TICE 2017’s 16 remaining Computer Science students from Whitley Bay High School and George Stephenson High School met in high spirits at Sunderland University.

They each had the choice in their groups to develop a website based on peer support/forums or to create a Smart Home Solution using the Raspberry Pi’s and the coding language, Python. It was incredibly exciting to hear that this year’s projects were in collaboration with leading global services company in digital and technology, Accenture and Retro Cat Studios, a company based in the North East dedicated to website design and hosting for various businesses.


Web Development (Accenture):

Spend the three TICE Create Stage days developing a website for your school and/or college that creates an open forum/peer support area that discusses issues such as mental health, careers, bullying, sexual orientation, etc. We think these topics are important topics of discussion and are proud of the students for dealing with them in a creative process.

Smart Home Solution (Retro Cat Studios):

Features designing a set of Smart Home sensors using the high-level coding language Python and electronics such as Raspberry Pi’s. This project works to test the student’s practical abilities and confidence when in need of help.

DAY 1:

On the 8th June 2017, Day 1 of the 3 TICE Create Stages began with a bang. The student’s from Whitley Bay and George Stephenson High School got into their groups and made the tough decision between which projects they’d like to develop.

A student from George Stephenson, Josh, stated: “I loved the LED programming in Explore Stage and wanted to carry on with it into Create Stage. We have come up with an idea to send a signal to a phone when an alarm is triggered.” Today was mostly research, but consequently was incredibly interesting for the pupils to learn more than they ever had before. The foundations of their projects were laid and they developed great ideas to be taken even further over the next two days.

DAY 2:

Code plans began today and the students were thrilled to be back. Many of the children had learnt little to none coding previously so for them to develop a website from scratch independently, was tough. However, with the help of their teachers, Computer Science mentor Phil Jeffes and ourselves, everyone was on track and excited to be coming to the end of the majority of the code.

The groups were very confident with their plans and designs, meaning they took the tasks set heads on. The range and variety of concepts and creations was outstanding. It was great to see them really flourish.

DAY 3:

With today being the final day of development, everybody was pretty focused in their work to get finished. The finishing touches were being made and everyone was excited to see the results of each other’s projects.  Ming from Sunderland University took the group to the Virtual Reality lab to show what he’d been working on recently. This was a great opportunity for the students as they could have an insight into where Computer Science can take them. This got them very excitable as they really wanted to do well after the talk from the lecturer.

Development of Girls in Computer Science:

This topic has been really important to us especially, as there’s only two girls in our school’s Computer Science GCSE class. This year at TICE, we’ve seen a huge increase in girls taking this TICE opportunity compared to something admittedly a bit more stereotypical such as Fashion. We are euphoric with this development as girls in IT and/or Computer Science due to it being a male heavy industry. Hopefully, with the help of TICE the students here, as well as ourselves will have a bright future in technology. TICE has created this chance for us to get into activities such as coding, web development, engineering and electronics and we couldn’t be more grateful.

On Work Experience here at TICE, we’ve learnt so much about how TICE operates and how enjoyable it is for everybody, even if we aren’t developing ourselves! TICE is such a rewarding experience and we would all recommend it to anyone if they’re given the chance to take this opportunity. Thank you TICE; we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past two years with you. The students taking part this year have all agreed this has been the best educational experience they’ve had, due to the freedom of choice and independence.

Congratulations to everyone involved and thank you to our hosts/guests for giving these students such an incredible experience!