Jam Packed UK, Mansfield

News

Shirebrook Academy hosted the Jam Packed Tour on

Friday 17th & Saturday 18th April 2015.

Hack to the Future – Friday

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Adventure with Python!

Teachers and students collaborated on gaming projects to extend text based programming tools, projects through physical computing and ideas to share creativity across the curriculum.  Pedagogy and review were the focus for the planned activities.

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Sonic Pi review – do you like it?

Using Raspberry Pi gave opportunities to share musical compositions with Sonic Pi and inevitably hacking Minecraft.

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Dave with Minecraft Pi. And TNT again!

Sabotage was the basis to build up a range of debugging skills to enable the students to work independently as well as collaboratively.

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Play-Hack-Share

Teacher feedback:

“Raspberry Pi and Minecraft was new to myself and I learnt alongside the students. Really enjoyed this aspect.  Good to see a different teaching perspective” Paul Ellam

“A good way to see teaching resources and techniques in action” Kai Lau

“Development of games from a coding point of view” Steve Roberts

“Exciting and engaging content” Natalie M-H

Family Hack Jam – Friday evening

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Challenge launch

Pizza, robots, gaming and team challenges were the theme for the Hack Jam.

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Teams worked on a local theme to create projects which were shared and improved over the course of the evening.

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Robot challenges proved popular as NAO soon became a significant visitor and interacted with everybody.

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Teacher feedback:

“The benefits of families working together to produce an output.  Coding was merely a tool to do this, it was all about problem solving” Ben Davies

“Community feeling of everybody trying something new.  Team building, students getting excited about computing” Natalie M-H

“Everyone giving things a go and team building” Amy Taylor

Raspberry Jam

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Family successes!

The Raspberry Pi-Zone saw families and new collaborations joining together to create games, work on new challenges and discover projects from others.

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Workshops ranged from setting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time to testing out add-on kits like Monk Makes to discover the joys of traffic lights on the Pi.

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Minecraft hack with Python and Sonic Pi for music projects also featured and proved popular.  Funny that : )

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Teacher feedback:

“Great ideas on how school digital leaders can introduce Raspberry Pi to younger year groups” Anon

“Providing shared opportunities for adults and children interested in computing” Steve Roberts

“Being part of a sample lesson and learning about Raspberry Pi” Vonny Shelley

“Sessions aimed at teachers, community involvement and student engagement” Amy Taylor

Full photo galleries here

Your Vote Can Help Us

News

Alan writes: I’m very proud that our JamPackedUK project has been selected as a finalist in the Tech4Good awards. Please support us, by voting for us and by encouraging as many others as you can to vote for us.

The voting page is slightly complicated; you need to provide an email address first to authenticate your vote, then select our JamPackedUK logo among the other finalists and finally say where you heard of the awards. Click here to vote. We’re one of 27 finalists and voting closes at the end of June.

If you’d like to know a little more about what we’ve done and why we think we deserve to win, read on…

The overall aim of JamPackedUK was to make a positive impact on the quality of teaching of the new computing curriculum in schools through:

1. Supporting the development of teachers, particularly those new to teaching computing

2. Develop computing communities in areas where children and families had few opportunities to access computing outside of the school curriculum

We were successful in applying for grant funding from the DfE, The Raspberry Pi Foundation and RM Education. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for this support as this funding enabled us to take our events and activities on a road show tour focusing on the north of the UK.

Since November, we’ve led 47 different events and activities to support our aims. 2500 teachers, adults and young people have attended a JamPackedUK event since November and 1500 teachers registered for our 14 online webinars which are available in our Toolkit. We’ve received outstanding feedback from participants and many teachers attending our events have told us how they have gone on to change their teaching as a result of participating and some have gone on to organise their own community events as a result.

JamPacked UK, Manchester

News

The Jam Packed Tour arrived at Manchester Communication Academy on Friday 27th March, with a full programme planned for the 2-day Computing festival.

During the 3 events held on the Friday and Saturday, we welcomed friends from the community who’d travelled far and wide to share their experiences and ask lots of computing-related questions.

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Jam Packed Community Computing

Yes, Project Cat Flap was Raspberry Pi and camera specific, and later taken safely back to Yorkshire for further investigations.  Another friend from the Raspberry Pi Community travelled back to Surrey with more Pi, Python and interactive story-making experiences to share and one of our visitors got safely on the flight back to Tipperary – great catching up after last year’s Jamboree, btw!.

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Pi-gantic journeys to the Jam!

Attending the 3 events included:

  • Pupils aged from 3 to 18 years alongside adults young and old.
  • Over 25 Computing teachers came together from primary and secondary schools across Manchester, Salford, Cheshire, Lancashire and beyond.
  • Computing at School Master Teachers and Hub Leaders from Lancashire, Manchester and Salford
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Jam Packed family events

  • Picademy Teachers
  • Code Club volunteers locally and also from York
  • Regional Code Club Co-ordinator for the North West
  • STEM Ambassadors
  • Initial Teacher Trainers and University lecturers from Edge Hill University
  • Hardware and software developers

Hack to the Future – Friday

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Play-Hack-Share

Full Photo Gallery 

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Manchester Communication Academy hosted the Hack to the Future event during their school day.   We planned 4 workshops with teachers that gave an opportunity to explore, through hands-on activities and challenges with students, and also a chance to reflect and plan with a range of teaching strategies and resources observed from each session.

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Minecraft Hack

The workshops were: 

  • Group 1: Year 9 GCSE Computing pupils will complete a practice programming assignment (A453) in under three hours, from analysis and design through to development & testing. Alan O’Donohoe
  • Group 2: Year 9 pupils will explore a range of digital literacy tools including Mozilla Webmaker resources, Xray Goggles and Twine. Claire Garside
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Ahmad introduces AI through Python

  • Group 3: Year 5 pupils explore the potential of Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi computer. Alan O’Donohoe & Dave Ames
  • Group 4: Year 5 pupils review existing artificial intelligence chatbots and create their own using Small Basic or Python. Ahmad Jolloh
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More Minecraft collaborations

Teacher feedback:

“Really good event – got pupils engaged straight away.” J Plaiter

Great to be able to make new contacts.  It gave me an insight into how to make use of the Raspberry Pi as well as making links with the local secondary school.” N Stewardson

It was very helpful seeing an actual Computing lesson rather than just being given a bunch of resources.” N Iqbal

Being able to talk to colleagues about their experiences of teaching computing in school.” Diana Bemowski

How would you describe the event to a colleague?

“A great chance to network with like-minded people and a lot of resources made available.” N Iqbal

It’s amazing!  Go along to see interesting ideas and speak to other teachers.”

Family Hack Jam – Friday evening

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Rest-Play-Review

Full Photo Gallery 

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Family teams

Teams of families, peers and friends joined us at the Friday evening Hack Jam.  The groups had to collaborate to model their interactive Cluedo-style story plot using a game or an interactive open source tool called Twine.

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First into the Prize Chamber was the team who the judges deemed to be the most creative with artistic styling and who, most importantly, had worked together with the best team working all evening : )

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Raspberry Jam – Saturday

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Teamwork & Workshops

Saturday 28th March – Full Photo Gallery 

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We were joined by over 100 people at the Raspberry Jam; families, students, parents, carers, grandparents, Geek Gran, teachers, tinkerers, enthusiasts, beginners and a couple of enquirers.

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We had so many collaboration spaces at the Academy that we were able to set up a programme of workshops in a Raspberry Pi classroom as well as additional sessions with open source tools.

Included were:

  • Beginners’ Pi
  • Hacking Minecraft using Python on a Raspberry Pi
  • Games development using Scratch on the Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi Inventions
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Family team buildsMore Pi.  You can never have enough Pi.

  • More Pi
  • A GCSE Programming Assignment
  • Pygame Hack
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Dave gets dangerous with Minecraft TNT. Again.

Teacher feedback:

“Positive and creative atmosphere with lots of interesting activities. My students that attended really enjoyed it.” Simon Howarth

“Opportunity to learn more…tinkering with code in PyGame to see impact on the game and exploring what code does.  Great having children there to see what they can do with a confident and passionate teacher.” Ben Davies

“Hands-on, enthusiastic, fun and engaging.” John Sibbald

“Friendly and fun but all ages were learning lots at the same time.” Ann Wagstaff

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Invent with Pi

How would you describe the event to a colleague?

“The event allows hands-on experiences into new ways of computing that students get fully involved with.  Excellent opportunities!” Victoria Shepherd

“Great for CPD opportunities.  Fun and engaging.” Daniel Burgess

“A fantastic family event.” Richard Price

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Blog Corner

https://geekgran.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/raspberry-pi-manchester-in-association-with-jampackeduk/

The Preston Jamboree

News

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The annual Jamboree came to Our Lady’s Catholic High School on 20th,  21st  &  22nd March 2015. This time it was a 3-day Computing festival in Preston with over 250 people joining us at one (or more) of the 4 events.

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It was another party weekend so we were thrilled to be joined by friends from Raspberry Pi, including one of the founder members Pete Lomas along with Carrie Anne Philbin and James Robinson from the Education Team.

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Attending the 4 events included:

  • Pupils aged from 4 to 18 years alongside adults young and old.
  • Over 30 Computing teachers from primary and secondary schools in Lancashire and further afield
  • Friends (and a now infamous weather station) from the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education team
  • Computing at School Master Teachers and Hub Leaders from Lancashire, Manchester and Salford
  • Picademy Teachers
  • Code Club volunteers
  • STEM Ambassadors
  • Digital Leaders from primary schools and secondary schools
  • Initial Teacher Trainers and University lecturers from Edge Hill University
  • Hardware and software developers

Hack to the Future – Friday

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Full Photo Gallery 

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We planned 4 workshops with teachers that gave an opportunity to explore, through hands-on activities, and also a chance to reflect and plan with a range of teaching strategies and resources observed from each session.

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Intros

Facilitating the workshops were Carrie Anne Philbin and James Robinson of the Raspberry Pi Foundation Education Team and David Ames, Sarah Zaman & Alan O’Donohoe as Computing at School Master Teachers.

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Sonic Pi for learning

The workshops were:

  • Why all the fuss about the Raspberry Pi? What do I need to set one up? Tips for success in the classroom.
  • Teach Computing through Scratch, Sonic Pi, Python, Pygame & Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi
  • Use the Raspberry Pi to control objects in the physical world.
  • Collaboration opportunities in teams to develop a project in response to a problem.

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Teacher feedback:

“Really useful information which I can use in lessons.” Theresa Russell

“The practical aspects of the course and presenters were excellent.” Adam Blackburn

“Really good hands-on experience that will change your mind about Raspberry Pi in the classroom.” Neil Dreland

“Seeing all the great activities I could do with a Raspberry Pi and meeting like-minded, enthusiastic people.” Neil Dreland

“Go along and open your mind to new ways of thinking about Computer Science.” Ross Bullough

“It was such an amazing day! I learnt loads!” Sharon Williams

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Family Hack Jam – Friday evening

Full Photo Gallery 

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Teams of families and friends joined us at the evening Hack Jam. They collaborated with road safety data to model their message or solution about road safety using a game or an interactive story.

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Specifically about their own journey to school, these groups had to use decision making strategies based on data sets to create a resource for others using either Scratch or Twine open source tools.

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And the first team into the Prize Chamber?   Well actually it’s their second time in pole position as this team of students from Carr Hill joined us in Eccles and scooped top marks from the judges then, too. Prizes for all as usual, and for that winning team they each chose a copy of Carrie Anne’s ‘Adventures in Raspberry Pi’. The learning continues!

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The winning team from Carr Hill with Carrie Anne

Teacher feedback:

“Opportunity to talk to people and swap ideas.” Ivan Holland

“Learning new ideas to use in the classroom and networking with other teachers” Sarah Zaham

“Very positive impact on the 6 pupils attending, particularly the boys.” Mark Capaldi

“Very effective method of engaging and firing up enthusiasm.” Mark Capaldi

“Great atmosphere and learning for reluctant learners.” Carole Molyneux

“Enthusiasm of the organisers and engagement of pupils, children and families.” 

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Team effort

Jamboree Raspberry Jam – Saturday and Sunday

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Saturday Jam Photo Gallery

Over 100 people came together to Jam in Raspberry Pi style at the Saturday event. This time we decided to collaborate with Jamboree panache over the whole weekend and into Sunday afternoon.

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Exploring Scratch GPIO

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Sonic Pi workshop

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Music coding with Sonic Pi

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Using electric paint with Raspberry Pi

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Paint, Py, Pi with DOTS BOARD success!

Workshops offered at the Jam gave everybody opportunities to get started, invent and prototype hardware and consider Raspberry Pi inventions. Included were:

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Minecraft Madness

  1. Hacking Minecraft using Python on a Raspberry Pi
  2. Building a Minecraft Server
  3. Developing games using Scratch on the Raspberry Pi
  4. Exploring Scratch GPIO
  5. A music workshop using Sonic Pi was led by Carrie Anne and James which new converts to the software and inspired a new generation of music makers.
  6. Robot building the Cumble way with Redfearn Electronics
  7. Pygame Hack
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And even more Minecraft!

Lightning talks are always an invaluable way to learn and share at a Jam and we were privileged to hear many talks over the weekend.   Examples included:

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Pete Lomas – Raspberry Pi from the start

  1. We were delighted to be joined by Pete Lomas from Raspberry Pi who shared the development story of the mini-computer.
  2. Teachers were able to explore and ask about the Raspberry Pi Weather Station project as James talked about opportunities across the curriculum and for which all schools have the opportunity to apply to join.
  3. Digital leaders talking about the impact on their learning and teacher perceptions from their Raspberry Pi Club in school
  4. A Y6 pupil talking about the new DOTs BOARD used with a Raspberry Pi and electric paint which he’d set up during the Jamboree.
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Pete with the @MaryMagsPiClub

We were able to set up a Hack Space at the Jamboree for the first time this year which quickly became a collaboration hub.

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Smile, you’re on Pi-Cam

For those tinkering with their own projects it was a great chance to share, ask and test with others in the community and more projects developed over the weekend and beyond, including:

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Arduino Hack

  1. A Raspberry Pi radio recording project using Java
  2. Robot Pi racing
  3. Pi-Camera Photo Booth
  4. Crumble robot creations
  5. Raspberry Pi light creations, almost bordering on art installations
  6. Using a Raspberry Pi as a remote device
  7. Bespoke gaming and website design activities
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Hack Space at the Jam

Sunday Jam Photo Gallery

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Teacher feedback:

“Getting an understanding of how to use the Raspberry Pi and Minecraft at school with cross-curricular links.” John Coughlin

“It was fantastic to see all the Pi stuff on show….now I can see the amazing opportunities available to kids of all ages.” Steff Evans

“Meeting other Raspberry Pi users and hearing about their projects. Good explanation during workshops (Sonic Pi and Pygame) and Minecraft Server was brilliant! Great atmosphere.” Carolyn Yates

“Seeing primary children delivering a presentation on computer coding was great.” Jeremy Straker

“Being in a room full of people who love Computing! I personally had some informative discussions with some other people who run primary computer clubs like myself.” Ian Duxbury

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How would you describe the event to a colleague?

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Another shared idea!

“If you are interested in seeing what you can do with Raspberry Pi and how a community can build up around a product then definitely go to one – and do not be afraid to ask questions and talk to people.” Mary Cooch

“The event was really interesting and gave you a taster of all sorts of ways of using Raspberry Pi. It was very welcoming and you didn’t feel like you had to know about computers to join in.” Claire Lowe

“I would say it was a very well organised fun, learning event for all the family.” Anita Kay

“Come as it will change your view of what we need to teach our children in terms of computing, and move them away from being consumers of gaming to producers and developers.” Becky Wells-Earp

“Great opportunity for kids to learn something great!” Steff Evans

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Blog Corner

http://www.moodleblog.net/2015/03/21/moodlefairy-gets-a-slice-of-raspberry-pi-at-rjamboree/

 

JamPacked UK, Leeds

News

The JamPackedUK tour arrived in Leeds on 27 & 28 February for a 2-day Computing festival at Carr Manor Community School.

Raspberry Pi Workshop: Jam Packed from Meagan Mansfield on Vimeo.

Over 400 people joined us at one (or more) of the 3 events, and we even had an appearance from a robot called KEITH!

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Click for full JamPackedUK Leeds’ Gallery

It was a party weekend in so many ways, as we joined with friends down in Cambridge to celebrate the Raspberry Pi’s 3rd birthday with a good dose of birthday cakes, balloons, games and even jelly.

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Pi Birthday Weekend at Carr Manor

Attending all 3 events were:

  • Pupils aged from 4 to 18 years
  • Computing teachers from the host school and other local secondary and primary schools (and beyond – that’s Bradford and Wigan!)
  • The Code Club Regional Co-ordinator
  • The Young Rewired State Hyperlocal and Everywhere Lead
  • Computing at School Master Teachers and Hub Leaders from Bradford and Leeds
  • Picademy Teachers
  • Initial Teacher Trainers from Trinity University and Becketts University
  • University lecturers and PhD students
  • Hardware and software developers
  • Training organisations

Hack to the Future – Friday 27th February

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We planned 5 workshops with pupils from the Y8 to Y11 age range; 133 learners in total. That gave visiting teachers, student teachers, lecturers, supporters and teachers from the host school a chance to participate and reflect on a range of teaching strategies and resources observed at each session.

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All with the same aim, which was to inspire and engage pupils through Computer Science.

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The workshops were:

  • Y8 pupils extending HTML coding skills using Mozilla tools and then exploring Python as a text based language through game making
  • Y10 GCSE Computing pupils using Raspberry Pi for challenges through physical computing activities
  • Y9 Science students exploring data visualisation and visualisation literacy with the Seeing Data team from Leeds University
  • Y11 GCSE Computing students extending programming with Python through game making
  • After school ‘Minecraft Hack’ club using Raspberry Pi with a group of mixed aged Minecraft fans

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Teacher feedback:

“You’ve inspired teachers, parents and most importantly, children with your energy, enthusiasm and passion for computing. We’re committed to building on the success of the weekend and have lots of ideas about how we engage our community through technology.” Andrew Laycock, Assistant Principal at Carr Manor Community School.

“Fantastic event and opportunity to move forward with the Computing Curriculum.” Donna Byrne, Carr Manor Community School.

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“Imaginative and engaging event.” David Duke, University of Leeds

“The event was very well organised, highly enjoyable for all and presented in an enthusiastic manner”. Wayne Book, Carr Manor Community School

Positive aspects observed by trainee teachers on the day:

  • Observing different teaching styles
  • Flexibility of choice of activities
  • Everything on the Raspberry Pi including set up
  • Being able to use Raspberry Pi. I have no previous experience with them.
  • Trying out new concepts
  • The resources available are very good

Family Hack Jam

Seventeen family teams joined us for the Hack Jam on Friday evening. All collaborating on a Leeds-based plotline and using either Scratch or Twine as their chosen tool.

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For some it was a chance to use the open source software for the first time and to be shown by the younger generation how to get started and develop a game.

Lots of learning conversations and spying opportunities to enhance a team’s concept, whether that involved blue bananas at Tropical World, gold Olympic post-boxes, unicorns or iconic journeys around the city.

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And the first team into the Prize Chamber?   The collaborators entering the Unicorn Heaven hack.

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We did it!

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Treasures from the Prize Chamber : )

Teacher feedback:

“It’s a good event to learn how children investigate software themselves. More discovery learning than school.” Jenny Sharp

“Go, it is ace! Plenty of ideas to use at all levels. Differentiation and learning for all!” Seba Thomson

Raspberry Jam – Saturday 28th February

Over 150 people came together to jam in Raspberry Pi style at the birthday party weekend event.

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New collaborations formed, as they always do, with young sharing with an older generation, elders mentoring younger jammers, teachers sharing projects with trainee teachers and above all else, everybody asking each other ‘how did you do that?’.

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Our hosts Carr Manor, being a ‘through school’ for children aged 4 – 16 years, were determined to offer opportunities for everybody in their community regardless of age and experience.

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Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft

Workshops offered at the Jam gave everybody opportunities to get started, invent and prototype hardware with Monk Makes, hack Minecraft and develop their own games using the Raspberry Pi computers.

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We were thrilled to be joined by our friends from Code Club and Young Rewired State, who offered even more opportunities to the local community and beyond.

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Linda Broughton, Yorkshire & Humber Regional Co-ordinator for Code Club, shared learning experiences and resources with families wanting to have a taste of Code Club challenges and collaborated with the Raspberry Pi classroom using Scratch activities for game making.

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Kate McDonald, Hyperlocal and Everywhere Lead with Young Rewired State, came along with a team of YRS mentors and previous challengers from @YRSLeeds past events.They were quickly joined by new collaborators as peers joined and hacked with HTML, JavaScript and CSS using the ultra-cool codepen.io, with Kevin on hand to mentor.

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Amazing what priorities had been giving to computing, with young people dashing in from swimming and cycling lessons or whizzing off to dance, karate and gymnastics to join us at the Jam; and moreover, wanting to know what they could do next. A Code Club, Hyperlocal Leeds on 28th March, or possibly a Summer Festival anyone?

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Click for the full photo gallery

Mayank and Peter (giving us big thumbs up!) got chatting about their own projects. Mayank is developing an app to help people make the super tough decision of which university to choose, and Peter was explaining about the awesome digital musical instruments he’s creating with parts sourced from the Headingley charity shops. Watch this space Listen out for updates!

Charlie and his mum coded an awesome to do list together, experimenting with CSS to change styling, and that was one of the many family learning projects started and developed at the Jam.

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Introducing KEITH the Pi-Robot

Great to see how a robot called KEITH, another family learning project, could inspire so many more groups in its home city of Leeds. With Andy and Harry talking about the umpteenth stages of development and Keith’s participation at the CamJam Pi Wars robot event, we hope see even more iterations joining a next Raspberry Jam.

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Party jelly formed part of a workshop area using a Touchboard or two with some electric paint from our friends at the Bare Conductive team. Alongside Raspberry Pi with controllers such as Makey Makey the sky was the limit for ideas of how to control the birthday tunes through capacitive touch ways.

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A party’s never a party without music and it was great to see Christine Harvey on the laptop decks, with a live coding session using @sonicpi, after her return from Picademy.

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Teacher feedback:

“Go for it, you don’t know what you’ll discover!” Ian Dickinson, The Rodillian Academy

“Fun day to learn some useful tips and tricks to make Computer Science exciting.” Christine Harvey, Bradford Grammar

“It is a really fun and pressure-free way of learning about coding and Raspberry Pi.” Perveen Aslam

“It’s a no pressure environment to enhance your understanding.”

“Engagement of all people, seeing young children teaching older children and adults how to do things, e.g. program”

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Click for full JamPackedUK @ Carr Manor Photo Gallery

JamPacked, Stourbridge

News

When the JamPackedUK roadshow visited Pedmore Technology College, Stourbridge on January 30th & 31st 2015, a total of 478 participants attended the Computing events taking place at the school to discover how to use tools like Python & Raspberry Pi to develop computer software and hardware.

Among the participants were:

  • Pupils aged from 8 to 18 years old
  • Computing teachers from the host school, other local schools and PGCE student teachers
  • Computing At School Master Teachers
  • Hardware & software developers 
  • Local councillors from Dudley Council
  • MP for Stourbridge, Margot James

“Computer literacy is becoming increasingly important for anyone entering the workplace, and so it is vital that we invest in young people and give them the necessary skills not only to use computers, but also in programming and coding. Events like Jam Packed are a fantastic way to engage people in computing, and it was wonderful to see students, parents and their teachers all developing these skills together.”

Margot James, MP for Stourbridge

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“Jam Packed has been a fantastic success here at Pedmore Technology College. There was a real buzz in the school throughout Friday and Saturday as families, students, teachers, IT professionals and enthusiasts mixed together to share skills, ideas and fun. Everyone learnt something new, whether it was how to approach problem-solving and using code, to using a Raspberry Pi computer to make a computer game and more, to seeing and using a 3D printer, to trying out Google glass and much more.”

Gareth Lloyd, Headteacher at Pedmore Technology College


Hack To The Future

The first event, Hack To The Future took place during the school day (from 8.30am on Friday morning until 3.30pm). There were 240 pupils from Year 7, 8 and 10 at Pedmore Technology College, 30 Year 5 pupils from Hobb Green Primary, 3 teachers from Pedmore, 15 Computing teachers from local schools as well as 15 PGCE student teachers from Newman College, Birmingham. The larger group of Pedmore & Year 5 pupils were divided into two smaller groups of 135, with each group spending half a day together in the hall developing games with Scratch, Python & Pygame led by Alan O’Donohoe and then half a day understanding Computing Science concepts through ‘CS Unplugged’ workshops planned and led by Newman College students.

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Photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650922281605/

“It was a great event for anyone no matter how much experience of Computing you’ve had”

Matthew Ray, teacher at Ferndale Primary

Teachers visiting from other schools in the West Midlands witnessed a range of teaching strategies being demonstrated using free downloadable resources all with the aim of inspiring and engaging pupils into Computer Science. The free software for the coding activities was pre-installed on the Jam Packed laptops [blog post to follow]. Pupils learned in pairs sharing the laptops, they swapped roles as Driver & Navigator. Pupils working in groups of three had an additional role of Spy and used ‘Espionage’ to steal ideas from other teams.

“It was interesting seeing different pedagogical approaches to engage students of all abilities, encouraging independent learning and a great networking opportunity” Sam Smith, teacher at The Kingswinford School

“I enjoyed watching Alan inspire youngsters to investigate and experiment with Scratch & Python. It’s given me lots of new ideas for fun & engaging activities.” Mary Greer, teacher at Malvern St James Girls School

“Lots of ideas, buzzing!” Cathryn Armer, teacher at Kenilworth School

“The event was well organised, exciting for students to meet together across age groups and “have a go” at coding, trying to work things out independently and as part of small groups & partnerships. It was great to network with teachers.” Vicki Burges, Hodder

Teacher Feedback:

We used paper-based evaluation forms to gather feedback from the teachers attending this event. We collected 24 feedback forms and analysis of the responses showed that:

  • 88% (14) agreed that attending the event was beneficial for them as a teacher, 12% (3) were not sure.
  • 83% (20) saw activities and teaching strategies that they would definitely consider using in their own Computing lessons, 17% (4) were not sure/did not agree.
  • 83% (20) felt more confident about teaching Computing after attending this event, 17% (4) were not sure if they felt more confident.

Family Hack Jam

The Family Hack Jam event took place on Friday evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. There were 58 participants mainly comprising of families from the local community as well as teachers from other schools (28 adults including 10 teachers & 30 children). A visiting group of Computing ambassadors from Halesowen College provided support to participants throughout the evening.

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Photo Album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650909351951/

At the start of the event, everyone took part in a short activity to generate a random list of thematic suggestions for a game or text-based adventure. Then following a brief introductory tutorial to using Scratch and Twine, teams collaborated to create games and adventures based on their chosen themes.

While teams were busy creating, judges visited them and awarded points for teamwork, leadership, creativity and adherence to the themes. At the end of the evening the teams with the highest scores were allowed entry to the prize chamber first to claim their preferred prizes.

“After a very short ‘teaching input’, teams were given an extended period of time to develop ideas and create them. This was an excellent family friendly activity that really engaged everyone” Spencer Organ, teacher at KESH Academy

Teacher Feedback:

We used more paper-based evaluation forms to gather feedback from the teachers attending the Hack Jam event. We collected 10 feedback forms and analysis showed that:

  • 90% (9) agreed that attending the event was beneficial for them as a teacher, 10% (1) were not sure.
  • 90% (9) saw activities and teaching strategies that they would definitely consider using in their own Computing lessons, 10% (1) were not sure.
  • 90% (9) felt more confident about teaching Computing after attending this event, 10% (1) were not sure if they felt more confident.

Raspberry Jam

On Saturday from 10.30am to 3.30pm, 114 participants (70 adults including 11 teachers & 44 children) attended the Raspberry Jam event at Pedmore Technology College to discover the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi computer. There were plenty of hands-on activities and workshops provided to enable learners of all experience levels to develop their knowledge of this revolutionary £20 computer.

Workshops offered opportunities to hack Minecraft, invent and prototype hardware with Monk Makes [http://www.monkmakes.com] and program their own games all using a Raspberry Pi computer. Martin Bateman from UCLan organised demonstrations of 3D printers, Google Glass, Occulus Rift. There was an Energenie [https://energenie4u.co.uk] demonstration and Nevil Hunt led a ‘Seven Segments of Pi’ workshop. [http://www.sevensegmentsofpi.com]

“It was useful for getting ideas to engage and interest students into Computing” Amy O’Brien, Arden Academy

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Photo Album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650499115499/

“The Raspberry Jam has been great for sharing ideas with both teachers and experts. This reinforced and reassured me that I am doing is ok and extended these ideas.” Neil Ridney, Our Lady & St Chad’s Catholic College

Teacher Feedback:

We used the same paper-based evaluation forms to gather feedback from the teachers attending the Raspberry Jam event.

  • 100% (10) agreed that attending the event was beneficial for them as a teacher.
  • 90% (9) saw activities and teaching strategies that they would definitely consider using in their own Computing lessons, 10% (1) were not sure.
  • 80% (9) felt more confident about teaching Computing after attending this event, 20% (2) were not sure if they felt more confident.

Resources Used for Jam Packed activities:

Here are a selection of resources that were used at this JamPackedUK event, you can see more JamPackedUK resources here

Links to external content:

JamPackedUK, Darlington

News

The JamPackedUK roadshow travelled up north to Longfield Academy, Darlington on January 9th & 10th 2015.

Over a period of 24 hours, the school hall at Longfield Academy was transformed into a busy Computing festival. A total of 220 participants attended the three events that took place at the school to discover how to use tools like Sonic Pi & PyGame to create computer based music, computer software & experiment with computer hardware.

Attending all three events were:

    • Pupils aged from 6 to 16 years old
    • Computing teachers from the host school & other local primary & secondary schools
    • Computing At School Master Teachers
    • A Raspberry Pi certified teacher
    • Hardware & software developers
    • Educational consultants

Hack To The Future

The first event, Hack To The Future took place during the school day. There were 110 pupils from Year 8, 3 teachers from Longfield and 19 Computing teachers from local secondary & primary schools. The group spent the whole day together in the hall developing games with Scratch, Python & Pygame, Sonic Pi and Twine led by Alan O’Donohoe.

Programme:

  • 9.00-11.00 Games Development (Scratch)
  • 11.15-12.15 Game Hacking (Python & Pygame)
  • 1.15-2.15 Music Hacking (Sonic Pi)
  • 2.15-3.15 Interactive Adventures (Twine)

Teachers visiting from other schools in the North East witnessed a range of teaching strategies being demonstrated using free downloadable resources all with the aim of inspiring and engaging pupils into Computer Science. The free software for the coding activities was pre-installed on the Jam Packed laptops. Pupils collaborated in pairs sharing the laptops, they swapped roles as Driver & Navigator. Pupils working in groups of three had an additional role of ‘Spy’ and used ‘Espionage’ to steal ideas from other teams.

“I am now more confident with using the tools that Alan demonstrated. I also really enjoyed having discussions with other teacher about KS3 and GCSE Computing.” Peter Collins, teacher at Thornaby Academy

“It was great being able to network with other teachers in the same position, and being able to engage with pupils whilst they were learning new skills.” Colin Stannard, teacher at Darlington School of Maths and Science

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Photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650848766976/

“I liked seeing the use of navigator and driver – I have used this with my own Y8 group over the past couple of weeks and it works.” Debbie Wilson, teacher at Acklam Grange

“It was useful to learn how to use the software alongside the children. I had a surprisingly good time and actually learnt a lot” Teacher at St George’s Church of England Academy

Teacher Feedback:

A Google form [link] was used afterwards to gather feedback from the teachers attending this event. It’s much easier to administrate electronic feedback than paper-based forms, but it never generates as many responses. Analysis of the responses showed that:

  • 90% (8) agreed that attending the event was beneficial for them as a teacher, 10% (1) were not sure.
  • 100% (9) saw activities and teaching strategies that they would definitely consider using in their own Computing lessons.
  • 66% (6) felt more confident about teaching Computing after attending this event, 33% (3) were not sure if they felt more confident.

Family Hack Jam

The Family Hack Jam event at Longfield Academy took place on Friday evening from 6.00pm to 9.00pm. There were 49 participants mostly consisting of families from the local community and 8 teachers.

At the start of the evening, participants were organised into teams who then took part in a short game to generate a random list of thematic suggestions for a text-based adventure. Then following a brief introductory tutorial to Twine, teams collaborated to create interactive adventures based on their chosen themes while Sonic Pi tunes provided a musical ambience.

While teams were busy creating, judges visited them and awarded points for teamwork, leadership, creativity and adherence to the themes. At the end of the evening the teams with the highest scores were allowed first entry to the prize chamber to claim their preferred choice of prizes.

“I was impressed by the enthusiam shown by all participants, teachers and organisers alike. I’m keen to organise a similar event in my school. ”

Ben Garside, teacher at Durham Johnston School.

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“It was useful to have the time to see new tools such as Sonic Pi and Twine. Also having some time just to use these tools and see what they can do as often you just don’t have time to look at new tools and get a real idea of what they can do. It was also great talking to other teachers who were doing the same CA as me so could discuss approaches etc.”

Paul Robson, Cramlington Learning Village

Photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650509753648/


Raspberry Jam

On Saturday from 10.30am to 3.00pm, 44 participants (including 9 teachers) attended the Raspberry Jam event at Longfield to discover the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi computer. There were plenty of hands-on activities and workshops provided to enable learners of all experience levels to develop their knowledge of this revolutionary £20 computer. Two local Master Teachers, Dan Aldred and John Lamb ran workshops on Minecraft and Sonic Pi.

Programme:

  • 10.45-11.30 Use Raspberry Pi for the first time – Alan O’Donohoe
  • 11.45-12.30 Games Development with Scratch – Alan O’Donohoe
  • 11.45-12.30 Sonic Pi – Dan Aldred
  • 12.45-1.30 Minecraft Hacking – John Lamb
  • 12.45-1.30 Games Development with PyGame – Alan O’Donohoe

“There was clear community cohesion – a brilliant mix of teachers, parents and youngsters. Typically Computer Science events have tended to be geared at teachers alone and combining the events with other members of the community is a brilliant idea. I also really liked the freeform nature of the event, with people free to move between different activities within the same room rather than having activities in separate rooms.” Mark Clarkson, Egglescliffe School

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“I got to meet people with very similar interests to me and to share my ideas and projects and receive advice on these said projects. Everyone was friendly and welcoming to everyone; we all enjoyed chatting together and sharing ideas. I enjoyed the event and would like it to come back again as it was enjoyable to meet people.” Pupil, Longfield Academy

Photo album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jampackeduk/sets/72157650921896095/

Teacher Feedback:

Of the 9 teachers attending, 7 teachers responded to the online questionnaire. Analysis of their feedback:

  • 100% (7) agreed that attending the event was beneficial for them as a teacher.
  • 100% (7) agreed that they saw activities and teaching strategies that they would definitely consider using in their own Computing lessons
  • 100% (7) felt more confident about teaching Computing after attending this event, but only 57% (4) said they would consider organising an event like this in their own schools.

Resources Used for Jam Packed activities:

Here are a selection of resources that were used at this JamPackedUK event, you can see more JamPackedUK resources here

Links to external content: