EUCode Week 2015: South Coast

We are really pleased to have been awarded a small grant from Google on behalf of Tech Resort CIC to run 2 Hack Days and 5 assemblies for EUCode Week in the Eastbourne area. Follow #EUCodeweek & #codeEU on twitter for live updates.

Saturday 10th October: EU Code Week launch at Kestrel House. One of our great supporters Howard Griffin, Programme Director Architectural Visualisation at the University of Kent in Canterbury came over to WOW us with the Oculus Rift. Our audience spanned a wide age range 8 to 16 for the young people, parents and potential volunteers. Andy Tyrell is a staunch supporter of Tech Resort Teens and young creatives in Eastbourne. “Arduino” Andy has supported our Young Rewired State Eastbourne Team for 2 years as chief mentor and co-Centre Lead. Not to mention his amazing work with Year 4s creating the Towner Takeover website for Connective Culture. 20 young people & 9 Adults

Sunday 11th October: Final preparations for the assemblies. They will be a mixture of film, music and images from YRSEastbourne, Brighton Digital Festival events (BMMF, TeKno Kids, BDF Royal Institution CS Masterclasses hosted by Brighton & Hove High School) & films created by EU Code Week. Towner Gallery have kindly lent us the Chromebooks first used for Artswork funded project Connective Culture.


Dance program:

  • Right Arm Up
  • Left Arm Up
  • Rest
  • Resume
  • Fold Right Arm
  • Fold Left Arm
  • Shake
  • Dance

Monday 12th October: Rescheduled to 9 November after half term

Tuesday 13th October: Rescheduled to Thursday 15 Oct. & another assembly booked for 13 November.

Wednesday 14th October: Review of feedback from Saturday’s EUCode week Launch – more electronics wanted. Code Bugs on their way – hopefully by Thursday.

Thursday 15th October: Assembly at St Richards in Bexhill kindly hosted by Mr Carradine. Amazing energy and much love for Oculus Rift demonstrated in the hall. Many of the young people were not aware of the growing Creative & Digital companies/industry in the Eastbourne area. Nor, that 2 of the biggest games studios: EA Games & Creative Assembly are just an hour’s drive away. 205 young people & 10 teachers.

Second assembly of the day, this time at Ocklynge, Eastbourne. I really enjoy working with Ocklynge students – they are always so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. A couple of the students had been to the Brighton Mini Maker Fayre, but after finding out more about it everyone was considering coming along next year. I ran the drop in  session – kindly hosted by Mrs Hebben-Wadey. Big winners “Anna & Elsa of Disney’s Frozen” resources from code.org and Code Bugs. 215 young people & 3 teachers.

Friday 16th October: Willingdon Community School hosted talks with 2 computing classes and a break time drop in.  Key Stage 4 Computing are an easy win. Key Stage 3 Computing students are a mixture of very keen, not so keen & rather do something else. I let them know that the Creative and Digital industry is made up of Fine Artists; every game has beautiful scenery/characters, Musicians and Humanities students (the next generation of User Experience experts). Lots of interest for Young Rewired State, software winner of the day Code Combat. Thank you Ms Rowe. 102 young people & 2 teachers.

Saturday 17th October: The final event for EUCodeweek dawned bright and early. Based on the feedback from assemblies and the launch event, we split the building into 4 zones: Code Combat, Web Design, Electronics and Oculus.  We enjoy the awe of converts to fun programming with Code Combat.  Emma tried it, loved it and was hooked – she only came to drop off her children! Web Design using a mixture of W3Schools and the great value (Free) UDEMY HTML & CSS in a week. Arduino Andy continued his electronics wizardry using RaspberyPi, Ardunios and Code Bugs. The Superstar Oculus Rift zone produced and managed by Sam of Makemedia. The feedback during assemblies was that young people knew all about Oculus, but had not had many opportunities to experience the headset or Oculus environment. We are really grateful to Sam, who donated a whole day in support of our event, the squeals of pleasure and quiet smiles after experiencing the racing game, flight simulator or building a nuclear reactor were magic. 26 young people & 5 Adults.

Friday 13 November – St Richards: A rescheduled assembly for Year 10. This was a great opportunity to mention the Hour of Code and MOZFest happening during November. I emphasized that the creative and digital industry is made up of all disciplines: Humanities students make great User Experience engineers (UX) & Product Designers, Arts students are necessary for the film and games studios (Graphic Artists, Musicians & Sound Engineers) not just programmers. I urged all students to get involved in any of the opportunities available locally and nationally, for the experience, networking and T-Shirts. 200 young people & 6 Adults.


Summary

We loved the opportunity to be a part of the #EUCodeweek network of events and are grateful for the small grant from Google which made this possible. It was gratifying to raise the awareness of young people to the resources available to them locally – Tech Resort, local/national/international – Young Rewired State (YRSEastbourne) & Brighton Digital Festival Mini Maker Fayre. We were asked during drop in sessions, when we would be back & could we come next week? These questions highlight the need for more on the ground resources and opportunities for young people. We are hearing from Creative & Tech industries (#ICT2015) who are trying to fill 900,000 vacancies. Until employers make a better effort to reach out to informal learning groups/clubs and encourage these young people, we will continue to wring our hands and discuss “the lack of skilled people”.

Total figure of young people and adults reached for our Google sponsored #EUCodeweek 803