Workshops for children

The purpose of this wiki is to document the issues, approach, resources etc for running workshops for children.

Access

Age range(s)

5 - 8 Highly structured short-ish activities with participating caregivers
9 - 13 Short, well-managed activities without participating caregivers

Mode

With or without accompanying / participating adult (this has big implications for safeguarding, ratio of facilitators to participants etc)

Code of conduct

Principle: Behaviour in the space is regulated by social contract
Like TfL - https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/rules-of-travel-for-under-18s

Minimum participation requirement

Principle: Participants can’t take a space on a structured workshop and then not participate.
There is space for doing their own thing, but only within the confines of the purpose and resources of the event.
[Brendon] I ran a Code Club, and had one kid who insisted on doing something completely different from the rest of the group. It was really disruptive, and he got annoyed that I couldn’t help him troubleshoot his project.

Participant payment

  • Funded places? @Kyle noted that there are funding opportunities for STEM activities, and this funding could support tools, materials and other resources that have life beyond the event.
  • Means tested?
  • Participation is free, but they pay for materials / kits?

Safeguarding / Health & Safety

DBS checks

Are these needed if guardians are required to be present throughout the workshop?
[Brendon] I have a standard and an enhanced DBS
During kids workshops, how do we manage safeguarding when the space is still open to other members? Do we need a sequestered space, or close to members?

Insurance issues

Can the directors comment on this, please?

Affiliations

Should we/can we register a Code Club, Coder Dojo, STEM Club etc?
Safeguarding officer
Perhaps a Makerspace induction done once per child, or repeated every now and then (e.g. if they attend lots of workshops)

Resources

[Brendon] I have about 25 laptops suitable for web browsing, programming, Scratch, etc
[Brendon] I have a couple of robots and could make more if the parts were funded

Workshop structure

Once-off / Taster / Series / Regular club
Through specific organisations, or their resources - Code Club, Coder Dojo, STEM Club etc

Topics

Code Club / Coder Dojo activities

OttoDIY

  • See https://www.ottodiy.com/
  • Assembly of personal robots - kids buy the kits and take the finished robot home
  • Programming - their own robots, or ones belonging to SLMS

Node-RED

Explorations of physical computing, IoT, AI, Computer Vision etc

Craft-science interactions

Growing crystals, making scientific equipment etc e.g. https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/vocal-visualizer

STEVE

Please for now do not make big changes to my documentation as it disorients me. I have learning difficulties so I have my ways of approaching documentation which helps me to keep going - sorry about this!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Health and Safety
  • Funding
  • Product Research
  • Ideas and Prototyping
  • Projects
  • Education
  • Procurement
  • Inventory
  • Brand
  • Legal and Certification

HEALTH AND SAFETY

HSE ACT, GUIDANCE AND APPOINTED OFFICER
Health and Safety - gov.uk

FIRST AIDERS AND FIRE MARSHALS
STCA Training providers lists - gov.uk
Trained members/personnel in first aid, AED, and fire handling present during activities. Every second counts in life-saving situations and having trained people in basic rescue present creates a safer environment.

PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT - PPE
Every material/product comes (not always supplied) with a datasheet/manual that explains what kind of PPE has to be used/worn.

ACCESSIBILITY EQUIPMENT
Having accessibility equipment creates a more inclusive and welcoming environment for people with physical disabilities/difficulties. Ex: Wheelchairs, crouches, ramps, braille, and tactile flooring, high contrast colour blindness material/equipment, service dogs friendly area, equipped bathrooms.

EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT, SERVICING AND EVACUATION PROTOCOL
Fire Safety, Guidance and Responsibilities - gov.uk
Ideally done by an expert in this field who will provide extensive suggestions about the plans and also the equipment needed for the space.

FUNDING

PUBLIC FUNDING
1.GOVERNMENT FUNDS
STEM Activities funds
Government schemes or entity programs. This might require documentation, premises changes, staff verification and report writing to be eligible for certain funds. The aim is to have no and/ less fees on the participants. Funding logos and promotion will sometimes be required to be on the project documentation and/ in premises.

Going through government funds help to bring in students.

2.CROWDFUNDING
Another way to raise capital is to run a crowdfunding campaign. There are several platforms nowadays which make this option more attractive. Each platform has a niche of investors but all serve the same purpose. The marketing strategy will make the difference but the platform is important in terms of trust and features.
gofundme.com
mightycause.com
crowdfunder.co.uk
kickstarter.com

INDIRECT FUNDING
Sponsorships, angle investors, and/or SLMS members. The aim is to have no and/ fewer fees on the participants. Funding logos and promotion will sometimes be requested. A pitch deck will be required to persuade private investors. Private investors are incentivised with tax rebates if they fund such projects. They will have requests that might go against SLMS values.

DIRECT FUNDING
Project participants pay for all the expenses. Another nice way to review a project is to have a pay range. Subject to tax.

£1 - not satisfied (minimum payment covers just expenses)
£5 - satisfied (covers more materials)
£10 - extremely satisfied I will attend more (project material can be packaged for growth)

DONATIONS
Non-taxable and are mainly based on goodwill. You could require a donation but of course, it contradicts the word itself.

PRODUCT RESEARCH

SUPPLIER DEMO AND SAMPLES
Before investing or buying a product especially in quantities requesting a demo, ordering one of each or request a sample avoids unnecessary work on returns, refunds (difficult supplier that denies the case and delays refund requests), or waste of resources.

MARKS, STANDARDS, H&S INSPECTION, AND RISK ASSESSMENT
Certain products might not have the same standards in UK especially if they are bought from the US or China. This could lead to confiscation at the border, loss of guarantees, and hazard liability. Replicas can use materials that can be harmful or pose a risk when operated because of faulty/lack of safety elements. Although certified or labeled for certain ages the product might still pose a risk especially if used with certain disabilities or conditions.

EDUCATIONAL MATERIAL AND SUITABILITY TESTING
Products might not have the educational outcomes as described/packaged by the company. Buying to try with a small group of participants is ideal before going through the procurement process. This avoids waste of resources if the outcomes don’t meet the desired criteria.

IDEAS AND PROTOTYPING

WALL OF IDEAS AND BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS
Having a dashboard or ideally a wall with all ideas helps in prioritisation and selection. For every idea, a rough expense estimate has to be in place. Brainstorming sessions have to be led with criteria and a budget at hand.

PROTOTYPE/USER TEST DOCUMENT AND TRIALS
Narrow down ideas and try the chosen ones. Observation/trial sessions can be structured or unstructured. The sessions are to clarify or prove that an idea is working as expected especially with different age groups. Ideally should be demanded before any procurement.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLEMENTATION
Reiterate current idea
Scrap idea and choose other ones
Go for implementation on successful outcomes

PROJECTS

PROJECT DOCUMENT

  • PROJECT NAME AND DESCRIPTION
  • OBJECTIVES
  • AGE GROUP
  • FUNDING
  • MARKETING AND PR

PROJECT OPERATIONS

  • PREPARATION
    Certain workshops would need preparation time to make the materials available for the next day.
  • SETUP/RESET AND PROJECT DOCUMENT (BEFORE)
    Generally occurs before the start of every session.
  • PEDAGOGY AND WORKSHOP RUNNING (DURING)
  • REVIEW AND CLOSURE (FINISHED)

PROJECT RESOURCES AND ANNEX

  • FINALISED PROJECT FOR PREVIEW PURPOSES
  • LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PATHWAYS (LOFS)
  • H&S SOP AND RISK ASSESSMENT
  • METHOD STATEMENTS (FORMAL EDU)
  • CURRICULUM LINKS (FORMAL EDU)
  • RUNNING ORDER (FORMAL EDU)

EDUCATION

HUMAN RESOURCE

  • BACKGROUND CHECKS
  • LICENSES OR CERTIFICATES
  • TEACHING/YOUTH EXPERIENCE

GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY INFO

  • 5-8 years (Late Childhood)
  • 9-11 years (Pre-adolescence)
  • 12-15 years (Adolescence)
  • 16-18 years (Pre-adulthood)

LEARNING DIFFICULTIES/DISABILITIES

[Steve] Re disabilities, ideally we look for NGOs who mainly deal with these conditions. They have the resources/knowledge to make projects more accessible - space and content. You will be surprised how many things have to be considered. This is secondary and can be done after a project is considered. By working with NGOs we can add marks or symbols approved by them to projects - this gives more value. Also, the project gains more exposure as they will advertise or write an article about it.

[Brendon] I’ve done work with the Institute of Imagination which involved special needs participants. I’ll ask them for input.

[Brendon] We need a general accessibility statement that gives clarity on the nature of the activities, the way in which we support participants with disabilities, and the limits to that support.
[Brendon] Specific activities may require 1:1 support from the participant’s carer, others may require a cautionary note for specific disabilities, and some may require the exclusion of participants with specific disabilities (and we’ll work hard to avoid this).

ACCESSIBILITY FOR DYSLEXIA

[Brendon] All participants will need an induction into the space and tools that will be used. We will need to ensure that we don’t refer to long-form signage and other documents without going through them verbally.

[Brendon] I anticipate that many of our activities will be practical, with most instruction and support being provided verbally.
[Brendon] Code Club activities use written manuals and it would be hard for a facilitator to provide sufficient 1:1 support. I think a participating caregiver would need to be involved.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR DOWNS SYNDROME

[Brendon] Since the level of impairment varies widely, I think we would probably need to address this on a case-by-case basis. The participation of their carer is probably sufficient?

ACCESSIBILITY FOR VISUAL/HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

[Brendon] Since the level of impairment varies widely, I think we would probably need to address this on a case-by-case basis. The participation of their carer is probably sufficient?

ACCESSIBILITY FOR VISUAL/HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

[Brendon] This could be really challenging for those with more severe autism. There are lots of noisy tools, and these could be used by other members in the space with no notice. There are trains running overhead. The space will be very noisy once we have a bunch of kids in an event. At present there is no quiet room. Given the tools and other activities in the space, we can’t have a participant who behaves in an erratic and uncontrollable way that is a danger to themselves and others.

PEDAGOGY AND LEARNING METHODS INFO

[Brendon] I think this will be a really important part of our discussion. I think we should dump in some links to frameworks and approaches here:

PARTICIPANTS LOG DATABASE (GDPR)
Keeping track of participants’ progress - formal setting.

WALL OF FAME - PROJECT SHOWCASE
Best projects/outcomes can be displayed for inspiration/aspiration.

PROCUREMENT

  • REQUEST FORM AND APPROVAL BODY
  • QUOTES AND SUPPLIERS
  • BOOKKEEPING AND INVOICES
  • DELIVERY AND INVENTORY LOGGING

INVENTORY

STORAGE AND SPACE ALLOCATION
It is important to allocate storage and space for resources used by the workshop. Without this, no workshop can commence in a smooth way. Workshops take a considerable amount of space therefore every project has to be evaluated in order not to disrupt or conflict with the members’ projects/space.

INVENTORY SOFTWARE

  • ACCOUNTS AND PERMISSIONS
  • LABELING TEMPLATE
  • CONSTRUCTS, FORMS, AND DATA LOGGING

LIBRARY - CATALOGS, SAMPLES, DATASHEETS, AND BOOKS

BRAND

SLMS BRAND BOOK
Projects can be run in the name of the organiser or in the name of SLMS. Any project run under the name of SLMS must strictly abide by the Brand book in order to increase value and maintain consistency.

PROJECT DESIGN AND MARKETING
PROJECT WIKI AND LIBRARIES
PROJECT PACKAGING AND LABELLING
SLMS MERCHANDISE
SLMS THIRD PARTY ACCOUNTS AND PERMISSIONS
SLMS PR

LEGAL AND CERTIFICATION

  • PRIVACY AND CONSENT FORMS
  • GDPR FOR STORING AND HANDLING DATA
  • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
  • HEALTH & SAFETY POLICIES AND AUDITS
  • ACCESSIBILITY CERTIFICATIONS
  • WORKSPACE INSURANCE
  • SLMS POLICIES AND LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE
4 Likes

Interesting :slightly_smiling_face: sorry if I’m not so active at the moment quite a busy time. Is this the first time being considered for SLMS?

I’m a new member, but I get the impression that this is not new to SLMS.

We used to have a regular Raspberry Jam with @Grace_OC Femi and the young coders and we’ve been brewing up skateboard upcycling workshops over the pandemic (which led to events at COP 26 and Tate Modern)

1 Like

Great to know about :slightly_smiling_face: It will be interesting to see these workshops in action - youngsters are challenging. Where you would like me to contribute @Brendon_Hatcher?

  • Documentation
  • Idea generation
  • Experience and best practice sharing etc.

I worked mainly in science centres and a youth centre for years.

Please do ask anything because it’s a huge field with its own challenges.

1 Like

Hi Steve

A makerspace can’t really be all things to all people, and while running activities for kids in the space is an obvious alignment, the angle and approach is important. My thinking was to proceed as follows:

  1. Frameworks, policies, procedures - what can we offer, why do we offer it, how do we offer it
  2. Planned activities - develop ideas in line with 1.
  3. Run activities
  4. Evaluate and iterate

So, to start, please dump documentation, ideas, best practice etc into the wiki entry above, and we can keep structuring the document as more stuff is added.

Dermot was suggesting a workshop/meeting to plan further, so perhaps we could consider the wiki entry as a starting point for further discussion.

Looking forward to your input and meeting you.

Regards
Brendon

2 Likes

Sounds like a good lead to start with :slight_smile:

I will divide the wiki into 2 sections (BRENDON & STEVE). The idea is to put info and documentation structure but easily recognisable who is doing what for meetings and best structure purposes. After we meet we can start to merge a solid framework, what do you think?

1 Like

Go for it!

2 Likes

Hi Steve

That index is really useful, thanks.
I started fleshing some of it out.

Until we meet to workshop this, can I suggest the following:

  • Anything in “my” section without [Brendon] is assumed to be my content.
  • Anything in “your” section without [Steve] is assumed to be your content.
  • If you write in my section, put [Steve] and I’ll put [Brendon] in yours.
  • If we agree with the other has written, we change it to [Brendon + Steve].

Regards
Brendon

1 Like