Creative Tech Cafe is a big hit with young people in Grangetown
17 July 2017
The Creative Tech Café offered weekly activities over 10 weeks to local young people aged between 9 and 17. It gave them the opportunity to access equipment, machinery and industries that they may not have come across before, whilst being gently guided by knowledgable locals and experts in their field.
The sessions allowed the young people to informally learn, experiment and create artwork and objects that ignited new passions and could lead to future careers with technology, STEM and the creative industries. The Creative Tech Cafe model was designed in the wake of some incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area and a perceived gap in accessible, engaging activities and opportunities for young people in this particular age range to take part in.
The 10 sessions consisted of Music Technology, Science, Printing with discarded technology, Coding and Micro:bits, Electronics, 3D printing and Velocity track. The sessions were financed by three funders. Communities Gateway and Communities First financed two sessions and Neighbourhood Partnerships (Cardiff Council) financed six sessions, with a further coach site visit to FabLab financed by Community First.
The sessions were very successful and were attended by an average of 13 young people at every session. We surpassed and doubled our projected target of attracting 30-50 young people over the 10 sessions. The responses from the young people were uniformly positive saying the sessions were “Awesome”, “exciting” and “Cool” and there was a strong level of enthusiasm about the Creative Tech Café and an excitement to see what would be on offer the following week.
The local young people who attended the sessions came from different schools in the area and the sessions connected young people with their peers in a positive way. The workshops have enhanced their confidence and built better relations between them and their wider local community through positive interactions at the sessions. The sessions also gave five local people involved in leading and supporting the sessions employment.
A total of 79 young people attended the 10 sessions. Certificates were handed out at the sessions which gave the young people a physical record of what they had a achieved that could help support applications for future employment. Feedback from young people and partners was highly positive and suggests that the Creative Tech Cafe is something that would benefit from being run more permanently over a longer period of time.
Art Shell are currently pursuing further funding and have also been approached by other local experts who would like to run future sessions - watch this space!
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