being a team, because these missions can be quite lonely, daunting, difficult and frustrating alone! This collaborative project also has potential to give each of us greater options for reaching different communities if COVID becomes a barrier to face-to-face engagement. Art and Energy, Tide Plymouth and SDCE are new exciting collaborations. Art and Energy, Seadream and Precious Plastic are also relatively new collaborations, having met at the beginning of March, through POP+ related collaborative activities. These collaborations being instigated by POP are immensely beneficial to our small organisations. Where there could have been competition for funding we are now in a much stronger position, working as a team on a joint project, helping each other, learning together and reaching a wider audience.

During the first round, POP members were asked to advise you. Tell us what happened. What are your reflections? Have you gained new insight? New partners?

From the peer review process, we have described the collective output, and, here we detail the budget.
The collaborative working is about shaping the output, and the POP collective bid process has initiated this. Several of the collective participants have had the opportunity to socially distant meet and we have forged new friendships as well as instigate good working relationships. We are currently spending time working out the detail of how our individual stories fit together.
Within our POP bid, we want to include some time for each of us to do collaborative working. Thus, the current 6 participants plan to devote 5 x half days (4 hours) to collaborative working and project development time, costed at £15 per hour = £1800. This will include activities like building the storyboard, suggesting footage to be filmed, as well as practical aspects such as confirming filming permissions. We are hoping to have fun getting the footage ourselves, hopefully with guidance from some professional filming friends! We don’t currently have any budget specifically for this. Seadream is keen and has recently acquired most of the equipment to get started.
The remaining £1200 we will contribute to the specialist outsourced cost to produce the immersive resource. We propose to use the reputable Plymouth based company, Volume, with whom Seadream is receiving mentoring thanks to Creative England.
The resource that we are aiming to complete will be a promotional, awareness raising, and, educational Immersive Resource that can be viewed through various media – for example high quality 360 footage for use with a VR headset, a tablet or in the new Plymouth dome development.
We hope to source further funding to build upon the length of the resource as we build our collaborative relationship.