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Creativity conference

Can creativity inspire imaginative, interactive learning? That is the question being addressed at a two-day conference at the Watershed Centre in Bristol next month. Contagious Creativity is the inaugural event of FutureLab, a consortium of organisations from the UK's computer software, hardware and creative industries and part of NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

The forum, on June 12 and 13, will examine how interactive media can be used to develop engaging learning resources. FutureLab aims to bring together the diverse skills needed to create this type of software and Contagious Creativity is the first step in this process.

Teachers, academics, games developers and new media professionals will take part in the conference, a mix of keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops.

On June 12, Tim Rance, director of Lionhead Studios which developed the multi-award winning Black and White game that lets users play god and determine how to deal with a series of moral dilemmas, will outline a new children's version called Black and White Lite. He will examine how character design, non-linear storytelling and role-play could be applied to educational games.

On June 13, Professor Vera John-Steiner of the University of New Mexica, author of "Creative Collaboration", will discuss with Bristol University's Guy Claxton whether the creative process is better tackled as an individual endeavour or in a collaborative way. Professor John-Steiner will argue that two or more heads are better than one and outline how creativity is influenced by collaboration.

Kathryn Heaps, principal of John Kelly Girls Technology College in London, will outline the achievements of the NESTA Motivate project that used videoconferencing to connect students with top mathematicians. Jez Sand, founder of Argonaut Software and creator of the Harry Potter Playstation game, will examine how game play can stimulate creativity and lateral thinking.

A panel and audience debate titled "It's fun, but do they learn anything?"

will round out the event, which is sponsored by Alcatel.

The TES is the media partner for Contagious Creativity and teachers can attend for the two-day educational rate of pound;125 or one day for pound;80. Tel: 0117 903 1149 or see www.nestafuturelab.orgNESTA FutureLab and The TES have one delegate place to give away to a TES Teacher reader. To win, please send an email with "TES Competition" in the subject line to by May 31 with your name, school and phone number. The winner will be responsible for transport and accommodation and will be notified by FutureLab.

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