On Saturday 26 June, we hosted Bristol Robofest at our Barton Hill Micro-campus at Wellspring Settlement. In collaboration with researchers from Bristol Robotics Lab and DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol the Digimakers team delivered a series of exciting, free Robotics workshops.
24 enthusiastic 10-14 year olds from the local area took the opportunity to explore and play with MicroBit BitBots and Thymio Robots. They learnt about cutting edge research in the field of Swarm Robotics, while honing their skills in programming and problem solving.
Lucy aged 10 said “it was the most fun I’ve had in ages and I learnt about how little robots can swarm and work together”.
Bristol Robofest is an annual city-wide initiative, delivered by teams from STEM Ambassadors, DETI Inspire at UWE Bristol, Bristol Robotics Lab, and the University of Bristol’s Digimakers.
Digimakers is part of the University of Bristol’s Engineering engagement programme, delivering a range of free technology inspired activities for young people aged between 6 and 18, in the community, online and in schools.
By Department of Theatre second-year students Mathilde Hirth, Hannah Jones, Clara Friedrichs and Imogen Withers
Working with Travelling Light Theatre Company and our lecturer Jess McCormack in the Department of Theatre, we’ve created performances for a Family Theatre Day 11-4pm on Saturday 4 May at Barton Hill Settlement. We’ve organised how the event will run and promoted it among families in the local communities. During the day, families in Lawrence Hill are invited to drop in, watch performances and enjoy other activities held by the Travelling Light Theatre Company Youth Board.
Members of the Youth Board collaborated with University of Bristol students to come up with activities to go alongside the performances. Through several workshops, we explored the role of facilitation and different ways of making theatre for young audiences. The aim of the theatre pieces and the day itself is to give the children a place to be imaginative and inventive – where they are as much part of the performance as the performers. We will take the audience on a journey under the sea, into a world of music, to a little post office at Barton Hill and to save our planet from plastic.
Being involved in the Family Theatre Day and the school performances has been a great experience. Sometimes at university you can lose sight of what you’re doing the degree for – and you can get stuck in the academic bubble of lectures and deadlines. Interacting with communities that we don’t normally get to meet, and may get to work with after graduating, gives a new perspective and context to everything we learn in our courses. Creating theatre for children is refreshing, fun and so important. It’s great to know our performances could have an influence on the way they see the world and themselves in the future.
We have loved this project in so many different ways. From exploring information about Barton Hill Settlement to making a real piece for the festival, it has been great fun. We love the fact that we’re getting to interact with a community in Bristol. A lot of students don’t get that chance and it’s given us the opportunity to consider what sort of theatre we want to share – and important messages we want to explore through theatre.
We feel so lucky to be a part of such a fun and diverse festival. We often make theatre and show it to our peers. But to go outside of the university, share it with the wider communities beyond our theatre bubble and take time to bring a little joy and fun to some children’s everyday life has been amazing and inspiring.
Supported by proposed Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, the Family Theatre Day is a free day of fun for families with children 4+. From 11-4pm on Saturday 4 May, the team will be putting on four exciting performances, painting faces and holding a cake and crafts sale. Donations will go to Travelling Light Youth Theatre, based in Barton Hill Settlement.