Students from Whitley Bay High School and George Stephenson High School arrived at Northumbria University, ready as ever for Day 2 of Computer Science Explore Stage. The day was surrounded around the possibilities in Higher Education building develop skills through various coding software. The room was instantly filled with excitement and motivation – quite impressive for 9am in the morning!

The morning kicked off with a very informative talk with Computer Science and Digital Technology Senior Lecturer, Shelagh Keogh. The presentation gave the students an insight on the various courses available surrounding the broad subject of Computer Science. She thoroughly explained what’s involved including the widely-discussed Uni lifestyle, module information and potential career outcomes for those who complete the degree. It was interesting to hear that there has been a list of successful graduates who continue to travel the world and support the future of tech in the industry on an impressive scale. The students couldn’t believe that one day, they could be one of those successors.

Following the talk, the Computer Science team were taken on a tour of the university by students who study there. They were shown a few of the many fantastic facilities that Northumbria can offer their students, particularly the Pandon Building which is the home for Computer and Information Sciences. This enabled the students to get a clearer understanding of university life and how demanding certain courses can be but also what the Uni can provide to make that huge transition worthwhile and enjoyable. Any previous misconceptions of university were certainly cleared up from this session!

The team was then lead to their computer suite for the remainder of the day where they participated in a few industry-based activities, (programming/coding etc.) Through the use of software such as JavaScript and Python, they were given the task of developing their own web page with the aid of their team leaders and step by step instructions to follow. The response to the tasks were mixed but despite the uncertainties, it was fantastic to see students communicating and aiming to tackle their confusions independently. This helped the whole team become more familiar and comfortable with their peers, in preparation for the final stage of the programme.

As the explore stage came to an end, students left with a new lease of anticipation and excitement for their future – something which a young person is relatively fearful of at such a pivotal point in their education. It was wonderful to see students working hard, radiating with smiles and resilience.