Aberystwyth University is 150 round about now and as part of the institution’s 150th birthday celebrations they’ve had a series of projects to help celebrate this. Tally Roberts (our faculty outreach wizard) and I got a small grant to run some storytelling and animation based coding workshops for kids, which finished at the weekend.
We ran five workshops (two in the Town Library, two in the Arts Centre, and one in the Ceredigion Museum) to coincide with school holidays, and had about 45 kids attend overall.
The aim was to do some programming in Scratch in a creative context, telling stories about Aberystwyth. They didn’t have to be true stories, they just had to be set in Aberystwyth.
Our workbook based on this (available bilingually, in Welsh and English) is downloadable for free from the TES site: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/scratch-animation-workbook-12776526 if you want to print it out. We cover general animation using scratch and also a bit of message passing in order to get between-sprite communications (rather than rely on precise timing).
At the end of the project we had a contest for best story, and a showcase event where the attendees could see their work played on the big screen in the Arts Centre Cinema. This was what we were doing yesterday, showing children’s animations on a movie screen. It was pretty fun to be honest and the winning animation by Henry was great, with a sinister penguin being exiled to the moon.
At the end of the session where we watched the children’s videos on the big screen, we got some laptops out and lots of them chose to come to the front and do a bit more coding for fun (even though they’d all got cafe vouchers as thanks, so could have gone off for cake). So I think it was pretty successful.