05 June 2020
Northumberland Scouts organised a weekend of fun, freedom, and adventure at this year’s Marra, which took place over the May bank holiday weekend.
The Marra team had to find another way to enable the 2020 camp to take place during Covid-19 so brought the big top tent to peoples living rooms through an on-line event – “Virtual Carnival Marra” with a unique programme of events which inspired and engaged the participants. As it was virtual, the event opened to all young people across the world, regardless of whether or not they were part of the Scouting community.
During the event participants visited seven ‘Tents’, including “”The Big Top”, International, STEM, Media, Talk, Craft and Training Tents, each filled with activities that were adventurous, creative and unique. The programme was organised to allow young people to challenge themselves, try new things, learn about the world they live in and make new friends.
In addition to the programme of activities and entertainment offered by the Scouting community in the various tents, Northumberland Scouts also teamed up with the North East STEM Ambassador Hub run by RTC North to deliver an exciting programme of talks, experiments, and performances for the STEM tent.
The STEM Ambassador hub pulled upon its great network of ambassadors from organisations across the region who came together and gave up their time to help create a diverse and fascinating programme, from honey bees, to astrology, to heart dissections, there was something for everybody.
Mica MacInnes, Chief Marra and RTCs Head of Learning and Development and HR said:
“The Marra team were disappointed at not being able to deliver a physical Marra camp but were determined to ensure our young people didn’t miss out on a weekend they were looking forward to, so decided to deliver the camp virtually.
“Northumberland Scouts had already started to work with RTCs STEM team, and many STEM Ambassadors were coming to support our camp, so we’re delighted that they agreed to deliver the sessions at our virtual camp.”
Claire Willis, the Education Relationship Manager at the North East STEM Ambassador Hub explained:
"We were really happy to be involved, it’s so important that young people have access to our pool of great STEM Ambassadors. Given the current situation with COVID-19 a virtual activity sounded like a great opportunity to carry on the work we usually do face to face. The situation has very much provided us with an opportunity to extend our current offer to schools and non-school groups by transferring activities and resources online.”
Kielder Observatory will be kicked off the STEM events by hosting a live Astrology session on the Friday night with an overview of the night sky and an introduction to the stars, what they are and the mysteries surrounding them. Saturday’s STEM programme started with a Rocket launcher tutorial and ended with a stunning evening variety performance. With a whole host of other great STEM activities in between, participants learned to become a circus performer, or a beekeeper with Northumberland Honey Company, or even learned about the myths and truths of Dinosaurs.
Sunday saw another jam-packed day of STEM events with explosive talks on Volcanoes and the science behind Microwaves, where participants did their own investigation at home using chocolate buttons, or gave themselves some battle scars and learned how to turn into a Lion with a special makeup effects tutorial.
On the bank holiday Monday, the Royal Society of Chemistry explored what seemingly unconnected things can teach you about science. You might be surprised with what you could learn from everyday objects around the house and a little imagination. Or you could have taken a voyage with STEM to the sun and back and created your own star’s unique footprint using multicoloured house-hold objects.
As well as the planned programme of events there were also other resources available throughout the weekend, including a heart dissection, and learning the life-saving skills of first Aid, delivered by Little Rescuers.
To see the full programme of events that took place please head to the Virtually Marra website
For more information on becoming a STEM ambassador or accessing the STEM ambassador network, please visit the RTC STEM website