Spark Festival: Engaging the community on the site of UCL East
9 September 2015
UCL hosted an engineering-focused festival to showcase UCL East to communities around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) over the August bank holiday weekend.
Held on the QEOP site where UCL East will be built, Spark
Festival ran a packed programme of events that aimed to demonstrate the work of
UCL's different engineering departments to the four growth boroughs around the
park (Waltham Forest, Hackney Wick, Tower Hamlets and Newham).
Activities were aimed at audiences of all ages, with popular highlights including Dat Brass, a New Orleans hip hop brass band formed of UCL students, the Pigeon Sim flight simulator from the UCL Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, a Pit Stop Challenge from Mechanical Engineering's Formula Student Team and the UCL Vox Box - a physical questionnaire system that invites people at events to share their views and opinions using a range of physical input controls, such as sliders, dials, buttons, and spinners.
The Engineering Exchange heard from members of community groups on issues they face locally, while kids paddled in the 'weird liquids' pool containing corn starch and water.
The event was coordinated and delivered by staff in UCL Public & Cultural Engagement (UCL PACE). UCL PACE also had a presence at the festival through the UCL Museums' Cabinet of Curiosities, which saw researchers deliver 20 minute talks based on engineering objects to the festival audience.
Spark Festival was funded by the EPSRC.
Philippa Richardson, Festival Coordinator, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement