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It’s Time For Peterborough STEM Festival 2018

October is always a big month for me. It was the month that I originally started working for myself full-time, eight years ago. And by the end of the month, I’d realised that there didn’t seem to be a local network for people working in digital, particularly those working alone at home. So I happened to contact web developer Jonathan Frascella, and that led to the first Digital People in Peteborough meetup.

Almost a decade later, and DPiP has continued to grow. The monthly meetup has expanded to 700+members and a non-profit company to support it. A few years ago, the very talented Tia from WhoAteMyCrayons got involved in Digital People in Peterborough, helping it to gain a lot of momentum. And then came up with the seemingly insane idea to create a free STEM Festival for children in the local area. Around a year later, Peterborough STEM Festival arrived in 2016.

After great success in 2016 and 2017, it’s time for Peterborough STEM Festival 2018. And if you’re connected to me on social media or know me offline, you’re hopefully aware of it already. I think I’ve managed to shoehorn it into every conversation I’ve had for a few months now. Because it’s an amazing achievement for everyone involved, and this year more than 3,000 free tickets have already been booked.

Peterborough STEM Festival 2018

If you’re able to make it, I highly suggest coming along. You just need to be accompanied by a child if you’ve over 18, so they can explain all the complicated science, tech, engineering and maths to you. There’s a huge amount happening, from TV presenter Maddie Moate and Horrible Science author Nick Arnold giving interactive talks to F1 simulators, forensic science, engineering experiments, virtual reality, retro gaming and more.

And if you’re interested in volunteering, exhibiting or sponsoring, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s incredibly rewarding to see children inspired and encouraged to get involved, ask questions and learn while having a great time.

It’s an amazing tribute to the current organising team of Jonathan, Andy Reedman (at Mind of Design), and Liz Randell (at LizCreates). And to Tia, who has since emigrated to New Zealand, and is now organising the Tauranga STEM Festival for 2019.

I’m pleased to be volunteering again for the third year, accompanied by my son. And he’s already coming up with ideas for how to market and promote the event for this year, and in 2019. Which makes me incredibly proud of my small contribution to DPiP and the STEM Festival.

And in a strange turn of events, Liz and I met via DPiP and began dating earlier this year. We now live together, and I’ve seen first hand how much time, effort and commitment it takes to organise an event of this scale and magnitude. Plus how it’s brought my family together with Liz and my son swapping marketing ideas. Which generally end up with him finding new ways to have fun at the event, and more work for her!

I can’t give enough credit to the organisers, sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers that make the STEM Festival and DPiP happen every year, but hopefully this blog post goes some way to saying thank you to everything they do.

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