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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Change Creators: Week Four

The Change Creators met up at Arnolfini on Monday 21st March for a workshop on Practical Project Management, lead by Mena Fombo, KWMC’S Young People’s Programme Manager. Mena introduced different ways to manage time, budget and job roles productively, which the Change Creators could put into practice in delivering their social change campaigns. The evening was also another opportunity for the groups to get together and continue their project planning.

Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason, who are focusing on food waste, are rethinking their current ideas. They questioned some of their existing ideas about using sensors and are changing their approach. There is still more research and discussion to be had but the group have a plan in place and now have a better idea of what needs to happen next.

Andreea and Ella, who are campaigning to diversify the services that are offered to young people experiencing mental health issues, came up with a range of ideas to help raise awareness of the campaign. They also came up with some creative ways of conducting research that they can then use as part of the campaign. They now have a set plan that they can work from and share with the rest of their group.

Mena Fombo commented “Failing to plan is planning to fail. Practical Project Management is key and I think the team now know that too”

With so much discussion and planning taking place, the evening was really successful for both groups and they are both moving forward with their campaign development.

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Change Creators: Week Three

On Monday 14th March the Change Creators met at Paper Arts in Broadmead, for a workshop led by Justin Ricks, Business Development Manager at KWMC: The Factory. He took the group through five key stages of project management and offered advice and expertise. This helped the Change Creators to identify tasks they still need to complete in the planning of their social change campaigns and see how successful management can benefit a project. Both groups are now well equipped with useful information to work collaboratively to successfully run their campaigns about food waste and mental health.

The group also met with Sam Nwankwo and Ali Rohafza from Altitude Tech, the company that designed the Sensly, a portable pollution sensor capable of detecting the pollution levels in the air. The Change Creators pitched their ideas to Ali and Sam, who then discussed with the Change Creators whether their sensing ideas were viable and if they are likely to work within their campaigns [See their ideas here]. They were also able to offer an insight into creating a device that uses sensors, covering topics such as time, money, planning, preparation and research. This information was highly valuable to the Change Creators and they now have a good idea of the time frame they will be working within.

KWMC’S Young People’s Programme Manager Mena Fombo commented: “Last nights masterclass,  which involved testing some ideas of what’s possible to sense with Altitude was really invaluable for the teams. The expertise which Ali and Sam were able to bring to the table has really opened the doors for the directions of both these campaigns. It was great for everyone in the room to hear ‘yes, this is possible’ in response to some of the sensing ideas.”

The Change Creators will continue to move forward with their planning and research over the coming weeks.

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What’s your KWMC story?

In 2016 we’re marking the first 20 years of Knowle West Media Centre.  Over the next few months we’ll be holding a number of special events and exhibitions to celebrate everyone who has been part of the journey, reflect on what we’ve achieved together, and look forward to the next 20 years…

We’d love to hear your thoughts, memories and experiences of working with us.  We’re pulling together a collection of reflections – ’20 Stories for 20 Years’ – and we’d love to include yours.

We’ve noted some short questions below if you’d like to use them, but feel free to write, sing, rap or respond in a different way entirely!

1.  When did you first come to Knowle West Media Centre and what did you do?

2. How do you think KWMC has changed during the time you’ve known us?

3. Has KWMC made a difference to you? (If so, how?)

4. What other difference has KWMC made?

5. What are your favourite KWMC memories?

If you’d like to get involved, please send your responses to Rachel or drop in to KWMC.  The collection will be available on our website and may also appear in print; responses may be edited slightly for length.

If you’d like more details about our plans for 2016 please get in touch. Keep an eye on this page for more details too.

Work with young people and sensing technologies

We’re currently supporting a group of young people to create their own campaigns for social change, using new sensing technologies to tackle issues they’re passionate about.

The Change Creators are aged 18-25 and are keen to hear from technologists, product designers and anyone interested in working with them to develop their two campaigns: diversifying mental health support services, and reducing food waste.

At this stage we are seeking people who are interested in:

• sharing ideas about what we can sense in relation to these issues
• identifying the sensing technologies we could use
• collaborating with the Change Creators to create the sensors

Could you help?

We have a small budget available for resources.  You can view the Change Creators ‘sensor pitch’ videos and see their specific sensing questions on their project page or at www.youtube.com/knowlewestmedia

If you’d like to get involved or you’d like more details please e-mail changecreators@kwmc.org.uk.

Change Creators is part of The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing.

Thumbs up: celebrating girls in tech on International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day we’re asking people to give a big thumbs up to girls and women in technology.

This time last year, the Guardian reported that ‘just 27% of those employed in Britain’s digital industries are women’. Statistics updated by the Women’s Engineering Society last month show that although ‘companies are 15% more likely to perform better if they are gender diverse’, only 9% of the engineering workforce is female and only 15.8% of engineering and technology undergraduates in the UK are female.

We want to support more young women to explore STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) and ensure they are encouraged to pursue their interests, training and opportunities are accessible to them, and that barriers and negative stereotypes are challenged.

On Tuesday 8th March, International Women’s Day 2016, we’re asking people to show their support and give girls and women in technology the thumbs up:

1. Choose a bit of code – such as <> / & or { }
2. Print it on your thumb and pose for the camera (check out the images below for some inspiration)
3. Write your message of support, such as ‘My thumbs up for girls and women in tech’
4. Tag your photo #IWD16 and mention @knowlewestmedia
5. Get sharing!

You can follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram – we’ll share as many as we can!

If you’d like to know more about our projects for girls and young women please get in touch on 0117 903 0444. We’re currently running #GirlsDoCode, a campaign encouraging girls to try coding in our free after-school sessions, and we’re involved in the Bristol Girls Make It campaign.

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Change Creators: Week One

After Inspire week, the Change Creators had the weekend to gather their thoughts and relax after an action-packed five days. They returned to KWMC on Monday 28th February to discuss their ideas further and begin developing their campaigns. In groups of four, they discussed their aims and what they wanted to achieve through their social change campaigns.

The group working on mental health – Ella, Yelena, Andreea and Chelsea – decided that they would focus on diversifying the way young people receive mental health support, as they believe more people would benefit from alternative methods such as art therapy. They want to bring attention to the possibilities for using art therapy or workshops to help people experiencing mental health problems.

Mason, Jay, Charlie and Emma, who are focusing on food waste, found that there were many different layers to the issue. After researching, Mason concluded that there were three important stages: the supplier, the supermarket and the consumer. The group will spend more time exploring these stages in the next few weeks to find a focus for their campaign.

As the groups will be using sensor technologies in their campaign, both groups devised a pitch explaining the sensors they would like to create, the data they would like to collect, and what the information would be used for.Some of their ideas included a wristwatch that sensed emotional activity and a sensor that would record the weight of food waste in a bin.

Over the next few weeks the Change Creators will be gathering feedback about whether their ideas are viable. There is still more planning and research to be done and you can follow the Change Creators’ workshops live on Twitter at @Change_Creators

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Change Creators: Induction Week

On Thursday 18th February, the Change Creators programme kicked off with a two-hour induction evening at Knowle West Media Centre. The session was designed to bring all of the Change Creators together for the first time and to challenge them in a team-based activity.

The team had to plan and execute a photo shoot in just 55 minutes and produce a powerful individual portrait of each person and two dynamic group photos. The team were given a camera, lights and access to Apple iMac computers, but the rest was up to them…The purpose of the task was to give the team an insight into what the next four months will entail, preparing them to take on positions of leadership and work collaboratively as a team.

To find out more visit the Change Creators page.

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2016 Workshop Programme

We’re in the process of planning a programme of practical workshops for our digital making space KWMC The Factory, ranging from basic carpentry to digital design and manufacturing using laser cutters and CNC equipment.

If you’re interested in a manufacturing workshop please contact Justin Ricks to register your interest. We’d be keen to hear if there are specific workshops you’d be interested in accessing from our exciting new making centre.

Take a look at some of the things we’ve made at The Factory since it opened last year…

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KWMC awarded funding from Arts Council England

We’re delighted to announce that Knowle West Media Centre has been awarded £153,000 from the Arts Council England Small Capital grants programme. The funds will used to upgrade and improve our digital equipment and develop the environmental sustainability of our building.

Improving our infrastructure and equipment will enable us to reach and support more people to make positive changes in their lives and communities, play a central role in ‘smart’ city initiatives, and continue to reduce our environmental impact. Sustainable technologies and citizen engagement are key to a more efficient and productive future for us and we’re thrilled to have received support from Arts Council England.

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: ‘Knowle West Media Centre offers a unique opportunity for their local community to engage with the arts and their environment, learn new skills and explore digital technology.  By investing £153,000 through our National Lottery funded Capital programme, we are helping the organisation build a better, more resilient future by upgrading their technology and reducing their environmental impact.’

Recognition at the TechSpark SPARKies Awards

Knowle West Media Centre has been shortlisted at annual tech awards the SPARKies, which ‘celebrate the very best of the technology companies, organisations and individuals fuelling the success of the region.’

Our interactive documentary The Glowing Divide has been shortlisted for the Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment award. The film was produced by a team of eight Junior Digital Producers in 2015 and tackled the issue of social isolation amongst teenagers.  It explored what could be done to provide help and support, engaging three isolated young people and providing skills training for a team of first-time filmmakers in the process. The SPARKies Best Innovation in Digital Entertainment award ‘celebrates the best in the West in the spheres of entertainment such as gaming, VR, 3D and novel film-making techniques’.

Four young people supported by KWMC have also been shortlisted for a SPARKies award.  The FutureSPARK category recognises ‘a member of the tech & digital community who is 21 or under and has gone above and beyond in this sector’.  Matt Coleclough, Sam Cording, Ben Coleclough and Katie Gardner created the ‘Lines’ game during the 2015 Young Rewired State Festival of Code. They made it to the final with their idea and the game is coming soon to the App store.

The award ceremony will take place on 17th February in Bristol. Read the full shortlist here.

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Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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