Technocamps delivers first workshop in Pembrokeshire to aspiring young technologists.

Year 8 pupils from Pembroke School in Bush, Pembrokeshire were the first of 200 young people getting the chance to take part in a Technocamps workshop held earlier this month at the Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembroke Dock.

The Scratch and GamesSalad workshops being run by the Technocamps team from Swansea University are giving young people the opportunity to learn vital computing skills enabling simple project development, using a drag-and-drop style of programming.

Other schools from Pembrokeshire also set to benefit include Sir Thomas Picton School of Haverfordwest who are in this week and St David’s A.S.C School from St. David’s who are due in next month.

Matt Williams, ICT Teacher from Pembroke School, said, “Technocamps provides an excellent opportunity for pupils to gain hands on experience with computer programming, my Year 8 pupils have enjoyed using both Scratch and  Game Salad to create a variety of games and are now keen to start a Technocamps Club in school’.

Joe, a Year 8 pupil, said ‘I thought Technocamps was a great way to get young people to have a nice time creating games, I thought the day was really fun’.

To date the Technocamps project has already seen over 2500 young people (11-19) come through its doors across the convergence areas of Wales and is set to give 1500 more young people the opportunity to up-skill in areas such as programming, app development and games design.

Director of Technocamps, Professor Faron Moller, said, “It is important that as many young people as possible get the opportunity to be part of the Technocamps project, so it is great that schools, colleges and other educational establishments in the Pembrokeshire area are able to benefit.  The skills that they are learning at these workshops are the basic fundamental computing skills that are growing in demand by so many businesses in the digital sector.’

Over the next three months young people from a range of different backgrounds will attend other workshops and bootcamps across all of the partner universities to get to grips with Games Salad, Alice, Scratch, App Inventor, Robotics, iOS App development, Computer Games Ethics, Sketch Patch and Wearables.

The ITWales project which is led by Swansea University in partnership with Aberystwyth, Bangor and Glamorgan Universities is about getting young people in Wales excited about computing and challenging them to think about the world around them in a different way.

Technocamps is about getting young people in Wales excited about computing and challenging them to think about the world around them in a different way. We know young people are learning how to use ICT tools, but are they learning about the fundamental building blocks that are the backbone to the ICT they use? What we want is for them to become creators and not just users?

The project’s new interactive website has recently been launched www.technocamps.com, this hosts a dedicated area for 11-15’s, 16-19’s, Teachers and Educators, Business and an interactive Technozone. 

The site currently provides free on-line resources for Scratch, Games Salad and Alice with more on the way.  This will give teachers and educators the material and the guidance needed to feel confident about taking this back to the classroom so that the young people can continue to benefit from these new skills. 

Information will shortly be available giving guidance on how to set up a Technoclub, which is an extra-curricular activity that can be run at lunch time or after school. Young people will be set a number of challenges to do during the club that will aim to inspire them to continue to learn in a fun and creative way.

The site also promotes events, Facebook and Twitter activity as well as the Technozone which provides links to games and free downloads, this area is set to grow to include showcasing the work that young people actually produce in the workshops. 

The project is backed by £3.9 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government; the project delivers a series of outreach programmes to schools, colleges and other educational providers within the convergence area of Wales, inspiring young people to consider the computing-based topics underpinning the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Technocamps has the long term goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in an area that will drive economic growth inWales.

Technocamps is led by Swansea University in partnership with the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Glamorgan.

 

For further information, contact Siân Jones, Communications Manager on 01792 606652 or email communications@technocamps.com.