We've just finished running a rocketry activity at a corporate workshop for a BP team. This is a great activity as it can be done at multiple levels with all ages and abilities. With the more able (and adult) group that we had today we can cover a lot of ground in a few hours, exploring some theory as well as building and flying a couple of rockets.
We recently received an email from one of our campers way back in our second year (2009) when we ran a biotech course. One of the projects was to make your own biosphere, a sealed self-sustaining ecosystem. We would have been impressed with one year, but this one is still going strong after four! If anyone else still has a biosphere, please do send us a picture!
Myself and Tom have spent the week down at Forres Sandle Manor school in the New Forest, running a 'Rockets and Robotics' programme for 14 children. At the end of each year, the school have a 'project week' where all the children choose from a wide range of activities to do for the week, such as cycling, needlecraft, sports and even trips abroad.
We returned to Cheltenham Science Festival again this year for the family fun weekend, and had an excellent two days with perfect weather! We also took part in the schools workshop programme earlier in the week, debuting our new electricity show and musical Tesla Coil.
On a cold Wednesday morning, myself, Tom and Pedro went down to Brighton to deliver a day of workshops for the Hijack Family Festival, part of a week long programme organised for children from 2-12 involving art, film, comedy, and science and technology. It was a non-stop day running robot wars, air rockets, our UV light workshop and crazy contraptions.
A few of you may remember our RC planes from Aerospace Camp last year – one of the campers, Matthew Prett, has been making a few alterations since then and not only is it still flying, but he has managed to get some excellent footage from it using a GoPro Hero 3 camera.
On Friday night we began the long road trip North to Newcastle for the Maker Faire, with Tech Camp regular Felix and our new employee Pedro, who will be joining us in June. We eventually got to the Centre for Life in Newcastle, an amazing science museum/exhibition space/research facility that was the venue for this year’s UK Maker Faire.
After a slightly stressful journey (our train was delayed, the children were very well behaved!) we made it back from Edinburgh on Friday at the end of Tech Train 2013. We had a really fun, interesting (and hopefully educational) week of workshops, shows and sightseeing.
We've just opened up bookings for the 2013 season, and have some great news. We now have a wide range of courses from the technology of chocolate, to robotics, rocketry, game design, and even the Raspberry Pi. Our main events are now open to a much wider age range (9-17), with separate course choices for the younger and older campers.
We've just designed a new kit for The Science Museum and popped in tonight to see how the kids got on. It's for their Science Nights so it had to be simple; they have around 450 kids in each time they run it, in classes of 150 at a time!
It's the last day of the science festival and it's been a busy time. We've had to ration out the UV torches as otherwise we would have run out a couple of days ago. We even had to close this workshop one evening when a mini riot started outside with parents trying to get their kids inside (no, we're not joking!)
First day of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival and workshops have just opened. We're down at the Corniche (the beach) along with many other workshops both inside and outside (primarily in air conditioned tents as it's so hot out here).
As part of our visit to IBM for the Raspberry Pi day we had a tour of IBM's museum. During the tour we were shown some of IBM's typewriters and after a long (but concise) explanation of the development of the typewriter, one of the kids asked what did these 'typewriter' things do? It never struck the rest of us adults that most of the children would never have seen one of these before.
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.
I spent the day today at Brightworks in San Francisco. For those not familiar with this crazy school or the crazy man behind it, Gever Tulley is responsible for Tinkering School and for inspiring children at his camps over the other side of the Atlantic. If there's one thing worth watching of his, it's "Five dangerous things you should let your kids do."