We spent today at IBM Hursley, one of IBM's biggest sites in the UK, helping them test out some educational games they were working on. They wanted a bunch of kids to help them with their testing and we were happy to oblige now that the big summer events are all over. We brought a small group of kids who ran through the game scenarios, whilst the staff there (actually summer interns) observed how the kids navigated around their creation.
It was an interesting project; an attempt by them to introduce kids to programming by providing them with some simple games where they had to modify some basic parameters to solve the levels (such as the movement speed of the character). The system provided prompts re: what to change in the programme, which allowed the children to get a gradual introduction to programming by modifying existing programmes.
Although their games were designed for the Raspberry Pi, much of the testing was done on laptops just for convenience, but the children also got an introduction to what the Raspberry Pi was about, and also went on a tour of the IBM museum.
The project was part of IBM's summer programme where they get a bunch of interns each working on different creative projects. Shortly after our visit the young team building this project were to compete against other IBM summer teams in an internal competition. (If you guys won, please let us know and we'll update this!)
IBM have one of the better intern programmes around and attract some of the best UK university students as the places are highly coveted. With any luck we'll see some Tech Camp graduates there one day soon!