The Imagineerium is a unique arts and engineering education project which ‘coaches the habit of invention’ in children and young people. Weaving engineering, science and the practice of invention through an art-making process, it has been recognised as a unique and effective form of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Maths) education.
Children were imaginatively framed as ‘Young Imagineers’, and commissioned to imagine and design working models of moving mechanical machines. They worked in teams, supported by artists, engineers and teachers. Ten designs have been selected and have been developed into fully working prototypes. These will be built, in consultation with the children, and erected in a new heritage park at Charterhouse in Coventry as part of the legacy to Coventry City of Culture 2021.
With the support of Dr Jo Trowsdale, University of Warwick, we were able to better understand how this practice achieves its impact. Our research indicates that the experience of the project contributes towards developing young people as confident, creative and engaged learners (Trowsdale, McKenna and Francis 2019; 2021).
School interest in the model (Davies and Trowsdale 2017;2021) has fostered teacher interest in how to design such models of practice.
A further Paul Hamlyn Grant for our Teach-Make project (2020-2022) is allowing us to support teachers in develop ‘hybrid’ practice-based models based on our research into The Imagineerium.
Images: School children take part in the Imagineerium initiative