UPDATE: Both Santander and CrowdfundDorset have indicated that they could help us with funding once we get to £2,500. New pledge options have been added - please help us get there.
Thanks to the help of our backers we recently crowdfunded a mobile planetarium for our science & coding club to take to rural schools. The impact of this has been incredible! We've also been able to have stands at local festivals where children (and adults) can come in and watch a space-themed show. Now we need your help to take our club to the next level...
The Dorset Science & Coding Centre
We plan on opening a 1,000sqft (minimum) centre to house our mobile planetarium, green screen, educational equipment, etc and allow us to hold more frequent events/clubs.
The Centre (predominantly run by volunteers) will open throughout children's holidays and will also open during term-time in the evenings and at weekends. Along with dedicated areas for dinosaurs, space, art and coding, we will have an open area for group activities.
Activities at the centre include:
- Coding clubs
- Science Days and clubs
- Space zone with models, artifacts, etc
- Dinosaur zone with models, artifacts, archaeology, etc
- Technology zone with electronic kits, robot making, etc
- Green screen area for fun portraits, videos for our upcoming app (donated) and shows produced by the children
- Art club (using space, dinosaurs, etc to encourage a love of art)
- Our planetarium shows
- Safe surfing lessons for adults
- Tablet lessons for the elderly
- Evening Astronomy club
- Children's parties
- Space Cadets Club - similar to Army Cadets, but for those wishing to be Astronauts/Aerospace Engineers, etc
- Store to buy educational toys
- Second-hand microscopes, telescopes, etc making them more affordable
Eventually we hope to have a fixed planetarium in place, but initially we will use our mobile planetarium.
Why we're doing this...
The support for STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) is increasing in the UK and the government recognises the importance on these subjects. However, particularly with Coding, teachers are having to learn at the same time as the children, so how can we expect them to inspire the children? Put someone who uses code in their day job in front of them and things become more engaging, and more valuable. Rural areas like ours tend to have a lot of smaller primary schools, often run by the village church. It's unfair on these schools to expect them to have specialists in the STEM fields and the latest equipment, but the children in rural schools still need that experience and role models.
We've already seen the impact of taking our mobile planetarium & artifacts into school and we know the value of code clubs on these rural children. Help us take this one-step further.
The Crowdfunder Campaign
We hope to receive good support from our local councils on this project, but we need to look at all sources. £10K is the absolute minimum we need to open the centre, but we have various stretch goals, which we'll update you on throughout this campaign.
Update 2nd December: We've now found an ideal location in the centre of town. It's within budget and next to a community cafe for the parents to hang-out! We have 2 options in the same building, but hope that we can have the ground floor to allow for easy access.
About the Atom Club
Atom Club is in the process of becoming a registered charity with the purpose of supporting Science & Coding education for children from all backgrounds and areas.
We already have a planetarium, a successful online store, artifacts including meteorites and models, subscription boxes and are soon to launch a free app. The app was kindly donated by our sister company: The Honest Agency. It brings together hundreds (eventually thousands) of science experiments and coding lessons for children to do at home.