Introduction

On Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th of February, I got the amazing opportunity to participate in the Young Coders Conference at Tate Exchange (Within the Tate Mondern’s Blavatnik Building) down in London. I was one of 12 lucky participants to receive training on how to run coding workshops and then run a workshop of our own to the public on the second day of the conference, on which we held a Celebration of Code.

As well as participating in the event, I helped out Grace, Femi & the South London Raspberry Jam team invite people and organise the Young Coders Conference and it was a privalage to do so!

Day 1: Planning Day

We started off Day 1 by meeting all the other 12 coders before we sat down to an introduction from Grace, telling us what what we were going to do for the day and the different things lined up for us.


Next up was the Lightning Talks, we had 4 talks lined up. One by me, Femi, Kerry and Louis all on different subjects. First up was me, I gave a quick 5 minute talk + demonstration on how EduBlocks works and how I created it.


Then we had a very interesting talk from IMB Watson, a platform on which you can use to build your very own Chat Bot with code. It’s very easy to setup a chatbot and link it with your site platform (IE: WordPress). This is something I hope to play with more in the future!


Straight after that we had more talks from the likes of David Whale from the micro:bit Educational Foundation, Cat Lamin on Mental Health and Jane Whaite from Computing At School. All were very intresting talks and gave me lots of ideas that I could incorporate into my workshop with my group.

Creating & Planning the Workshops

We planned our workshops for the Celebration of code in 4 different groups containing 3 people. We had wearables and neopixels, gaming and networking, IOT and Robots. To choose the groups, names were picked out of a hat (literally) and groups were picked.

Each group were assigned a teaching and learning mentor. The wearables group had Cat, the IOT Group had Alan, the robots group had Nic and the gaming group had Drew.

I was picked for the wearables group, not a topic I have touched upon before and something that I would not choose to do but I was ready to learn more and rise up to the challenge.

So, I was in a group with Femi & Abbie (Read profiles here: https://youngcodersconference.wordpress.com/about-us/). We sat down and planned our workshop with our Teaching and Learning mentor Cat. We designed 3 challenges that involved a micro:bit on a Canvas bag.

At the end of the planning session, we presented what we were going to do for our workshop to the rest of the conference.

One of the most amazing things today was when each of us received a box of 10 micro:bit’s each to run workshops with out in the community along with a pi-top t-shirt.

Day 2: Celebration of Code

Day 2 was a celebration of code day. This is where we showcased what we had done on Day 1 to the public. We started off with 2 hours finalising the workshops within our groups and got all equipment setup along with printing off worksheets that had not been printed on the first day.

We had a huge queue of people from local schools and nurseries plus members of the general public all wanting to attend the workshops. At 12pm, the doors were opened and people could attend workshops by companies that had been invited along, for example, an IBM Watson workshop. We had 2 hours to attend these workshops before we started running our own!

Running all day alongside all the other workshops was the Canvas Art station run by Rachel (@ItsAll_Geek2Me), Archie (@archieroques), Tanya (@tanurai), Lara (@MaryMagsPiClub) & Lorraine (@LorraineUnderwood). They made some pretty cool canvas art with slug tape and LED’s to create circuits, they helped over 200 people create digital art.

Before we knew it, it was 2pm. Time to run our workshops! The workshops ran 3 times with different people running them each time. Femi ran his first whilst I wrote feedback about his session. Then it was my turn to run mine and Abbie did the final session.

We had 10 young people all creating pedometers and Emoji machines using the radio functions on the micro:bit. Participants even got the chance to sew their micro:bit into a bag to make it a wearable device. I really enjoyed running the session, it was great fun!

At the end of the day we all got a swag bag each to take home with some cool stuff including a Kitronik Inventors Kit. The event was truly inspirational for everyone who took part and a huge thanks must go to Grace, the South London Raspberry Jam team and all the sponsors which include:

micro:bit Educational Foundation
Github
Computing At School
Tate Modern
Red Hat
IBM
pi-top
Pimoroni
Kitronik
Rapid Online
Monk Makes
Proto-Pic
+ many more!

Categories: Events

4 Comments

Harry Cartwright · February 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Good read.

Granddad · February 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Very good account young man!

Balan · February 22, 2018 at 10:28 am

Good write up Joshua. Avni really enjoyed being part of it.

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