Coding at Portishead library

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to run two coding workshops for primary school children at Portishead library at the start of the Easter break.

I planned the workshops – ‘Make a Minecraft Game’ and ‘Make a Pokémon game’ in Scratch – to challenge the children. I created two levels of difficulty, which meant the more advanced coders were able to create a scrollable platform game.

I only wished we had had a bit more time to go through some more coding challenges.

Thank you to all the staff at Portishead library staff for their support. We will be back soon.

If you would like a workshop at your school in Portishead – please do get in touch.

‘Squishy circuits’

We recently had great fun delivering a ‘squishy circuits’ workshop at Yatton Infant School. This workshop was designed for Key Stage 1 children, and as part of their STEM extra curriculum activities.

‘Squishy circuits’ teaches the children about conductive and insulated materials, and about electricity. Using my home-made conductive and insulated play dough(!), the children constructed basic electronic circuits with their fantastical creature-creations.

I loved the fact that the children were very keen to understand about LEDs, quickly learnt about their ‘polarity’, and applied this effectively on every single project they made.

Play dough is an excellent material for introducing the children to the world of electronics and we certainly had four playful (and messy) afternoons.

Here is a sample of what the children created:

  • Sea monster

e-Textiles at Learning College

e-Textiles Projects

I had the opportunity again to run some e-Textiles workshops at Yatton School as part of their Learning College programme.

This time I had twelve children – a mix of boys and girls from Year 4 to Year 6.

The brief for the children was to make a project with felt… and it had to have at least one LED that lit up with a switch. I showed the children some examples, which they used as inspiration. However, most of the children decided to make something  different and we then embarked on a project that had to be designed and executed over four 90-minute sessions.

The children had to think very carefully about their designs and how the electronic components were going to fit perfectly. This thought process wasn’t easy, but once the children understood the constraints of their design, they were great at adapting them.

Once the design was put into the fabric, it was time to think about the electronic circuit – an opportunity to learn about electricity and basic electronics.

Only a handful of the children had ever done any sewing before, which meant they had to learn the basics before embarking into sewing their electronic circuit into their fabric.

With the electronic circuit in place, it was time to put the final touches to their projects… with a little bit more sewing needed to finish off their designs.

Every single project was created with a lot of thought and care. I’m so proud of every child that participated, not only did they create something very personal, but something they will appreciate and use. It was a real labour of dedication, concentration and hard work. Well done Yatton School children 🙂

 

Autumn half-term coding

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We held some very successful coding workshops for primary school children at the offices of Viper Innovations in Portishead over the Autumn half-term.

Our hosts made their fantastic boardroom available to us for three mornings during a normal working week. The children turned up with their laptops and learnt to code a spooky game in Scratch, made a Minecraft zombie game, and learnt how to code the micro:bit.

The Minecraft zombie game in particular was a real hit with the children and there was a real buzz in the room with everyone adding their own ideas to the game.

The children had an opportunity to show-off their projects with a ‘show and tell’ at the end of each of the sessions. The grown-ups present were very impressed with their creations.

Thank you to all the parents that let their children attend the sessions – and a special thanks to those who supported their children during the workshops.

Finally, a big *thank you* to Viper Innovations staff for their support with the workshops and to their STEM ambassadors who were of great help – including the ‘magician’!

We hope to repeat the experience again next year!

What parents told us was the best thing about the workshops:

“My son loved everything about this workshop”

“The boys hadn’t used the micro:bit before, so it gave them a new experience in coding in a relaxed atmosphere.”

“Thought the Halloween content was great.”

“Flexibility to fit all ages and abilities”

“My son was engaged and excited… he’s looking forward to attending again.”