On 18th October Staplehurst School celebrated Code Week UK in style with our 2nd U Can Too – Mozilla Maker Party.  We saw visitors not only from our own school, but many schools from the local area, as well as schools from as far afield as Snodland, Romford in Essex, and Surrey. We even had two lovely visitors from Korea, who were performing government research on the UK Computing Curriculum.

U Can Too was so busy that we couldn’t register everyone who walked through our doors, but we do know that we had more than 350 who came along and gave coding a go at our event.  We were exceptionally lucky to be invited to apply for a grant from Google, even luckier to win that grant!  Our 1st U Can Too event saw just under 100 people attend, so we increased our publicity campaign and added many new activities; both enabled by the funding from Google.  With such an increase in numbers attending we were pleased that we made the right decisions and thoroughly excited to see families working together to create so many different coding based projects and having so much fun.

Our activities were very varied, including unplugged coding activities, like our giant version of Robot Turtles as well as the more obvious choices, such as Scratch.  We also had activities that we made ourselves with some good old-fashioned wood, these were very popular, especially our ‘Crack the Code’ game and our ‘Sphero Maze Challenge’ both of which our Code Club got the chance to get in on the coding.

Here are some of the other activities that our visitors spent their 2 hours doing: Giant Voice Controlled Human Crane, Life-Size Robot Turtles board game, Mozilla X-Ray Goggles, Sphero Maze Challenge, Sphero Arena, FUZE Raspberry Pi’s, Code Club Scratch Creation – Crack the Code, Scratch programming, Scratch Jr, Looming with algorithms, Zu3D Animations, Soldering, Minecraft, Lilypad eSewing, Electric Paint.  We also had a shop and an eSafety area.

There is more info on our event blog, please find the link below:

As well as our U Can Too event we got up to many other activities during Code Week UK.  We delivered training to parents sharing with them several of the programming tools that are available to their children at home, we took our Digital Leaders along to present an ‘unplugged’ coding workshop at Code Week UK’s London event, which was an amazing experience for us all and our Key Stage 2 children presented an eSafety Expo, including acting, singing and debates on a variety of eSafety topics.  As well as all this our Code Club and Digital Leaders had some extra special sessions during Code Week UK.  Code Club were visited by Vicki from FUZE who delivered a fantastic workshop using FUZE Basic to Code Raspberry Pi’s and controlled a robotic arm using the Raspberry Pi.  Whilst our Digital Leaders were visited by Lego Education for a Lego WeDo workshop challenge, our DLs worked in pairs to see who could make their Lego WeDo Motorized Spinning Tops spin for the longest… it was a tie, Samantha and Eleanor v Sam and James.  It was impossible to tell which finished first when both spinning tops stopped in unision!

As you can tell, we had a very busy week exploring the world of coding, and most importantly we loved every minute of it!

Our U Can Too event, was the biggest part of our Code Week UK endeavours.  We are very proud of the success of our event (and the week in general) and attribute much of it’s success to the funding provided by Google.  With this in mind we would like to say a huge thank you for your invitation to apply for it and also your support for our involvement in Code Week UK.  I am still working on creating a video of the DLs review, I should have it done for you by the end of the week.  In the meantime, here is a short review from one of our DLs about our presentation at your London event:

James says:

“CODE WEEK UK on 15th October
This activity was very fun. I particularly enjoyed talking to Ross and Mathew who were computer scientists, as well as teaching grownups our unplugged activity. Ross & Matthew taught me that there are different ways of sorting which are quite exiting. If I was offered the opportunity, I would definitely do this activity again. It was very informative. Personally I think it would be a school trip that all of Year 6 would enjoy, but it would be too crowded. If next year’s Digital Leaders are given the opportunity to represent us again, I would say, go ahead, it’s a great experience!”

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