Cambridge Junction Stobbs Cup Challenge

REPORT BLOG FOR CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION STOBBS CHALLENGE EVENT ORGANIZED AND DELIVERED BY HELEN WEINSTEIN, DIRECTOR OF HISTORYWORKS ON 29.10.16

Cambridge Junction commissioned Historyworks to present an Arts event to promote creativity and team building for the staff of 50 for a unique Cambridge company dealing with intellectual property and trademarks at Stobbs IP.  

The tasks were designed by Helen Weinstein with support from the Historyworks team, with Helen Weinstein designing the geo-located history experience, Mario Satchwell helping to design the building challenge, Jon Calver the performance challenge, and Tizzy Faller the puzzle challenge.

We collaborated to shape a great afternoon of tasks for the 50 participants with input from Daniel Brine, Sarah Newman, and Nastasha Boyce of Cambridge Junction and we partnered with Pam Halls, Curator at Cambridge Museum of Technology for a ‘takeover’ day of the Victorian Pumping Station on Riverside. 

PHOTO OF HELEN WEINSTEIN HOLDING A BLUETOOTH BEACON

HELEN SHOWING AND SHARING THE BLUE TOOTH BEACONS

The talk by Helen Weinstein was carefully shaped using her skills as a public historian to engage the participants with the history of Cambridge centred on the River Cam and the problems of solving the sanitation problems, and at the same time dropping in clues to help the participants navigate the geo-trail around the site which was to follow.   Helen showed the Stobbs teams the Blue-tooth beacons and explained that there is one beacon set up in situ around the Cambridge Museum of Technology in the twelve main spaces.  If you want to find out more about the Bluetooth beacons and how they work as geo-locators you can go to the Historyworks site called “Creating My Cambridge” and see beacons and learn how to set up the physical web to go to the Cambridge Museum of Technology to experience the beacon trail here: http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/songs-creative/resources/how-to-use-bluetooth-beacons/

USING HISTORY AS INSPIRATION FOR GEO-LOCATED SONGS/POEMS

Helen Weinstein introduced the story of the Pumping Station to the Stobbs IP teams as analogous to the infrastructure challenges in Cambridge today caused by rapid population growth and development of industry.  Back in the Victorian era there was a huge era of change in Cambridge with the influx of new industries, their workers, and families, which came with the arrival of the railway in 1845.

Helen’s introductory talk set the tone of participation because it included the singing of specially commissioned historically themed songs and rounds about the River Cam, Cambridge Coat of Arms, and the Sewage pumping station, with lyrics co-created with the CBBC's Horrible Histories songwriter, Dave Cohen.  This experience of singing and performing together put the Stobbs teams in the spirit for composing and performing their own pieces whilst also giving them more historical information and an overview of the historical development of Cambridge in the Victorian era which was designed by Helen for team members to learn about the purpose of the pumping station before following the Bluetooth beacon trail and filling in a puzzle quizz, to quickly engage the Stobbs teams with the spaces and history of the sewage facility, before they tackle their creative challenges. You can find the lyrics and a recording of the Seahorses song about Cambridge Coat of Arms here: http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/songs-creative/cambridge-coat-of-arms-sea-horses/

HISTORY SYNOPSIS OF THE PUMPING STATION

The Historyworks geo-located trail is based around the museum site which is Cambridge’s oldest sewage pumping station.  Up until 1894, untreated sewage was tipped from chamber pots from the college students and by city residents directly into the River Cam, and indirectly via groundwater channels from privies and drains through a network of collapsing and overused sewers! The tour uses the geo-located beacons to give visitors an introduction in each of the spaces to how the glorious Victorian steam pumping station was designed to pump the sewage to a new sewage farm out at Milton, and the twelve stops on the trail show a progression of the development of power, from steam, through internal combustion, to electricity.  Here are some participants using the Bluetooth beacon trail to find out about the boiler room:

The site is one of the earliest examples of recycling because the city’s rubbish was burned at the site to produce steam which powered the steam engines to pump sewage to Milton, which is where the sewage treatment plant for Cambridge located once this site closed in 1968.

Daniel Brine, Director of Cambridge Junction was intrigued by the pilot of Bluetooth beacons by Historyworks and approached Helen Weinstein to come up with a creative challenge suitable for 8 competing teams, which would involve a series of geo-located tasks and competitive the Stobbs teams certainly turned out to be!  Here is a photo of Daniel watching in awe as the teams busily work around him:

DANIEL BRINE LOOKNG IN WONDER ON CHIMNEY BUILDING CHALLENGE

All the tasks were invented by the team at Historyworks to connect the Stobbs participants with the unique architecture and history of the Victorian pumping station. To kick-off the event all the participants from Stobbs sat with their teams at tables, with excellent spread of savoury snack foods provided for people who needed some lunch made by the social enterprise run by the homeless charity called Wintercomfort, alongside a rolling warm-up task of making tubes of recycled paper, so that team members who were early could get ahead on making building materials for their creative construction task.  

TUBES PREPARED FOR CONSTRUCTING A REPLICA PUMPING HOUSE CHIMNEY:

Helen Weinstein was keen for the team members to have a task to do as they arrived at the education room at the museum, so extra points were given for each team who brought their own paper to recycle, and instructions given to encourage team members to get busy making tubes.  It was interesting to see some teams making a huge pile of tubes before they decided how to tackle their construction challenge, and other teams deciding on a design before they started construction!

The construction task was to build a representation of the chimney of the Victorian pumping station, which is 180 foot high, and although the team members were within yards of the original chimney to give them inspiration, none exceeded this height, although they tried hard to match it!! There were extra points added for a chimney which looked most like the 1894 original which Helen Weinstein judged, and her colleague Mario Satchwell judged the chimneys according to height, and strength, testing the capacity of the paper chimneys to hold a can of baked beans. We were mighty impressed with the ingenuity of the teams, using recycled paper, and also any items they could lay their hands on from the lunch, including coffee cups, paper plates, and cardboard boxes found on site!! You can see more of the chimney constructions in the slide show at the end of this blog, but this example almost touched the ceiling of the museum’s education room.

CHIMNEY CONSTRUCTIONS REACHING THE CEILING OF EDUCATION ROOM:

BEACON CLUE TRAIL AND PUZZLE TASK - SEE COMPLETED FORM WITH ANSWERS:

The beacon history trail quiz was a great way for the teams to explore the site, using their physical web on their phones to find each of the 12 stops where a puzzle clue was located.  Here is one of a group at the Tipping Bay:

The audio guide and text guide had the answers to the clues. For example, the first question at the entrance yard, asked about when a zoo animal was brought on site, telling the curious story of when a crocodile was thought to have died and was brought to Riverside for the body to be disposed of, but once faced with the fires of the pumping station, the Crocodile turned out not to be dead but instead in a deep sleep and he came alive!  Only on finding all the beacons in each of the 12 spaces did the teams have sufficient letters to get the bonus points for putting together the answer for the make of the red steam engines which powered the Victorian Pumping Station. And the answer was Hathorn Davey!! 

BEACON CLUE TRAIL AND PUZZLE TASK - SEE COMPLETED FORM WITH ANSWERS:

 

SELFIES OF TEAM WITH THE SEAHORSES ON CAMBRIDGE COAT OF ARMS:

Along the way, to ensure that the teams always found each stop on the beacon trail, a couple of extra tasks were only to be found on the beacons.  These asked the teams to take two selfies, for which they would earn extra points.  One was to find the Cambridge Coat of Arms (to link with the River Cam song in the introduction) and for the whole team to be pictured with it, incase the team had a strategy of splitting up this would ensure they congregated for one photo down near the Ash tunnel by the Entrance Yard.  Also, the teams were asked to take a selfie of one or more team member trying to get in the tip of the chimney, as this is quite hard to do, and we could see the team members having fun playing with their phones trying to tip the angle correctly!

PICTURE OF TEAMS WITH THE CHIMNEY – SELFIES AND ARTY:

CREATIVE TASKS AND PERFORMING TASK:

The creative tasks involve a mixture of creative and team skills, from building a replica chimney of the pumping station out of recycled paper tubes, to learning how to use the Bluetooth tech on their phones where they will find their tasks for taking arty and selfie photos on their phones as they explore the site, and this built towards the last task which required each team to be composing and performing their own short songs or raps or poems about their assigned space on site.  This was a great task to do as the third challenge, once the teams knew the site well and the type of history and humour that Historyworks combines in our public projects! 

The groups discovered their creative assignments whilst using the blue-tooth beacons because we tagged onto the spaces which of the 8 teams were assigned to which space. We had really fantastic work from the teams at the Tipping Bay, the Engine Room, and the Valve Yard.  To give coherency to each piece, we asked teams to rise to the challenge of incorporating four words in their piece: the word ‘sewage’, the word ‘rubbish’, the date ‘1894’ , and the name of the museum space where they were allocated.  The format could be a song or poem or rap or limerick. Points would be given for content of history and humour and we had some brilliant submissions and performances!!

 You can see many of the song lyrics incorporated in the photos and here is a lovely example of a performance group in dress-up:

Once the teams returned to the education room from their puzzle task, there was a welcome cake and tea break which also allowed participants to get busy with putting the final finishing touches to their chimneys ready for judging. Whilst the puzzle challenge was being marked they then performed with each team coming up to a performance area where we had our Historyworks mic and amp at the ready! It was fantastic to see so many of the teams be willing and able to promote key members as writers and performers.  Each team performed to the entire room and we were amazed and delighted at the quality of the writing and the performances. Here is one of the teams performing:

 PHOTO TASKS AND PINNING THESE TO THE BLUE-TOOTH BEACONS:

The Stobbs Challenge afternoon ended with the giving out of commendations and prizes, with superior toilet brushes given to the winning team, and Pam Halls from Cambridge Museum of Technology inviting team members to visit again and to become members or donors to help with the HLF development of Cambridge Museum of Technology, and also the recently acquired Engineer’s House.  Then Sarah Newman and Nastascha Boyce thanked everyone for their participation on behalf of the Cambridge Junction. 

Helen Weinstein and Mario Satchwell congratulated the teams on their excellent creative work and promised to share the arty and selfie photos posted on social media in a really cool way by pinning them all to the relevant beacon stops. Because the end learning which Historyworks wanted to demonstrate about the geo-located Bluetooth beacons was to not only show participants how to navigate a museum using the physical web to guide them around the site and to set out a geocache type of trail, but also to show them that once new information was shared on social media, in this case their arty photos were shared at specific spaces on the beacon trail tour, it was possible to co-curate the photos and include them in the slideshows on each of the beacon stops at the Cambridge Museum of Technology:

Not all of the team members had shared their photos on the day, so we followed up the day after with the Stobbs administrator, and we now have some lovely slideshows on the Cambridge Museum of Technology trail, and we’ve integrated these with arty photos taken by Helen Weinstein and Jon Calver of Historyworks previously, which slideshows not only Stobbs teams can enjoy when they revisit the museum, but the general public too!  You can find the trail stops and the arty photo slideshows here: http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/trails/cmt/

TO FIND A SLIDESHOW OF PHOTOS AT THE CAMBRIDGE MUSEUM OF CAMBRIDGE MOSTLY TAKEN EARLIER IN THE YEAR SHOWING DETAILS OF MACHINES TO ILLUSTRATE THE TRAIL STOPS, PLEASE SEE THAT THESE NOW INLUDE PHOTOS FROM THE STOBBS PARTICIPANTS, PLUS THOSE TAKEN BY HELEN WEINSTEIN & MARIO SATCHWELL & JON CALVER OF HISTORYWORKS, WITH A FEW PHOTOS DONATED BY SARAH NEWMAN TAKEN ON BEHALF OF CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION:

http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/multimedia/photo-slideshows/


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cambridge Junction Stobbs Cup Challenge