STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. STEM Aware is a company that delivers these curriculum subjects in a blended manner that allows students to relate to STEM in everyday life and the world around them.
In 2016 Belfast Harbour partnered with STEM Aware and City Quays Hotel contractor Gilbert-Ash to give seven Belfast schools the opportunity to design and build their own version of the new AC Marriott Hotel at City Quays using Minecraft. The schools who took part were Aquinas Grammar, Mitchell House School, Malone Integrated College, St Malachy’s College, St Dominic’s Grammar School, Methodist College and Bloomfield Collegiate. The project involved 4 two hour workshops with each set of students. Students then worked on their build at school during the term and showcased their finished work at an event in the Harbour Office in December 2016. The project aimed to educate pupils on the opportunities available to them as future careers in the construction industry in Belfast, as well as providing an interactive design experience using technologies they are already familiar with.
BookTrust’s aim is to ensure that everyone has access to books in their home. As well as providing books, their programmes also try to inspire people to engage with the world of reading and writing for pleasure and to improve their life chances.
In February 2016 children’s author and football journalist Dan Freedman hosted an event at the Harbour Office which aimed to teach students about the importance of literacy and reading. More than 200 pupils from Christian Brothers’ School, Belfast Boys’ Model, Priory Integrated College and De La Salle College in Belfast came along to hear about Mr Freedman’s life as an author, and how his former career as an official reporter for the FA was inspiration for his popular, football-related Jamie Johnson series of books, which are now being made into a series for CBBC.
In June 2016 Belfast Harbour gave 6,000 children across Northern Ireland a free, special-edition copy of Jessica Law’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea as part of National Bookstart Week.
Belfast Harbour also supported the 2016 ‘Babies Need Books’ programme. The 2016 ‘Babies Need Books’ project provided 500 families across South and West Belfast with a specially designed pack from the Harbour. The pack contained two carefully selected books and a guidance booklet for parents explaining the benefits of reading to babies.
The Oh Yeah Music Centre is Belfast’s dedicated music hub. It is a resource for music makers and also for the business of music. It was constituted in 2007 in the belief that music is a valuable agent in Northern Ireland, a catalyst that changes lives for the better.
Belfast Harbour supported the Oh Yeah Centre's Urban Affinity event in November 2016. The Urban Affinity event, part of Oh Yeah's Sound of Belfast programme, gave 90 people from a variety of communities an unrivalled chance to jump right in to the music scene and experience what it’s like to spin discs for the day, try out an instrument, rap, produce digital music, make a film and organise a photo shoot.
Ulster Youth Choir aims to provide the best of Northern Ireland’s young singers aged 14-24 with the opportunity to sing together to the highest possible standards. They also give the young people the opportunity to receive training from some of the best choral and vocal practitioners from throughout the UK and Ireland.
In July 2016 Belfast Harbour awarded six students from across Northern Ireland with a bursary which allowed them to take part in Ulster Youth Choir's much sought-after summer residential courses, which saw them perform at concluding evening concerts led by Artistic Director, Dominic Peckham.
Beyond Skin is an organisation which uses Music, Arts & Media to assist in the building & development of cultural relations in Northern Ireland, with the overall aim of addressing issues of racism & sectarianism.
In 2016 Belfast Harbour supported Beyond Skin's Parallel Versing project for the second year in a row. Parallel Versing which was designed and delivered by Beyond Skin (Northern Ireland) and The Music Project (Sri Lanka). New music was created using new and simple technology to produce audio/video recordings featuring children from Northern Ireland & Sri Lanka on the same track. Through the process young people exchange handmade gifts, letters and information about their own cultures sharing similarities and successes that can help build a better quality of life within their own country.
Arts Care is an arts in health organisation which delivers high quality participatory arts for patients/staff and visitors across healthcare services.
Arts Care and Belfast Harbour partnered to support an innovative programme of arts activities in hospitals for vulnerable, sick babies, children and young people. The partnership funding enabled Arts Care to engage artists to facilitate music, creative writing, clown doctors and jewellery-making workshops for sick children in the heart of the wards at the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children ensuring that every child had access to participate in arts activities during their stay in hospital.
Following Belfast Harbour's funding Arts Care were able to open the UK’s first dedicated regional children and young people’s art gallery to be located in a hospital at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. The permanent exhibition space, designed to professional gallery standards, is part of an ongoing initiative to give children and young people a ‘creative voice’. Children will produce art with the help of Arts Care’s professional artist team and the aim is to reduce anxiety caused by their illnesses and healthcare treatment.
The Prince's Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and training.
Belfast Harbour supports the Prince’s Trust Development Awards, a programme which helps young people tackle financial barriers preventing them from accessing education, training or employment. Awards help fund course and professional fees, equipment needed for a qualification or job, interview clothes, short term childcare and travel costs essential to help young people develop their skills and qualifications and enhance their ability to gain employment.
Atlantic Youth Trust's aim is to bring young people from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland together for youth development voyages at sea.
In 2016 Belfast Harbour provided bursaries for five young people from Belfast to allow them to take part in a youth development voyage with five young people from the Republic of Ireland. In June 2016 the ten youths sailed from Belfast Harbour to Dublin Port on the Spirit of Oysterhaven tall ship. Over the course of the five day voyage participants were involved in all activities on board from cooking and cleaning, to trimming the sails. The alien environment helps fast track the development of each individual's teamwork, leadership, communication and life skills.