Wowzers… what a half term week eh? The folk in Wigan certainly kept us busy at Wigan S.T.E.A.M’s Techathon that used the might power of ‘The Tech’ to tackle issues that were relevant to the people at the event and the communities that they are a part of.
The idea of the Techathon was born out of the concepts that underpinned the ‘Did Curiosity REALLY kill the cat?’ event that we ran last year as part of Wigan Council’s Go Fest 2015 programme and sought to use creativity, collaboration and inter-generational learning to use tech for social good. This time we just made it bigger with a bit of S.T.E.A.M power!
So what happened then? Well, on a slightly ‘grim up North’ day in Wigan 40+ children, young folk and older peeps descended on Wigan UTC to take part in a 5-hour challenge to design a prototype app that addressed a social issue and to use brilliant techie gadgets such as 3D printers and laser cutters to brand the apps and create a bit of merch as well! As part of the day, we mixed-up the participants into 5 teams who each selected a problem they wanted to tackling – ranging from dog poop issues to homelessness and everything else in between. With the problems selected, the teams worked at unpicking the underlying issues that contributed to the problem and with the power of their collective creative genius began to think how an app could be part of the solution.
With ideas in mind, the teams began to plan out their apps with good old pens and paper and designed logos to accompany them as well. Then using the Marvel app they built a prototype and used their logo to create mugs, photo-frames and much more. The Techathon culminated with each group presenting back their work and ideas to the rest of the teams, gathering some peer review feedback and explaining more about the development process behind their creations.
So, from apps that helped people to find friends to ones that involved playing platform games to learn about road safety… the folk of Wigan certainly got their creative caps on and met the challenge set by the Techathon! Check out this video from the Wigan S.T.E.A.M that takes you behind-the-scenes at the event…