Collaborator Profile: STEAM Fair Advisory Group

The STEAM Fair advisory group are a student-led committee from schools across the borough, who helped plan and shape our STEAM Fair. The group includes Paul Romano, Danusha Kelly, Zack Foreman, Bhavya Patel, James Carver, Giselle Angba-Rhima and Alok Ayyala. They advised on which exhibitors they would like to see, what workshops they would find fun, and helped draft letters to these exhibitors. They attended meetings with Sutton Council and Successful Sutton BID over months to help us plan the Fair. The student fair advisory group made sure that the STEAM Fair was an event for young people, created by young people. Below, Paul and Zack tell us a bit more about their experience.
STEAM Fair Advisory Group

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Paul Romano (PR): I am the chairman of the Steering Group which helped organise the STEAM Fair in 2023. We are a group of students from Sutton Grammar School, Overton Grange School and Nonsuch High School. We have presented our ideas to Sutton Council, both in their offices and to the wider public on our local high street.

Zack Foreman (ZF): I am currently studying for my A-levels at Sutton Grammar School. In the past, I have regularly attended the Fair at school as well as on Sutton High Street, as well as previously competing in the Big Bang Competition where I received an award.

How were you involved in Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

ZF: As part of my involvement in the STEAM Fair, I have been responsible for coordinating with various companies to raise awareness about the Sutton STEAMs Ahead project. Additionally, I have played a key role in designing the event schedule, ensuring optimal opportunities for companies to present their work and for students to explore. Moreover, I had the privilege of presenting ideas to Sutton Council and actively participating in the selection process for the project's logo design.

PR: As part of the Steering Group, which is providing input for the STEAM Fair, our project is aimed at securing as many exhibitors as possible so that they are age-appropriate and excite school students of all ages on the 30th June, as well as the wider public on the 1st of July. We also collaborated with our school teacher, Mr Costello and Patricia Park from Successful Sutton BID. Being a part of this is a great way for me to be able to enrich and further develop my knowledge of science and the arts as a whole.
A group of people sat around a table having a discussion
A group of people posing for a photo with Mayor Cllr Colin Stears
The advisory group periodically met to ensure planning for the Sutton STEAM Fair ran smoothly.

Were there any highlights and/or take-aways from being part of Sutton STEAMs Ahead?

PR: As well as showing skills that can be translated to leading a multidisciplinary team for my aspirations as a medical doctor, I have experience working with Gantt charts in this project which allows the team to keep to schedule, but allows for room for flexibility at the same time. I was able to meet new people from both the council and the general public and interact with some brilliant sources of inspiration in both sciences and the arts.

ZF: Sutton STEAMs Ahead has provided me with an opportunity to liaise with large companies, as well as working in a team.

What does STEAM mean to you?

ZF: Art offers a distinct approach to understanding the world, empowering students to apply artistic and creative thinking to contemporary challenges, fostering innovation and nurturing the minds of tomorrow's brightest thinkers. Personally, my focus has been on Technology and researching its applications in other areas, such as providing a model for the world around us. Here, art can be used to improve the display of data, allowing it to be easily digestible by a wider audience.

PR: I am particularly passionate about science and maths. I feel like these subjects can help broaden your knowledge, at the same time as having a great degree of practical application in the real world. The arts element of STEAM is also very important. Having taken GCSE drama, I understand the necessity of the performing arts in our day-to-day culture, as they are what makes our society and culture so unique. STEM fields of research and theory are applied in everyday life through how we picture the world we live in now, whether that be through music, art or drama.

What’s up next for you?

PR: We hope that the Steering Group's contributions have made a positive impact in terms of how the STEAM fair was delivered this year.

ZF: I hope to work more with Sutton Council in the future, providing more opportunities to engage students with STEAM.

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