In the run up to Christmas, MadLab is heading over to Blackburn to get involved with ‘Blackburn is Open’, a scheme that sees disused shops being transformed into pop-up-art centres. Wayne Hemingway, the backing behind the scheme, hopes that this will revive Blackburn’s empty streets and inspire a new community of budding entrepreneurs and creatives in the heart of Lancashire.
To kick off the sessions we sent MadLab’s Technical Coordinator and Maker extraordinaire James Medd to teach kids how to make their own flashing Christmas decorations. The Solder-a-star workshop gives children a chance to practice their electronics skills by soldering a simple LED circuit on to a star shaped circuit board resulting in a flashing Xmas star. There were lots of willing enthusiasts at the session and we even overheard one participant telling his Dad- ‘I don’t want Ice Skates for Christmas anymore Dad.. I want a soldering iron!’. N’awww! It warmed our hearts!
Following this brilliant start and in keeping with the DIY-Xmas theme, we had Katie Steckles from Manchester Girl Geeks run a Maths Christmas Tree Decoration workshop. The lovely Katie will also run the next two sessions, the first of which is a Soft Electronics workshop where participants will be given the opportunity to sew their own bright-eyed critters (12 Dec).
Following that, Katie will have robotics and arts colliding with the Brushbot session (19 Dec), a workshop that teaches you how to make robotic paintbrushes using paper motors and bristles.
Blackburn is Open is running right up until Christmas and will include a Pop-up arts centre where Artisans can sell their work, Town Hall Square events and two mini festivals with a pop-up cinema. Head over to support the scheme and get involved with some MadLab events!