It’s ‘game on’ for GAME ON
28 participants, two days, three workshop stations. How will the young generation of today cope when thrown into the world of coding and creative tech?
“It’s so important to learn the skill of coding because of how much technology is around nowadays, it’s also really cool to have an understanding of how your phone apps work.” – Game On 2015 participant.
All participants were split into three different groups, rotating around three different workshops set out by creative technologists and games programmers Holly, Emi and Alex. The workshop stations were:
Scratch is game design software which allows participants to make games and animations by inputting values into pre-made blocks, and also explore various examples of other users’ work to have a look at and play.
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform used to make interactive projects through the use of coding. In this workshop, participants were shown the basics of the programme which allowed them to create images such as houses and snowmen through making shapes and manipulating them.
This workshop explored the use of coding to program a Arduino Uno. The participants had to follow instructions to wire a breadboard with components such as LDRs, resistors and speakers to connect them to the Arduino. They then had to program the Arduino board to make different sounds through the attached speaker.
“A lot of us have had experience using Scratch before, but this project is a lot more hands on for us and that’s why we’ve enjoyed it. The tasks have given us more freedom and it’s really interesting!” a participant told us.
However, it was crucial for the participants to know the objective of this programme.
“We’ve had it drilled into our heads that more female engineers and programmers are needed nowadays, but no one has ever really told us why there is a gender gap and why we need more girls involved. If we were given the facts and statistics a lot more females would do it to stop the stereotypes. This programme has showed us that girls can code and we can do these tasks just as well as boys can.”
Many of the participants reported that they found the coding and programming tasks enjoyable, and would want to continue practising these skills later on in life. Career ambitions throughout the group of participants ranged from school teachers to marine biologists, but many agreed that coding is a useful skill regardless of where their career path takes them.
For those excelling in the workshop tasks, coding was something that participants wanted to carry on practising after the Game On project has ended, especially after being informed of the career doors that creative technology opens.
Throughout the rest of the project, the participants will be working towards expanding the skills taught to them on the first day to fine tune their understanding of creative coding and programming.
To keep up to date on the project, follow #gameon15