Uppingham Community College – Hackathon – 13th June

BBC announced that they would be creating this amazing Micro:bit project. It was put on the news and it was announced for their ‘Make It Digital’ campaign. With all of this in mind, I wanted to see how the current year 5 and 6’s were doing with their programming knowledge. I decided that I would host a number of free Saturday ‘Hackathons’ at Uppingham Community College. We had roughly 20 students turn up to this event and even had some adults come a long so that they could see how it can be taught in a classroom environment / code club.

The basics of the event required the students to understand how computers give instructions. I would use my KS2 curriculum to introduce them to the basics of TouchDevelop. In order to give students access to TouchDevelop.com I created a single login which all of the students could use.

We started with the basics such as moving a turtle around, but the students moved on quite quickly. They were applying maze’s as a background and writing out algorithms which would program a turtle to move into difficult locations. They soon got to understand how ‘stupid’ computers can be! They now understand that computers only act based on the instructions that they are given. At the end of the session I asked all of the students what they thought of the session and they thoroughly enjoyed the session. I was delighted to see that they were all getting something from the coding event. I’m now looking forward to trying some new things on the 27th of June. We still have a number of spaces for year 4 through to year 6 and you can sign up your students here. Please email me at chambers_r@ucc.rutland.sch.uk if you have any difficulties with this link. This video shows some of the activities which the students were able to complete and even how they enjoyed it at the end. Each student is holding out a print out of their code and how far they got into the challenge!

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About Raymond David James Chambers

I am the Lead teacher of computing at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby Northamptonshire. Previously I was the head of IT/Computing at Uppingham Community College. In 2015 I won the Gold National Teaching award for Innovative use of technology. I also won the 2015 Young Game Bafta - Mentor award. I'm keen to help students achieve their best and like to give them opportunities to do this. I have a passion for teaching and I enjoy meeting other people and sharing their ideas. I have a keen interest in games development as well as developing the use of ICT in classrooms across the curriculum. In my spare time I teach Irish dancing. I have been Irish dancing since I was 11. My highest position was 14th at the world championships 3 years running and 2nd at the Great Britain Championships in 2006.
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