EdLab Spark: Be a Sports Volunteer and Run Your Own Pop Up Sports Event

Sport Volunteering is a vibrant programme offered by MMU sport through the Sports Volunteer coordinator. It offers students from all disciplines the opportunity to enhance their student experience and employability through following their passion for sport.

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MMU Sports Volunteering has teamed up with EdLab to challenge students to design their own pop up education stall for sports events. This stall could be sharing information about any subject but there should ideally be a link to the location or sports event involved.

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EdLab Spark: Contribute to a Hulme Archive

Hulme has gone through many generations of building and demolition. It has been a test bed for innovative urban renewal and environmental approaches. The site of the Birley campus and Brooks building has been a topic of much debate and dreaming over the years.

EdLab has inherited various documents which help to tell some of this story. We invite you to help us to archive them by scanning them and putting them online into the Internet Archive project. Local resident Rob Squires has another challenge for you.

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These documents of Hulme’s recent history show a rich picture of what is possible with urban planning, permaculture and the imagination of local residents. How can you bring the documents to life and share the stories behind the plans?

Video of Challenge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGPu_ESaA68

Link to video on YouTube

Some information on the specifics of Hulme’s regeneration follows in these links.

More Information:
To get involved in this project, or to work on a challenge which supports the development of this project, contact m.chesterman @mmu.ac.uk or edlab @mmu.ac.uk

Key Partner: Redbricks residents group http://redbricks.org
Key Words: Regeneration, Hulme, residents, sustainable development, collaborative design, urban renewal, urban design, homes for change, Birley Fields, consultation, creative consultation

 

EdLab Challenge: Support a Young Voices Workshop

Young Voices performances are children’s choir concerts held in MEN Arena for up to 8,000 kids. The organisation sends out the music, CDs and DVDs of dance moves. Over the years the children in the choir have performed with artists such as Alexandra Burke, Joss Stone, and Gary Barlow as well as raising over 1 million pounds for Children’s charities such as CLIC Sargent.

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Suzie Goodfellow home educator group convener sets us a challenge:

My plan is to have fortnightly rehearsals for Home Educated children to try to support the process of learning the songs and dance moves at home. I would like support from students in running these sessions. This may involve helping with welcoming and giving out materials to planning warm up activities or taking a lead on rehearsing a particular song.

Home education has grown in popularity in the UK and has prompted a the government to issue guidelines for local authorities and other response suggesting greater regulation. To help provide a wide range of activities for their children many Home Educators work together in loose networks.

Home educators have diverse reasons for their choice but the following educators are of interest:

More Information:
To get involved in this project, or to work on a challenge which supports the development of this project, contact m.chesterman @mmu.ac.uk or edlab @mmu.ac.uk

Key Partner: Home Educators
Key Words: Home Education, Music, Community building,Community Arts, team spirit, group co-ordination, choirs, coral performance, civic arts

EdLab Spark: Create a non-linear support resource for Sonic Pi coding music software

Sonic Pi is computer software which creates music with simple lines of code. Designed by a ‘live coding’ enthusiast called Sam Aaron with the support of the Rasberry Pi Foundation, this simple but revolutionary approach has created a new way for young and adults alike to learn coding concepts in an extremely engaging (sometimes compulsive way).

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In our Funologist experiments with Sonic Pi so far, we have found the most interesting results happen when participants do not have handouts telling them what to do. Providing them with a ‘linear’ hand out often means that those taking part follow the direction given to them rather than being led by their interest.

Conversely, a starting point and some quick references are handy.  As we ask more students to support Sonic Pi workshops, we need a non-linear resource to help the process.

We are very open to different suggestions but as a starting point we are thinking that a large poster with different areas and possibilities could be a good choice. This poster should be visually appealing, encourage experimental play and also be easy to print and to edit.

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Funologist Project: Use the Tinkering tools Scratch and Makey Makey

Use the Tinkering tools Scratch and Makey Makey to create engaging after school workshops

Scratch is a tried and tested tool for exploratory play and learning of coding ideas via tinkering. It’s genesis in MIT labs has ensured it is well supported with wide adoption and an interesting research base. Impressively, the community of users creating and sharing their creations or ‘scratches’ is significant in size and diversity. There are many remixes of all recognisable computer game types including adventure and narrative forms.

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Makey Makey is a keyboard controller interface, which has had great success as a demonstration tool. It is often used in combination with Scratch to showcase the immediacy of new forms of creative software and interactive hardware controllers to create engaging activities.
We will be working with Code Club who are currently redeveloping their Scratch resource to increase the input and creativity of young people.

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EdLab Spark: Use Drama to Explore Personal and Political Issues

We often explore many of the issues that face us today through research and spoken debate. In a school setting this may involve presentations from teachers, supplementary reading, questions and a short discussion.

Drama games and techniques offer radically different ways to explore contemporary political and personal aspects of our lives.

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One challenge of the use of Drama games and the introduction of role play is the negative reaction of participants. Some may feel they are leaving their comfort zone. There are many techniques which take account of these feelings and introduce ways to help everyone be able to communicate in an inclusive way. You can explore warm up games, still image theatre and use of narrator / joker to bring everyone into the story.

For us at EdLab, one particular area of interest is the effect of Digital Technology and new laws on our lives. Should we be able to communicate privately with each other digitally? What is the effect of bulk monitoring of all our communications? Where is the right trade off between safety from domestic attacks and the right to privacy?  

You can explore any issue that you think brings together the personal and political and is of interest to your target audience.

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EdLab Challenge: Make or Break – Exploring the Insides of Broken Gadgets for Repair or Reuse

Have you ever wondered why your laptop, phone and gadgets become out of date so quickly? Has it ever frustrated you that mobile devices seem so tricky to repair? How can it be right that only 12% of phones are traded in or reused when users upgrade? What is the effect on our environment?

Cranking a sustainable laptop

Cranking a sustainable laptop

The keywords here are “Planned Obsolescence”, where companies build in the fragility and short software and service life-cycle of our products. This guardian article on planned obsolescence  talks with Rachel Botsman and explores how the tech giants can get away with it.

Make or Break device repair events

Dr Chris Porter and EdLab are running a series of events that explore this topic on this project. He is looking for student volunteers to help run these sessions. Specifically we are looking for volunteers:

  • host events by welcoming attendees
  • create supporting publicity
  • make educational resources on this subject

More information

This issue brings many issues together. Planned obsolescence has been seen as a side effect of a market where consumers have little power and are persuaded to place a high value on new products. When material is so hard to recycle, there is little incentive to be sustainable. How can this be increased?

Beyond the response of individual consumers there are more industry led initiatives which offer hope. These include Frugal Innovation and Circular Economy. Miles Park brings these elements of consumer response and design together here.

The subject matter of electronic waste forms a part of the GCSE Computing and Geography curriculum and there are resources which may be adapted to create your own resources for this age range.

EdLab Spark: One Manchester – Education in Housing Challenges

One Manchester is a housing association that covers parts of South and East Manchester. As well as providing social housing to their customers they also help them with other services including opportunities for learning life skills. Currently these include a job search club, training around service support jobs.

They are interested in learning opportunities that will attract customers who are not pulled in by what they currently offer.

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EdLab Spark: Organise a Film screening at the Brooks Building

The challenge to work with staff promote  one off or regular film screenings in the Brook Building. Your key role will be to decide the right films, work out the practicalities and then carry out a plan to promote these free film events to your target audience be it student, staff or local people.

Watching films is a great way to bring different members of the community together and to share ideas and spark positive action.

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Showing films brings people together. In Heaton the Savoy Picture House has been transformed from a run down flea pit to a thriving community hub. A recent screening of the film Suffragette saw the place packed out.

A film can be used as the start of a conversation. Community and Art film houses like the  Home and other local Picture Houses bring in the directors and associated groups and individuals to share details of the issues and build connections to social movements.

Movies can inspire you to change the world. Seeing the positive transformations that passionate individuals can create a willingness to work together on a local level.

More Information:
If you would like to support and develop this project please contact m.chesterman@mmu.ac.uk or edlab@mmu.ac.uk

Partner Name: Various – Faculty of Education, Brooks Facilities Team, Student Union
Keywords: film screening, community development, arts, civic action, popular education, local forums

 

EdLab Spark: Create an Online Timeline of a Local Community Group

Many local community groups are performing vital work but lack the sort of profile and recognition that they deserve. One particular area of interest to address this is the use of maps and timelines to represent successful projects and key moments in their history.

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The challenge is to identify and work together with a local group to create an online story of the organisation or one of their main projects. It should be easy to navigate, visually attractive and give a story focused overview of the organisation’s progress and the activities they run. You will also work with them and the EdLab team to gather and input some of the data into an interactive timeline. 

EdLab Spark: Support the Educational Work of Street-Child in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone there is a dangerously worrying fact facing vulnerable young girls looking for a fair start in life: they’re simply not being given the opportunity to stay in school.

UNICEF research shows that even a single year of secondary education has the potential to increase a girl’s future earnings by up to 25%. Investment in girls’ education also has a multiplier effect: educated girls benefit from better family planning and have healthier children who are more likely to remain in education themselves. But Sierra Leonean girls are increasingly likely to drop out of school at this vital stage.1461757135471

Street-Child are a charity who work to address these issues.See: http://www.street-child.co.uk/

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EdLab Challenge: Raise Awareness of Educational Inequality with Street-Child

In Sierra Leone there is a dangerously worrying fact facing vulnerable young girls looking for a fair start in life: they’re simply not being given the opportunity to stay in school.

UNICEF research shows that even a single year of secondary education has the potential to increase a girl’s future earnings by up to 25%. Investment in girls’ education also has a multiplier effect: educated girls benefit from better family planning and have healthier children who are more likely to remain in education themselves. But Sierra Leonean girls are increasingly likely to drop out of school at this vital stage.

Street-Child are a charity who work to address these issues. Juliet from Street-Child said that they are keen to work with MMU students to support their work. The challenge is to raise funds and awareness of the educational issues faced Sierra Leone. Contact EdLab to get involved!

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EdLab Spark: Create a 1-minute creative learning video for ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’

Z-arts are a creative space for young people in Hulme promoting and delivering creative learning in all its forms. Between 17th September and 17th December 2016, Z-arts are hosting ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’; an interactive experience for children based upon the stories and poetry of well-known author Michael Rosen.

Z-arts would like MMU students to develop a simple pre or post visit creative learning activity inspired by the themes in ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad things’, and then create a short 1-minute instruction video for children and families to follow at home. Students taking part in this challenge will have the opportunity to explore the interactive experience in a special preview event with Michael Rosen himself!

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 For more information about ‘Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Bad Things’ visit the Z-arts web pages: http://www.z-arts.org/events/bear-hunt-chocolate-cake-bad-things/

 

EdLab Spark: Augmented Reality

Aurasma is a free ap which enables users to create simple augmented reality resources. Augmented reality is a way to make images come to life through the use of tablets and phones which are triggered by images to play videos, or 4D images. This project asks EdLab students to work with interested partners to create new applications for this simple to use technology. At present we have schools and libraries interested in using it for projects such as interactive book reviews. See here: https://www.aurasma.com/

“Food science student Roxanna is interested in the applications for communicating healthy eating information.”

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