What’s SMASHfestUK about? We are creating a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths/Medicine AND the arts festival. It has a mission to be:
– Led by entertainment
– Based in the community – designed for IMPACT!
– Driven by public participation – in design, delivery & legacy
– A thrilling, immersive trans-media narrative; taking place in the physical & virtual world
SMASHfestUK started as an idea 2 ½ years ago. It was Dr. Lindsay Keith’s 40th birthday. She loves Science, Comedy and Music. So, ‘Linzfest’ was born. A mini-festival party, based in a local SE London pub – The Telegraph – filled with science, comedy and music. The Science Showoff crew, Simon Donald, Howie Watkins, The Rock n Roll Gypsies, Armand Van Banga and loads more, created a fizzing mish-mash of the three.
After we all recovered, we wondered why ‘science festivals’ couldn’t be like this? Accessible, inspiring and with a lead on entertainment. We knew of lots of science festivals, that did great stuff, but there was a big gap in provision and a huge problem with equality and diversity in progression through STEM education and through careers. The ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission’’s summary:
“What are the equality-related issues for STEM?
– Lower participation by females in STEM study and consequently STEM occupations, with the exception of medicine.
– There is distinct gender segregation among young people following vocational routes, with young women under-represented in the more highly paid sectors.
– Some young people with a strong religious faith may feel that they are unable to apply for certain occupations in STEM based industries.
– Under-representation of some ethnic minority groups in STEM careers”
STEMNET publication – STEM choices 4, Equality & Diversity.
These issues linked up with the inspiration of Linzfest, and from this our ‘mission’ materialized!