A whole year has flown by and we are back in STEM camp mode with a crop of new Transition Year students, settling in and starting to get to grips with coding and teamwork.
Over 60 students from 16 secondary schools across dlr are taking part in our 2019 STEM camp, kindly supported by Science Foundation Ireland and in partnership with dlr Local Enterprise Office, and they joined us for their first session on October 3rd, welcomed by Joseph Keating and Mariea Mullally from dlr LEO.
Led by Dr. Jake Byrne, he started with a “break the ice” game to help them mingle and relax before mixing them up into teams, getting them to come up with a team name and giving them tasks to get them thinking outside the box such as coming up with uses of an orange (suggestions included using it as a yo-yo, sitting on it and playing tennis with it).
Then came the tech part. The students were introduced to Scratch coding and algorithms. What’s an algorithm? A set of instructions to achieve a goal. Each team had to draw a picture from a set of steps they were given and then had to create a set of instructions for another team to draw. The aim of this was to get the students to understand the importance of clear instructions and logical steps, which is an important skill for coding.
Coding is an important part of using Arduino and Raspberry Pi’s which is what week 2 was all about – Creating programmes in Raspberry Pi and Arduino to activate sensors, including playing a well known nursery rhyme!
Learning how to programme sensors will come in useful during Maker Week, when the students will team up to plan, design and create a new product and its prototype, using all the skills they have learned over the past weeks, and in future weeks (such as entrepreneurial skills). Check for updates in the coming weeks to see glimpses of their design ideas!