Weʼre raising £5,000 to Help build an interactive computer museum from the 70s to future technology with Educational Suite
- 27 days to go
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During the last couple of weeks, we have been getting the electric installed and placing the carpet down. We have also setup our first exhibits from the 70s:
A computer & internet museum with workshop/educational suite for the people and children of Northwest area. There is only a handful of other such facilities in the UK. The “hands-on museum” will provide people with a sense of community, improve people’s knowledge of IT and provide training and job opportunities.
Our project has a very broad base of appeal. The adults like to share their memories with the children about the old machines and then the children become fascinated by them too. Together both generations like to explore the future of technology, such as Virtual Reality (VR).
MENTAL HEALTH & RESILIENCE & WELLBEING
People are increasingly becoming socially isolated, leading to an increase in a wide variety of mental health difficulties. Our project will connect people by training them in a variety of skills, enabling them to re-enter the workplace & be able to safely access the internet for a wide variety of applications.
DIGITAL & PROGRAMMING CLUBS
Technology is our future & our project is as much about looking to the future as it is about remembering the past. The workshops, which will include digital, coding & electronics, are at the heart of the project.
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY COHESION
There will be an ever-changing project of events, which will bring the community together, uniting people that may not otherwise mix. Examples include events such as robot wars, gaming competitions, computer fairs & specialist computer clubs.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR C&YP with SEND
One thing we discovered a from the pop-up is how computing in its many forms appeals to many C&YP with SEND, e.g., programming appeals to a lot of autistic young people and those who identified themselves as having SEND commented that they found IT to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. We plan to hold special events to cater to this group of people, as well as the museum being inclusive & accessible on an ongoing basis.
INSPIRE & ENGAGE
The project aims to inspire young people of all ages to look to the future and to be ready for it. We want them to see the fruit of their labours - ie that they can programme or make something that actually works and has practical applications, literally putting their future in their own hands
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
We aim to inspire & engage anyone with a burgeoning idea to bring this to reality e.g., being able to bring to market ideas for applications/videos for the VR world.
Details of the Museum
Northwest Computer Museum will bring old and new technology to the community. It will have a full computer museum with usable exhibits from the 1970s to date and workshops to help and train people from the young to the old in the usage of retro computers, different programming languages and programming of electronic boards such as Arduino/Raspberry PI Boards to design electronic projects.
From the understanding of old computers from the 70s to date, people will be able to use and learn how to program and use. This will give communities the understanding of computing from the past to date and the use of future technology, like the Microsoft Hololense. Importantly, the museum will be an interactive museum and always developing.
We will have the facilities for clubs and individual to gain more skills and to use the equipment that they would not be able to access before. There will be a vast amount of information on display for the old computers and the early days and the internet to date with the future of technology.
We will work with both young & old, ex-forces and organisations to help them with the different technologies by giving them a basic understanding of what technologies used to be like by using the museum’s equipment. This can help to focus individuals and charity organisations on different areas of technology they can develop a career or interests in or which can help them in their organisations; and also using new technologies of today i.e. Virtual Reality to Windows Mixed Reality.
There will be a small onsite Internet Café to allow people who cannot afford to have internet at home to use the internet at a small price with printing facilities.
Workshops will be offering training, such as, Programming Retro style, which will give a basic idea of programming to the latest languages like Visual Basic, C#, Python and SQL .
City & Guilds Accreditation in computers for people to change or move into IT.
The activities will involve
- A young person, family friendly and accessible fully working, interactive computer & internet museum, with computers from the 70s up to modern technology like VR
- Access to wide variety of information technology facilities & training
- Community internet café
- Workshops, community classes and clubs, eg programming & app creation for modern devices eg VR
- Annual events programme, with children, young people and families at the heart of it
- Recycling of computers from businesses, reconditioning & redistributing them to sectors such as schools and youth clubs
The problems/issues we aim to address include:
Social and economic inequality/immobility amongst families and young people with cuts to education budgets, transport, libraries/youth clubs etc.
- Almost 2/3 of Leigh’s communities are within the top 25% of the most deprived in England, 2 of which are in the top 1%.
- 20.5% of residents claim out of work benefits, above the wider borough average of 15.9%
- Leigh library has 32 pcs, on average used by over 4,000 people/month, proving the need for more IT-based community accessible projects such as ours
- We intend to take unemployed young people & train them to recondition the donated PCs before they are redistributed as described above. We have already had expressions of interest from such sectors who say they are interested in being involved in this scheme
- The internet café will provide a community-based hub for anyone to use, at a low cost, but particularly with young people and families in mind who otherwise would not have access to basic IT services. Amongst other things this will help with retraining, job applications & numeracy/literacy and will also include leisure-based activities.
Working with 'The Gadget Show
A couple of our computers on show at the Gadget Show.
I had to have my picture take with Ortis Deley.
- The project will provide a much-needed place where families can go to do things together, at a reasonable cost, which are informative, educational and fun. We also believe the project will provide alternative, positive activities for the younger part of the community
Who will benefit
This project will benefit multiple sectors of the local and wider community, but particularly
- children & young people
- socially and economically isolated/disadvantaged sectors such as older people, people on low incomes, people with physical, learning or mental disabilities
- those individuals wanting retraining such as young people with limited formal qualifications and children/young people with physical, learning or mental health conditions
How to engage people
- Social media has been the main platform for engaging families and young people
- The website has also had a great deal of interest, with people subscribing to our mailing list to either volunteer or wanting to visit, asking where we are based and when we will be open, from all over the North of England
- We have also attended several business expos which have generated interest from individuals and companies wanting to be involved
- We have also been in the local press
- National Magazine (Pixel Addict)
- Cross promotion with other business and charities within the base of Leigh Spinners Mill
- We have already established links with a local transport company who have agreed to provide a free of charge promotion to all local schools and colleges
All the above have proved very successful and they will be continuously used on an ongoing basis to engage people
How it differs from or compliments similar projects
There is nothing like this project in the North of England that encompasses all the elements of
- A museum with working, hands-on exhibits & historical facts
- Training and workshop facilities with basic to advanced courses
- A community-based internet café
- Being both educational and entertaining, family friendly and value for money
We believe the Computer Museum will meet the following Aims and Objectives:
Provide vital IT Skills
Support the education of local people.
Give a sense of belonging for the Community.
Promote links to other social groups and strengthen our community.
Provide opportunities to increase community led activities.
Through providing: -
Education, training and work experience opportunities.
Local facilities and events for all the community
Workshops, classes and clubs that are inclusive for all the Community.
Volunteering and job opportunities.
Book & Software.
The museum has secured premises at the Spinners Mills in Leigh. We are on the 4th floor, there are two lifts and stairs to our museum and on the same floor we have access to a exhibition area. We have just under 4000sqft.
The premises are a Grade II listed building.
The funding will help in:-
Decoration of the Area
Purchasing of more exhibits
More Exhibit Cases for the Museum
Purchase of technology in Future Exhibitions like Microsoft Hololense II
Setup a Video Pod and Real-time link to other computer museums
Help with the advertising of the museum with website & Media
We have had funding from Wigan The Deal to get furniture for the museum
Businesses who are supporting our project
We are working closely with the following computer museums and other organisations, so the community and visitors can experience more past exhibits and links with:
We are hoping that the museum will be opening in September this year. Help us to make this a place that people can experience from the past and learn new skills and helping people to develop new ideas and skills to work on future projects.
Thank you for reading this, if you would like more information, please contact me.
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Oct 1, 2023
Sep 16, 2023
I felt like a kid at Christmas when I visited today. It was a great day.
Rob Pearmain ( yorcloud.com , YouTube.com/@rdt )
Apr 30, 2023
Wonderful visit, outstanding museum and great to meet Joe and the gang. Browsing the computing magazines over a cup of coffee made my day . Keep up the good work. Will be back asap, Rob
Feb 13, 2023
Feb 12, 2023
For Jacks 8087 co-processor chip…
Lynn and Ceri Griffiths
Feb 7, 2023
Thanks for accessing work on a BBC floppy disk which was over 30 years old. Amazing.
Jan 29, 2023
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