Coding Session Inspires Computer Programmers of the Future

What do you type into a computer if you want to make a robotic arm move? Pupils at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School found out this week.

As part of Computer Science Education Week, pupils had the opportunity to delve further into the world of code in a workshop led by FUZE, a company that brings coding and programming into the classroom.

In the workshop, pupils learnt essential computing skills but most importantly got hands-on experience in coding and problem solving, working in pairs and independently to teach themselves the basics of code.

Year 9 pupil, Joshua Thorne, was engrossed in the project. He explained, “This is amazing! I’m really enjoying seeing what I type into the computer come alive.”

He and his project partner, Alexander Flamant, were challenged by Headmaster, Mr Spencer Ellis, to make the robotic arm pick up a pen. The boys relished the challenge and eventually, after a bit of experimenting with different code, managed to complete the challenge fast.

Alexander loved the workshop, “This is so much fun. I like how hands-on it is and how you see the results straight away. You do some coding and there are instant results.”

But the workshop wasn’t for boys only. The girls in the class were equally as entertained and excited by the project.

Teacher of Computing and IT, Ms Alicja Wojtowicz, said of the workshop, “This is not only to get our pupils to think more about coding and programming, but also about breaking stereotypes. It’s not only geeky guys sitting in a basement who code; coders and programmers are successful people, and some of them are women. We need to make more of our girls aware that this is a viable career option for them.”

With over 100,000 programming jobs currently vacant across the UK, the workshop also showed pupils that entering the sector, where there is a shortage of skills, is a smart choice.

Mr Spencer Ellis said of the project, “This is the future. We first introduced Computer Science at GCSE and have now extended it to A Level. We are equipping our pupils with skills that will prove to be very useful in their futures and may lead to successful careers. I saw how enthralled our pupils were at the workshop, and I know that some of our Year 9s will now want to carry on and study Computer Science at GCSE.”

Pupils in Year 7 will also have the opportunity to experience coding. Led by Ms Wojtowicz, the School is taking part in the Hour of Code, a worldwide initiative to introduce and demystify coding to children.

09 December 2015

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