Before I started my work experience at now>press>play, friends had asked me which company I was working for and, even though I knew the idea behind it, I found it hard to describe what now>press>play do. However, I got to see it in action on my first Tuesday at ‘The Big Bang’ science fair, where we set up taster sessions of the experiences for hundreds of children.
I joined in with the children to listen to the 10 minute taster of the Mission to Mars experience, and – even at the age of 23! – became completely involved in the experience’s world, wanting to know what would happen next. It was amazing to see how their faces lit up as soon as the dialogue started, and it wasn’t long before they were all jumping around & making sure their imaginary space suits were done up tight! At the end we asked the kids questions like ‘how many moons does Mars have?’ and they all knew the answers – it seemed to me like the perfect balance between fun and learning.
I spent most of the rest of my time in the office, which gave me some much-needed help brushing up on my I.T skills – learning how to use apps like MailChimp and Google Places. I was always kept busy and it was great to be given my own ‘project’ for the 2 weeks (organising free science workshops for next year), unlike other internships I’ve done when people just give you odd jobs they don’t want to do. Everyone in the office was really welcoming; it was a very friendly environment & felt like a little community.
Alice and I went to a school to give 3 workshops, where we tried to get as much feedback from the children and teachers. It was nice to hear a lot of really positive feedback: one year 4 boy actually said: “I felt really immersed in the story”! The Plants experience was a personal favourite of mine – the subtle sound effects made it very real, and it included a great Jamaican dancehall tune that even the teachers couldn’t help but dance to!
Having spent 2 weeks at now>press>play, I think it’s a really exciting new opportunity for all children – especially for kids who don’t learn visually, so lose concentration and are then classed as ‘naughty’. Having been a bit of a chatterer in class myself, this type of learning definitely could have benefitted me and lots of other people I know. It’s much more relevant today as there’s so much distraction for kids, with social media etc. So I think the idea for a ‘series’ of experiences will work extremely well, as children will actually look forward to their classes to see what happens next – which is brilliant.