On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th of February 2018, I attended the first ever Young Coders Conference in the Tate Exchange that the Tate Modern in London. I volunteered to help coordinate the conference and make sure everything could run as smoothly as possible.
What is The Young Coders Conference?
The Young Coders Conference invited 12 Young coders aged between 10-16 to take part in CPD (Continuing Personal Development) training to continue delivering excellent workshops within their community.
To start day 1 off we had Grace introducing the young coders to what the plan was for the two days, then we had lightning talks from Josh talking about EduBlocks, Femi talking about Young Coders forum, Louis talking about VR(Virtual Reality) and mentoring CoderDojo and myself talking about running Raspberry Jams.
The 12 Young coders then spent the day learning from industry experts from the micro: bit foundation, GitHub, Computers at School (CAS), IBM and Google.
All of the knowledge that the 12 Young Coders learned from the professionals would be put to good use developing 4 brand new micro: bit workshops to run on Day 2 to the General public in a Celebration of Code event.
There were 4 categories for the workshops. We had wearables and neopixels, gaming and networking, Internet Of Things (IoT) and Robots and physical computing. To make things fair the teams and mentors were picked by names being pulled out of a hat.
The teams have been working away all afternoon developing their workshops, we brought them back together to tell us what they had achieved and what they still had to do. Once the Young Coders had finished telling us what they had been up to, the micro: bit foundation surprised everyone by giving each young coder a club set of micro: bits, which contained 10 micro: bits, USB cables, battery packs and batteries for them to go and run workshops within their communities. This was not the end of the surprises, Cat Lamin from pi-top presented all 12 young coders with a pi-top t-shirt and requested that they wore them for the second day, so they all looked part of a team (which they now were)
At the end of Day 1 every team had nearly finished designing their workshop materials and tried out what they were going to do to make sure it all worked and their workshops would run as smoothly as possible on the second day.
Day 2 started with the groups having 2 hours to finish preparing their workshops and making sure they had everything printed and equipment they needed. While this was going on the volunteers were tidying up and getting all the other event areas organised.
At 10 to 12 we already had a queue at the door eager to come in and see what we had in store for them. 12 o clock the doors opened and the public started flooding in. The 12 young coders had 2 hours to explore and promote their workshops to the public. During this time there were a few other workshops running, which were VR (Virtual Reality), wearables, IoT Internet of Things) and visualizar.
Visualizar is an augmented reality application for Android phones that allows you to draw pictures from your phone. Find out more at Visualizar
2 pm came it was now up to the Young Coders to deliver their workshops. Each workshop ran 3 times allowing each Young coder to deliver their workshop. While the workshops were running I was tasked with taking pictures and getting people to leave feedback in return for people leaving feedback we were able to give them free micro: bits. (yes we were giving away free micro: bits)
All the workshops ran pretty smoothly and most importantly the Young Coders were enjoying sharing their knowledge and proud of what they had accomplished over the two days. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back!
Well done to all of our Young Coders for working hard over the 2 days. I can’t wait to see what you do in the future. Also a huge thank you to Grace and the South London Raspberry Jam team and the other Young Coders Conference organisers for giving me the opportunity to be apart of such a great event. Hopefully, there will be many more Young Coders Conferences in the future.
You can find out more about the Young Coders Conference here: Young Coders Conference