On Saturday 28th February we welcomed 88 year 6 and 7 children into Y Pant for our first ever Hack Day. This was an ambitious programme of events designed to give children experience of activities they wouldn’t otherwise be able to try out in lessons or at home.
Most of the computing workshops were run by staff from Technocamps who brought along masses of equipment as well as their experts.
The workshops that ran on the day were:
Miss Knight, ably assisted by Mrs James and Scott , ran two 2-hour brownie baking workshops. It was very reminiscent of Great British Bake Off, with everyone hurriedly trying to cool their brownies before they could pipe green icing on top in the manner of Minecraft blocks. We then ate the brownies for pudding after lunch!
Fraser from Technocamps ran this workshop using Minecraft Edu. They brought along their own server with a large number of structures already in place in the world (Kieran, one of our year 11 helpers was pleased so see his creations from a Technocamps workshop two years earlier were still there). Participants worked together to build more structures.
These little Arduino devices from Technology Will Save Us allow you to program a game on the laptop, upload it to the DIY Gamer and then play it. Marius from Technocamps taught everyone the ins and outs of programming and they all enjoyed playing the games.
Arduino Robot Cars
Another Arduino device, these had to be programmed on the laptops first but Richard from Technocamps taught everyone everything they needed to know. They then tested them up and down the corridor seeing who’s went the furthest and straightest!
Mr Davey, who was a student teacher with us last year, came back to run a Kodu workshop. This is a free games programming piece of software created by Microsoft to create Xbox-style games using the controllers. Some challenging games were created!
Raspberry Pi Traffic Lights
This little computer is made just down the road at the Sony factory in Pencoed. Laura and Rob from Technocamps showed everyone how to attach the breakout boards containing LEDs and then programme these in Python to flash in a particular sequence. This was the quietest of all the rooms with everyone concentrating hard.
For lunch, we ordered in pizza from Dominoes and ate freshly baked brownies – we were all full afterwards!
During the day, workshop leaders selected students they felt had performed exceptionally well during the day and these were awarded prizes at the end. Da iawn all!
I’d like to thank the following people for making this an excellent day:
From Y Pant
Miss Knight for the cooking sessions, Mrs Johns, Miss Umbleja, Mrs James, Miss Richmond, Mr Jenkins, and Mr Gowman; Arron our IT technician and Vanessa and Dave for caretaking and driving; student teachers Sara, Lia, Alan and Tristan for their excellent support.
Student volunteers: Catrin, Rebecca, Scott, Lauren, Kieran and Kieran.
Laura, Richard, Rob, Marius and Fraser.