Part of our Education Programme is to teach children to program or code computers. We have a series of after-school and weekend Code Clubs for children from the age of 9 to 18. The clubs are for complete beginners through to those with existing experience and expertise.
The “starter” clubs are designed for children aged 9 to 11 with none, or little, coding experience and run on Thursday afternoons after-school from 17.00 to 18.00 and on Saturday mornings from 9.30 to 10.30. The clubs use the national Code Club (www.code-club.org) teaching materials and projects using the SCRATCH language. As the children progress, they will start to use HTML and CSS to build web sites and gradually progress to PYTHON. Children can sign up for either club. The club will provide the computer equipment and all necessary software.
The more advanced club will be suitable for 10 to 16 year olds who have already learnt to code in SCRATCH and now want to develop more complicated solutions using PYTHON and C++. This club runs on Saturdays from 10.45 to 11.45.
These Coding Clubs are completely free for children to attend. The clubs welcome both girls and boys.
When children become confident in PYTHON and C++ they can join the ten-week Electronics Course where they will learn the basics of electronic design and start to develop projects using electronics interfaced to Raspberry Pi, Micro:Bit and Arduino computers. The Electronics Club will run on a Saturday for two hours from 11.30 to 13.30. There is a small charge of £5 per session for attendees of the Electronics Club as a contribution towards the consumable costs of the electronic components.
Later in 2017 we will be starting a Radio Communication and Space Science Club. This will be suitable for children aged 13 and above who have successfully worked in the Electronics Club for a few months. The museum will be installing a radio link with the International Space Station (ISS) and Amateur Radio Satellites that already orbit the earth. The children will build Software Defined Radio systems for space voice and data communication. Suitably interested children will also be encouraged to complete their Amateur Radio Licence training to enable them to communicate using the satellites and potentially the ISS. The museum facilities will be available for use by members of the Radio Communication and Space Science Club.
All of the Club Leaders and Assistants are STEM Ambassadors and hold Enhanced DBS Certificates for working with children.
Why are we running these clubs? We want as many children as possible to experience the fun of coding and to see how computers can be used to solve everyday problems and be part of design and engineering projects. Hopefully this will encourage some children to consider engineering and science as future career possibilities. We are living in a technical world and the next generation of software and electronics engineers will have amazing career opportunities. What is most important it does not matter if you are a boy or girl, the career opportunities and potential rewards are the same.
If you are interested in joining one or more of the clubs please click this link.
Note: A parent / guardian will need to confirm that they are happy that you can join before you can attend a club.