Sheffield Kids Go Crazy For Coding

Posted: April 12, 2017 at 11:03 am

Over 100 young people and their families gained new skills as they enjoyed a fun filled day of digital workshops on Saturday 8th April.

The event was held at the new Creative and Digital Centre at The Sheffield College Hillsborough Campus, which has modern performance spaces and high tech studios.

The Family Digital Makers Day is part of a council-led programme which trains Student Ambassadors from six Sheffield Secondary Schools in digital making, covering App development, open data, Raspberry Pi and robotics. Once trained, Student Ambassadors cascade their computing knowledge, enthusiasm and skills to pupils in 18 connected primary schools and their families.

The Saturday event was an extension of the programme, connecting young people and their families from all areas of Sheffield to engage in digital making. Workshops included CodeBug, animation, Scratch, Minecraft, VEX Robotics, Micro:bit, app development and games design.
The workshops were delivered in partnership with UTC Sheffield, Sheffield City Council’s Family Learning and E-Learning Teams and The Sheffield College.

Robert Walker, from Sheffield City Council, who champions digital skills in schools, opened the event and provided families with information on digital making initiatives and activities taking place across the city. He commented:

“We are extremely pleased to see that there is clearly a significant appetite for digital making events like these both in school and out of school in Sheffield. We can see from previous Family Digital Makers Days over the last year that this appetite is growing quickly, with this event being the highest attended yet.

“It was fantastic to see over 100 young people working together and having fun with their families whilst taking part in digital workshops. We aim to make these events a regular feature so that young people from around our city can continue to develop their digital skills.”
He added: “We have combined European funding (from the Erasmus+ programme) and funding from the Raspberry Pi Foundation to provide these events at no cost to the parents and children. We now have enthused and motivated young people who could do so much more and we are keen to work with anyone who can help to take this work forward.”

Ruth Post attended the event with her husband and 5 and 7-year-old children. She commented:

“Thank you so much for organising such a fantastic day! Both my children, myself and my husband really enjoyed ourselves. My children are excited about the idea of animating and programming, my husband went straight out to buy a Micro:bit, and I now want a Tablet, something I’ve not felt inclined towards before today.”

Attendees were encouraged to carry on developing their skills ready to enter Sheffield’s annual Digital Making competition, CODE>MAKE>WIN, which is open to 9-19 year olds across the city. The competition offers cash prizes to winners and has a series of bonus prizes sponsored by local businesses, including Benchmark Recruitment as the headline sponsor.

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