What's coming up - soldering and the Buzz Wire game

Our term time classes are mostly pretty software heavy. Students work on games, animations, and lots else besides, and on the whole it’s a curriculum we’re super happy with and which is really well received. Sometimes though it can be tough to persuade these students that they want to attend the summer camps as well. “Sure, I’ll be back to it in September anyway, no need to spend my holidays in front of a screen as well”.

For the summer courses this year we wanted to make absolutely certain we had something a bit different for students to get stuck into, and to make sure they had a reason to come along even having attended the whole way through the school year.

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There will of course be coding too (we’re not called “The Academy of Code” for nothing), but we’re really emphasising the wider world of technology as well. One of the projects we’re particularly looking forward to running is the variously named Buzz Wire/Steady Hand game. The circuitry is not terribly complicated, but getting hands on with a soldering iron will be a new experience for most attendees.

Adding hands on sessions like this will also help integrate our beginners and returning students, who are often by neccesity separated for the coding elements of the course. For existing students who may want to bring along friends who are new to the Academy of Code it will mean that they can actually enjoy significant chunks of the course together, rather than just hanging out during breaks as might previously have been the case. We’ll still have advanced coding projects and lessons for returning students, there will just be a lot else besides them as well.

Compared with previous years we have had a much longer lead in to the summer this year, so we have a ton of other new material ready to go as well. We’re also lucky to have been able to test a lot of it on various volunteers - our thanks go to TY work experience students Thomas, who has been with us every Tuesday since Easter, and Sam, who is with us all this week, for their help on this one!

Barring any last minute changes this will be part of all our Taste of Computer Science courses this summer. Places still available at the time of writing - check out our summer camp home page for more details and to register. We can’t wait!

(And yes, if you watched closely you would notice they made their loop absolutely huge on this one. They’re clearly setting the bar for steady hands very low indeed!)