News releases 2017
Atkins launches London’s first Love Plays programme - 03 February 2017
Love Plays, a programme that captures children’s natural enthusiasm for play and playgrounds to engage them in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), launches today in London. Design, engineering and programme management consultancy Atkins has partnered with Dream Networks to bring Love Plays to London schools with the aim to encourage STEM in a fun way – by having London schoolchildren design and build a playground for children living in disadvantaged communities in Africa or India.
“Programmes like Love Plays can make a real impact on the career a child chooses. We have a real shortage of engineers in this country and we need to do everything we can – including supporting programmes like these – to encourage the next generation of Londoners to follow the engineering career route,” said Mike McNicholas, Atkins director for London.
On London’s first Love Plays programme, around 10 volunteers from Atkins will be working with children from Macaulay Primary School and Lambeth Academy in Clapham to design a playground for the Molo Street Children Project in Kenya. The Atkins volunteers, who have backgrounds in everything from urban design to mechanical and civil engineering, will run workshops for students aged nine to 13, helping them to use fun, interactive design tools – from clay models to Autodesk – to create their own playground designs and assembly methods. To make sure their designs actually work for the Kenyan community, the students will speak directly with young people and teachers at the Molo Street Children Project, building communication and project management skills, as well as cultural awareness.
“The idea behind Love Plays is to get students excited about engineering and sustainability through something all kids love to do – play,” said Marie Adeyemi, Love Plays’ founder. “At Love Plays we teach them the fundamentals of engineering through simple and fun playground designs, and about other cultures through actually building their designs in developing countries like Kenya.”
Love Plays is a STEMNet and ICE endorsed programme that has three aims: to teach young people the basic principles of sustainability and engineering; to make a positive impact on deprived communities in developing countries; and to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. It is part of Dream Networks, a not for profit organisation founded by Marie Adeyemi, a senior chartered mechanical engineer.
“The playgrounds that the children have designed so far with Love Plays are unique and perfectly suited to the end users as they’re designed by the end users themselves – children”, said Marie. “I can’t wait to see what the children come up with on the London programme and the impact it will make to the children at Mole Street Children Project.”
Image caption: The Love Plays London programme will build a new playground for children at the Molo Street Children Project in Kenya while engaging local young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
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Love Plays (http://dreamnetworks.co.uk/love-plays/) has been launched in response to a local and international need for fun and practical application of STEM in school education, the importance of play for childhood development and creativity among children and lastly the strong interest the younger generation have in global sustainability issues when they are informed of them. As a result of the programme, play areas which are designed by the school children, are built in disadvantaged areas where children require a safe area to play.