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DigiMakers

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08 November 2013



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Students from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering collaborated with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and At-Bristol to organise the event.  Over 850 people from around the region have attended previous events, which took place at the Science learning centre, At-Bristol in April, June and September.

The theme for this event is Robotics, visitors will have the chance to take part in hands-on workshops and see some of the cutting edge technology used at the Bristol Robotics Lab. The workshops will use a range of technologies including Raspberry Pi’s Arduino, Lego Mindstorm alongside programming workshops. The event is free and aimed at beginners through to intermediate level, people can sign-up to one of the workshops on Eventbrite.

Mike Bartley Chair of BCS and LEP High Tech Sector Group said: “For far too long Computing has been equated with IT which turns a lot of children away. Our next event at @Bristol will encourage under 18s to get creative with computers by building robots. Hopefully they will have fun and get to see a whole new side of the subject”

But as Chair of local LEP High Tech Sector Group and the BCS I have another objective here. The area has a huge number of local companies crying out for these skills and they pay good salaries. We need to create a pipeline of talent for both our current employers and for those looking to locate here. Our own local Silicon Valley or Silicon Gorge if you will!’

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Faculty of Engineering, added: “The government’s proposed changes to the computer science curriculum shows the national importance of the skills shortage but there is still much work to be done to inspire young people and engage teachers.

“Informal events, like the DigiMakers, play an important role in educating children in subjects such as electronics, computer science, digital media and engineering. With over 230 parents, children and teachers attending each event , it is clear there is a huge demand for this type of activity.”

The event aims to provide fun hands-on workshops for beginners through to intermediate level, and allow experts to share ideas with others.
Activities will include:
• A drop-in centre for those who have just got their Pi out the box but don’t know what to do next;
• Controlling a Robotic Rover with Scratch
• Catch the biscuit thief-using a Raspberry Pi as an intruder alarm
• Dance-Off with Lego Mindstorm
• Introduction to Python and Scratch