Ella Newman, Senior Brand Manager (Activities) at Spin Master Toys UK

Spin Master recently announced their Meccano Co-Lab STEM programme for schools in the United Kingdom. Ella Newman, Senior Brand Manager (Activities) at Spin Master Toys UK, shares details about the programme and explains how Meccano is a conduit for both learning and fun.

What inspired the idea behind the Meccano Co-Lab STEM programme?

Over the last few years, we’ve become involved in a number of activities that have gotten Meccano into the hands of kids in both social and school environments. These include events at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair and providing play kits to summer camps and other science-focused opportunities. We know how popular Meccano is with kids and how much it can inspire them to look at STEM subjects in a new light and with enhanced interest and passion. For this reason, we wanted to create an opportunity to reach an even bigger audience and give more kids a chance to engage with the brand.

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Spin Master has partnered with SUPER., a kids’ creative-media agency. What is their role in the programme?

SUPER. has 15 years of experience in developing and executing school marketing campaigns for a range of brands, including toy and entertainment. They created the campaign idea, produced all of the materials, and registered schools to take part through their extensive school database. Once the programme launches into schools, they are managing the activation phase, driving schools to use the materials and product as well as encouraging schools to take part in our national design competition. Finally, SUPER. will be developing a post-campaign analysis to look at brand sentiment amongst parents and children and the level of purchase intent as a direct result of the campaign.

Their experience and network have allowed us to quickly and efficiently put in place a powerful programme which will reach around 500,000 kids, parents and teachers in a relatively short space of time. We are excited to be working with them!

The Friday FiveThe programme is offered to students in History, Art/Design, Science, and English. How does Meccano intersect with those four subjects?

SUPER. focuses on developing campaigns that encourage skills development. Their goal for this campaign was to “unlock Meccano’s usage by enabling children to join forces through the power of STEM to solve REAL problems together.” The creative idea was “MECCANO CO-LAB STEM CLUBS – REAL THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE PLAY TOGETHER.” This positioning enables our brand and product to be positioned and executed through schools and homes to have maximum impact and awareness amongst teachers, pupils and ultimately, parents. SUPER’s creative team then works internally with their in-house education team to implement the positioning through curriculum topics, subjects, and wider activity within schools, including after-school clubs.

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What activities does the STEM-based curriculum encourage?

It encourages problem-solving, real-world STEM challenges, imaginative play, teamwork, and much more.

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Are there plans to broaden the programme to North America?

There are no firm plans at this moment in time.

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Learn more about Meccano products in the classroom.