‘lab live – recode’ – Imagination Lab’s first family festival

We opened the doors of our new Imagination Lab on a snowy February Saturday to almost 600 family visitors, and over 25 supporting partners for the first of our large scale ‘lab live’ family festival events.

Our initial theme ‘recode’ saw children of all ages look at the world in new ways by transforming, hacking and changing all manner of things. They were inspired by a huge array of activities designed to fire up their imaginations and help them discover, experiment, tinker and create.

Throughout the day there were a number of interactive dance workshops and movement games with the Royal Academy of Dance and Maths Dance, where children could get involved in coding movement. Children also got creative with the amazing Doodleman’s interactive artwork, wrote poetry with Shattered Glass to Chandelier and made robot pens on a giant drawing pad with OKIDO.

In recognition of the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science there was a special ‘Girls in Tech’ corner hosted by YoSteam, which proved hugely popular for children and adults alike!

For the more technically minded there was computer building with Kano, programming robots with OhBot Robot and code moving robots with Ozobots. Technology will Save Us had their wearable Mover Kits in action and Fuze offered an introduction to real text-based coding and making robots move with sensors.

Body armour gave young designers new superpowers with Limewharf and broken toys found a new purpose with the Restart Project. Code synchronised dancing aliens was a popular activity that challenged children to design a kaleidoscope of colourful patterns with Code Club. They could also create and decipher Morse code messages and sounds with the School of Noise.

All children were invited to vote for their favourite art concept for the new interactive installation the Institute of Imagination has commissioned in partnership with the ICF International Charitable Foundation. A huge thank you to our three shortlisted creators (Shawn Brown, the arts group from London Brain Project and Jim Bond) for joining us on the day with their exciting models.

All of which is to say, there was a lot on offer!

lab live: recode’ was an amazing launch event for our new Imagination Lab programme. Many families spent the entire day creating all sorts of wonderful things together. Thanks to everyone for making it such a huge success!

Our next more intimate family focused events are now booking – ‘lab life: recode’ for 4 and 5 March.

After that – we move on to the theme of ‘reality’. Watch this space for more information.

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