Creative Computing Club Suffolk
When does it start?
It starts May 8th, 2012 at Chantry Library Hawthorn Children’s Centre. Every Tuesday at 4pm til 5:30pm. 15 students, 8 weeks, coding, design, animation & hardware.
It has been a long time in the planning, but I thought I should start to tell people about it. Creative Computing Club is an informal after school computing club for 12-16 year-olds run by myself Matthew C. Applegate / Pixelh8 in a local library.
The whole ethos for the club is to teach students how to be more creative with computers and technology, we will not be teaching you how to use word processors. We do however hope to teach programming (XNA, Processing and HTML), game design (Game Maker, Unity, App Inventor), electronic music and sound design (Audacity and others) basic electronics (Arduino and LEGO Mindstorms) and animation (Traditional and Digital). I am hoping my vast teaching and working experience will help secure sponsorship from at least a few of these companies to get the necessary licenses and maybe even some hardware, having taught nearly a thousand students across the world and managed myself as a successful multi-disciplinary artist I feel I have enough patience, knowledge and experience to do this.
What experience do you have?
I have had five years of doing these kinds of workshops all over the UK, and I have learned that a sustained local group which regularly meets is what is needed to take students from beginners to being skilled. One off workshops are fine, but to really get in to a subject you need time and continued support to develop these skills. Check out http://pixelh8.co.uk/about/ for list of institutions and companies I have worked with. I am fully Criminal Records Bureau checked and I am a STEMNET ambassador for Suffolk.
The project will initially run for 8 weeks, pending how successful and whether we can get some funding to continue it.
How will the sessions work?
Each session will be around 90 minutes long for the first 30 minutes I will give a brief presentation about a subject programming, animation, game design or electronics. After which the students can either choose to join in with exploring it further or just work on their own projects. I will work my way around the group helping each student with their projects. The aim is not to have us all working on the same thing but to have a friendly environment where they can work on their ideas and get occasional support from myself and their peers.
Why not do it in schools?
I do that as well. I just felt by running an after school club in a more neutral area like a library would get students from across Ipswich and maybe even Suffolk interested.
Is it free?
Can students from outside Suffolk attend?
Yes, so long as you can get here. Creative Computing Club Suffolk is just the name.
Can students younger than 12 and older than 16 attend?
Yes, but I will need to talk to them first about their computing experience.
How many students are you taking on?
Hopefully around 15, we may end up running more than one session a week, but we have to keep it manageable. I have a PhD to do as well you know.
My kids don’t go to school can they attend?
Of course home educated and flexi-school kids are welcome too.
Will the events take place anywhere else?
Yes, we may show up and do presentations or one off sessions elsewhere too.
Can parents attend with their child?
Yes, however due to child safety you can only work with your own child.
Are there any qualifications that you can gain from this course?
No, but if there is something you want us to work towards like a piece of schoolwork we can take that on board and hopefully help.
Can you help?
We are looking for bits and bobs to help run the workshops, we know times are hard so only offer if you really can afford to. We need LEGO Mindstorms NXT parts, LEGO, Arduinos, Big Tracks, electronic components (LEDs, resistors, motors), Memory Sticks, Mobile Phones we can develop on, coloured paper, Webcams, Kinnect sensors, felt tip pens, pencils, recent books on XNA, Processing, Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms, HTML5, Game Maker and Tweets (lots of them). Do you work for a company that might be able to help, again only hassle your boss if it is not going to get you into trouble.