Year 10 pupils inspired by robotics
Following the Technocamps announcement (Wednesday 2 February 2011) by the Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths AM, a group of Year 10 pupils will find out, first hand, how the multi-million pound initiative will help encourage young people to learn about computing and its place in the world through novel, interactive and exciting workshops and master classes.
The programme, which is led by Swansea University in partnership with the Universities of Bangor, Aberystwyth and Glamorgan, will focus on a range of exciting topics including robotics, games development, animation, digital forensics and software development and much more.
Tracy Senchal, Deputy Head teacher at Bishop Gore Comprehensive School in Swansea said: "At Bishop Gore we are committed to providing learning experiences for our pupils that will equip them with the knowledge, skills and understanding that are required in the 21st Century.
"A project, such as Technocamps, will not only enthuse pupils through their genuine interest in the subject matter, but also demonstrate to them how subjects (such as Science, Technology, Maths and IT) are inter-related."
Robotics is the topic of one of the more popular workshops. Year 10 pupil, Liam Masurier, explained: "I am really looking forward to seeing the robots and finding out how the they move and respond. I think the lesson will be a great way of understanding more about computers and technology in an entertaining and animated way."
Fred Lambrosse, Lecturer at Aberystwyth University's Computer Science Department, added: "Robots are truly inspirational - they are fun devices that are proven to help young and old alike learn many aspects of Computing and, as importantly, understand some of the cutting edge technologies that are developed here in Wales and used across a wide range of market sectors world-wide."
School pupils attending a Future Interactive Technologies workshop during the Technocamps 'pilot'.
Professor Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps at Swansea University concluded: "The partnership is confident that the interactive, 'real-life' learning scenarios used during the Technocamp sessions will inspire girls and boys to continue to enjoy studying computing throughout school and college and, as importantly, encourage them to achieve the appropriate qualifications, skills and knowledge that they'll need to successfully pursue a career as a computer technologist, scientist or engineer, or even an entrepreneur in the dynamic and fast-growing digital economy."
The Technocamp workshops will be offered daily and weekly to pupils in the Convergence areas of Wales from May 2011. Eligible schools and colleges will be contacted by the Project Team and invited to take part in the outreach activities and interactive workshops over the life of the project. More information about the programme is available online: www.itwales.com. Alternatively, interested parties are encouraged to contact their local University.
e-skills UK's Computer Clubs for Girls
Peter Sishton, Manager for e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology, said, "e-skills UK is very pleased to support the development of Technocamps as part of our commitment to our long term partnership with ITWales.
"Employment in the IT industry in Wales is predicted to grow five times faster than the national average over the next decade - needing over 17,000 new technology professional in the next five years to keep up with demand. This means it is essential that we have a healthy pipeline of talent coming into the industry and Technocamps are an excellent way to inspire young people about the further study of STEM subjects and careers on IT.
e-skills UK's Computer Clubs for Girls initiative is a great example of education, government and partner organisations working together to ensure that the technology sector in Wales has the skills it needs, both now and in the future, to drive the economy forward."