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Free programming workshops for Cambridge classrooms

By Gemma Gardner

Free programming workshops for Cambridge classrooms
Free programming workshops for Cambridge classrooms

Primary schools in the area are being offered a free computer programming workshop by technology education specialist ComputerXplorers Cambridge during British Science Week (March 9-18).

Children will use a micro:bit minicomputer to turn a pair of headphones into a jukebox controlled by a piece of fruit.

But places are limited so schools interested in having a free two-hour Jukebox Joy workshop should register their interest now.

Also available from ComputerXplorers is a free downloadable activity sheet for teachers and parents to use in lessons or at home. Called Light up Your World, the clear step by step guide sets out how to create a light sensor using a micro:bit with JavaScript Blocks Editor. The sheet shows children how to programme their micro:bits to display different images depending on the level of the light source. The activity sheet can be downloaded from the ComputerXplorers website.

The two-hour workshops and activity sheet are aligned with British Science Week’s core goals. Their aim is to provide an entertaining and engaging activity that enhances children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. The in-school workshops don’t simply teach skills, but stimulate children to stretch their abilities and try new things.

Andrew Green, director of ComputerXplorers Cambridge believes micro:bit is an excellent tool for empowering primary school children to become ‘digital creators’.

He said: “We all consume digital media every day, but there is still a misconception that programming and coding is only for technology specialists.

“Our micro:bit workshops and activity download prove that this isn’t true. With a little bit of guidance, even young children can have enormous fun using a micro:bit to make games, send coded messages, and communicate with light and music.

“The fruit control aspect is a bit of fun but more importantly, this experience of programming sets them on a path to engage positively with technology throughout their education.”

ComputerXplorers’ Programming for Primaries has been running for five years and this is the third time it has been held in conjunction with British Science Week. To date, more than 1,500 children and 100 teachers have benefitted from free workshops and CPD sessions offered as part of the initiative.

For more information visit https://cambridgeandchelmsford.computerxplorers.co.uk/.


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