The first day of #TICEExplore for Computer Science happened over a period of two days, both Whitley Bay High School and George Stephenson High School having their own day to discover more about the digital industries. Both schools had the opportunity to visit Campus North, one of the strongest tech communities in the UK.

We were lucky enough to have our fantastic bloggers from Longbenton High School and TICE Computer Science alumni, Sarah Hunter, Ella Ho and Sophie Stephenson, visit the day with George Stephenson and fill us in. Here’s what they had to share…

On the 15th March 2017 Year 9 students from George Stephenson High School met up again with mentor Phil Jeffes to develop their knowledge of code and continue with their TICE journey.

The day commenced with an enthusiastic start where all the students gathered together and the introduction to the day began. They all received an overview of the day; all the students listened well and took in the new information that was being given to them. Throughout the day, it was obvious how much they were interested in learning more about Computer Science.

The main focus of the day was based around the use of Python, a more complex use of code. Phil guided students to make sure they understood everything in as much depth as possible. One student said ‘‘I understood it all really well and it was all very clearly spoken”.

It was very noticeable that these students had chosen Computer Science for a personal reason, whether that is to improve as a hobby or to pursue as a career. They were all very inquisitive and were always looking up to Phil for any guidance or to ask questions about Python or Computer Science in general.

After the break, all the students were refreshed and all very ready to get back into learning and developing more knowledge of Python. It was very clear that their understanding had improved hugely. The students then encountered use of distance sensors which was quite complicated to get a full grasp of but the students were amazing at embracing the difficult task and all put in 100% effort. The comments from students were positive: “Although it was quite difficult to initially get started, I learnt to understand it” and “it was a good and very different experience to try out”.

Then the students were then given a more interactive activity where they had the freedom to create their own Asteroids game, expanding the code they had to create a much more fun, interesting and complex game. The students then moved onto using Python to manipulate a pumpkin on Minecraft. Although the instructions set were very brief the students could express their creativity and come up with some very interesting and fun ideas.

Special guest: Whitley Bay High School had a very special guest stop by, Sarah Cox, a project manager from Texas who moved to Newcastle for the tech scene and has been involved with Agile Pixel who are a web agency based in the UK and Texas. She told us about how she was interested in Tech and started at  a co-working space in Texas which helped her get into the industry.

It was lovely to work with these students – they all worked seriously hard throughout the day to explore into the world of Python. They all had great levels of patience as required when working in the Computer Science industry, which resulted in great achievements by the end of the day. They could tackle any problems that they faced and one thing that was noticeable was how they all helped each other when needed. Some students said: “It was very detailed and I would love to continue with Computer Science in the future” and “It was really helpful to get us started in Computer Science”. It was lovely to see that through doing Insight and Explore stage, it has inspired students to continue this as a potential career path.

Well done to all TICE students and we all hope to see some of you in the Create Stage!