We are Chris Huffee and Snoof Kattekop. Prior to the pandemic, we were part of a small community makerspace that sought to introduce people to making, and give them an opportunity to learn about digital making, coding and art in a fun, safe and helpful environment. COVID-19 put a stop to that, but we are ready to shake it off and start over.
We believe that Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths should be available to everyone. We’ve seen the power of STEAM in building community and mental health, we’ve seen people start small businesses, and we are members of DoES Liverpool which is an amazing community makerspace to which we introduced members who were happy to take off the training wheels.
For adults, STEAM can open up pathways to mental health, self-confidence, and (self-)employment. It can also build community, which we believe to be invaluable at all times but especially at times like this when poverty is at alarmingly high levels.
For children, learning about STEAM teaches them skills which will be invaluable throughout their lives as technology continues to evolve at an exponential pace. It’s not necessarily about the specific software, code or equipment we teach them to use – the most important lesson is in self-confidence around tech and the knowledge that this is an area in which they can excel, even if it seems impossibly complicated at first. We also provided a space for children whose interests fell a little outside the norm, to make friends and socialise with others who shared those interests.
And, not insignificantly – we loved it. We’ve missed everyone, and we’ve missed the opportunity to meet new kids and adults and help them learn new skills. Every single person who ever attended, brought something new for us to appreciate.
STEAM is not just about its component parts – for us, it’s about the people who work together to build something new.