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What teachers want

Three weeks ago we launched a pilot crowdfunding platform just for schools, on a mission to reduce educational inequality and empower teachers to innovate in the classroom (see the launch blog here for more info).

This article celebrates our first 10 pioneering schools and shares some of what we've learned so far.

Key lessons:

1. Get the whole school behind it: The first project to reach its target was The Hyde School's 'Operation robotics', which reached its target within two weeks of launching (and while the teacher who created the project was on holiday!). Their success highlighted the value of getting the whole school behind the project: every member of staff shared it with their contacts; they posted it on their school's website homepage and the students made the pitch video. The 3D printer they fundraised for will also be used by the whole school and fully integrated into next term's lesson theme.

2. There is educational value in the process itself: The teachers who included their students in the pitch creation and marketing aspects of the crowdfunding process have reported widespread engagement and enthusiasm for the project. They also commented on how much both they and their students learned from the process.

3. You'll be surprised how much some people will donate: The old adage "if you don't ask, you don't get" is definitely appropriate here. We've had a few donations of around £500 each, which surprised everyone. Schools have reported how previously they had no mechanism to enable large donations and have enjoyed galvanising their community.

So congratulations to the schools that have already reached their targets and good luck to the schools that aren't quite there yet - our fingers are crossed!

Here's a summary of all 10 projects and their goals: 

Primary school projects 

Beyond these four walls - iPod touches and VR headsets

Newington Green Primary School (Islington, London)

Lego therapy - Lego for children with ASD and social communication difficulties

Sherwell Valley Primary School (Torquay, Devon)

Operation robotics - a 3D printer for the school

Video of NIvvYTvt1Sc

The Hyde School (Hendon, London)

 

VR for STEM and beyond - iPod touches and VR headsets

Southwold Primary School (Hackney, London)

Google VR project - Wiley Fox Spark X and VR headsets

Ryefield Primary School (Hillingdon, Middlesex)

  • 25 per cent of students on free school meals
  • Target: £1,555.40 (school will also double what they raise)
  • Project page: rocket.fund/p/ryefield
     

Secondary school projects

Tablets for teachers and A Level classes 

Bristol Cathedral Choir School (Bristol)

Dream Weavers - computerised sewing machine and fabric printer

Deptford Green School (Lewisham, London)

“Push” it to the limits - Push 2 music creation devices

Video of IIsBpuS1vHs

Morpeth School (Bethnal Green, London)

Douay robotics - Lego Mindstorm robot kits

Video of aoMAIJ2lUFE

The Douay Martyrs Catholic School (Hillingdon, Middlesex)

Watercolour pencils for Erith

Erith Secondary School (Bexley, London)

Author

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Ben Gill

Senior Programme Manager

Ben is Senior Programme Manager in the Innovation Lab's Education Team.

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