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We’re getting very excited about welcoming hundreds of local young people to the NWG Innovation Festival.  They are coming from schools and colleges across the North East.  We’ll have 8 year olds to young people in their early 20s.

The workshops have all been designed and been trialled, the facilitators are practising and collecting together all their kit ready to move into Newcastle Racecourse for an energy filled week of fun and learning. We do so hope we can influence and inspire at least some of our young visitors so that they’ll become the next workforce generation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Maths (STEAM) careers and design thinking.  The North East region needs these skills to help ensure its future success.

We’re very grateful to our sponsors Reece Innovation and Esh Group, their support has ensured that the activities can be offered to schools free of charge.

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We still have a few places left, so do get in touch. Students will need to be accompanied by responsible adults at all times.

We’re running events for young people from Monday 8th to Friday 12th July 2019.  Not every event will run every day.

For young peoples’ activities most of the sessions have the following timings:

Mornings – 9.15am arrival for 9.30am start and depart by c12.00pm / 11.00am arrival for 11.15 start and depart by c13.45pm

Afternoons – 13.30pm arrival for 13.45pm start and depart by 15.20 with an option to stay longer

Information so you can complete your Risk Assessments can be accessed below with further details on the activity you are attending.

Bookings will all be confirmed.


Click on the button underneath each activity to download a copy of the risk assessment for that activity or the overall risk assessment for the NWG Innovation Festival STEAM Activities.


“Strengthening a soft skill is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style.”

- LinkedIn



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Who : Year 3 to Degree Level

When : Tuesday to Friday

What : Brought to you by Esh Group, these sessions will be lively and pacey. We hope all the young people coming along are ready to make some noise and have some fun, whilst learning about really valuable life skills:

  • Basic Emotional Intelligence;

  • Decision Making;

  • Loving Learning;

  • Curiosity;

  • Relationship skills, and

  • Resilience. 

We’re really pleased to be working with Laughology whose approach to learning, development and thinking uses humour and happiness as a foundation and has proved very impactful with children and adults.

Everyone will be given some simple prompts to take away and keep practicing to keep building their skills.  They really are skills for success.

60 Places.

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“We had a fantastic time and it really brought the careers that STEM can lead to life for the children.”

- Alison McDonough, Headteacher at West Rainton Primary School

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Sculpting from single use plastic and a Storytelling framework to Pitch an idea

Who : Key Stage 2 & 3

When : Tuesday to Thursday

What : A study reported by the Guardian in March 2018 found that 90% of bottled water contains micro plastics, in some cases 325 pieces. Artist, Diane Watson, will confront these statistics by creating an installation and discussing the issues with students. We’ll ask students to bring plastic they’ve collected with them.

And join Seven Stories expert storytellers to learn new ways to create and present an idea. Through exploration of storytelling techniques young people will develop key communication skills while picking up hints and tips on how to create a compelling argument.

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Geordie Bridges (Centre for Life)


Who : Key Stage 2 & 3

When : Monday to Friday (See below for current availability)

What : How much fun will it be to try out all sorts of materials, see how well they work by trying to break them and then use what you’ve learned to try again?!

We certainly have some impressive bridges here in the North East so it is exciting to be using them as the backdrop to learning about the important role of civil engineers. A worthwhile, interesting and impactful career choice for girls as well as boys.

The workshops will require use of a range of technical and personal skills, all of which people use every day in their jobs.  We hope young people will leave recognising they’ve already got the foundations of skills they will use in their career – it’s just a case of practicing and developing them, which they will throughout their working lives. 30 Places.

Reece Innovation have made it possible to bring you this workshop

Mission to Mars (Centre for Life)


Who : Upper Key Stage 2/Lower Key Stage 3

When : Monday to Friday

What : Are you ready to find out more about the European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission and to become a computer scientist and engineer for a while?

You’ll be able to programme LEGO Mindstorm Mars rovers and even get them to dance for you!

The workshops will require use of a range of technical and personal skills all, of which people use every day in their jobs.  You will leave recognising you’ve already got the foundations of skills you will use in your career – it’s just a case of practicing and developing them, which you will throughout your working lives. 30 Places.

Reece Innovation have made it possible to bring you this workshop.

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“I liked that we got to show off our creative skills working in small groups. It was also fun and hands-on”

- Richard, Year 8 Student

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Mendathon / Fixit Café


Who : Year 9 & Year 10

When : Tuesday to Thursday

What : We’re expecting great things from the 20 young people who’ll be learning to fix and re-purpose all sorts of things from clothes, shoes & jewellery to furniture and electrical and electronic goods.  All stuff that would  otherwise end up in landfill.

Fix it Café are bringing their tools and expertise and will be sharing these for three days in an engaging way.

It would make our day if some of these young people could see a business or career opportunity using the skills that they’ve learned.  Gateshead College will be introducing them to the concepts of enterprise and starting a business.

St Oswald’s Hospice, also keen fixers and up-cyclers of goods donated to them, will be bringing us items to fix, which we hope they’ll then be able to sell in their shops to raise much needed funds.  Who knows some of the young people might go on to volunteer and continue to practice their skills with St Oswald’s.

20 Places.

Sculpting from single use plastic and a Storytelling framework to Pitch an idea


Who : Year 9 & Year 10

When : Tuesday and Wednesday

What : Have you ever wished you were better at putting your ideas across or at creating a winning argument? Seven Stories, the National Centre for Childrens’ Books, have adapted a workshop they normally run with adults so that young people at the Festival can learn these skills for themselves.  Skills for life.

They’ll also spend time with Artist and environmental activist, Diane Watson, to discuss and explore the issues of single use plastics. If you’ve been watching the BBC’s series War on Plastic recently and getting involved in the climate change debates sparked by Greta Thurnberg, you’ll now how important and topical this is.

Bring along a plastic bottle, lots of colourful bits of plastic and contribute to sculpting an amazing new installation.

30 Places.

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"Human skills like originality, initiative and critical thinking are likely to increase in value as technology and automation advances"

- World Economic Forum



Young People’s Parallel Sprint


Who : 6th Form to Degree Level

When : Monday to Friday

What : If you are looking for something different to make your CV stand out from the crowd, and to give you interesting things to talk about in interviews, this could be just the thing.

You’ll also make a difference and help come up with solutions to some real life issues, working in a diverse team.

A Design sprint is a process for answering critical business, societal or environmental questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. 

You’ll work with other young people, experienced mentors, have the opportunity to talk to subject experts working in other design sprints on site, discuss things with customers, listen to short talks by different experts and thinking challengers and make use of our innovation garage to prototype your ideas.

There will be three questions to focus on.  We are looking for a range of interests and skills.  You’ll be able to make a positive contribution whether you are are studying engineering, science, technology, maths or arts related subjects. 

We’re confident you’ll find it a positive learning experience and enjoyable too. 60 Places.

You’ll need to be able to commit to 5 full days.


"Closing the gender gap by bringing more women into technology and manufacturing is … an economic necessity"

- Mark Elborne, CEO & President - GE UK & Ireland



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Mothers & Daughters Session - My Skills My Life


Who : Year 9 & Older

When : Wednesday 5 pm

What : Brought to you by Esh Group 

Only 23% of people working in core Science Technology Engineering & Maths (STEM) occupations in the UK are women.   Come and have a chat over a cup of tea.  Get a taste of the array of careers using STEM skills in the North East.  We’ve chosen to highlight four different areas – digital; advanced manufacturing, energy and utilities / construction, all of which are recognised as important to the success of the North East economy.

You and your daughter will be able to find out about all those things you want to know, or maybe didn’t know you wanted to know: what is it really like to work in different jobs; how people decided what they wanted to do; what they had to do to get their jobs; what their salary prospects are and anything else that interests you.  Mums play are very influential in daughters career choices, which is why we’ve included you.  Dads and sons are also welcome.  Come and have your eyes opened to some different possibilities.
40 Places.


Train the Trainer : My Skills My Life


Who : Adults

When : Tuesday 5 pm

What : The WISE Organisation are trying to reach 200,000 girls in the next 5 years to help them discover their potential and open doors to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

Are you keen to encourage others to follow your footsteps and choose to study and work in a STEM arena? We’ll give you, and show you how to use, tools which you can take into schools and run sessions with groups of girls and make a difference to their lives.

Find out how you can inspire the next generation of STEAM workers


Who : Adults

When : Drop in from 9:30am Thursday

What : The WISE Organisation and RTC North : STEM Ambassador Hub will be on site with some of their volunteers. Come and share your experiences or explore whether it is something you could get involved with.

"The innovation economy is a fast-growing industry with a range of opportunities"

- Fiona McDonnell, Director Consumer Retail - Amazon



To book a place or to find out more please contact Gilly via the below form or phone her on 07411 050538 by Friday 26th April 2019.

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