Tech Camp Blog

Find out the latest tech education news

New T-Shirts

New T-Shirts

Our t-shirts arrived today! Here's Cameron modelling them. In case you can't see it, they say 'born to create'. We're pretty happy how they turned out.

Laser Gun Modifications

Laser Gun Modifications

Last day at our Brockhurst Tech Camp today and the children have been adding "mods" to their laser guns. Most popular were extensions to the stocks and improvements to the sights (more aesthetic than functional, but they looked cool). I'm so often impressed by the kid's creativity, and what they can come up with given a few bits of pipe, some foam board and some glue!

Bring Your Child to Work Day

Bring Your Child to Work Day

We had a great day today at Accenture, running some workshops for their "Bring Your Child to Work" day. We ran three workshops simultaneously; a version of our "Steady Hand" game (pictured), a UV torch workshop, and a session building crazy contraptions using our construction kit that we've been developing.

Robots for Abu Dhabi

Robots for Abu Dhabi

Jack just finished building up the robots for the Abu Dhabi Science Festival in October. We've made a couple of recent changes; adding a table tennis ball as a coaster on the front, and cutting out some fluorescent vinyl stickers that should look good under the UV light in the arena they are constructing for us.

Crazy Contraption Day

Crazy Contraption Day

We had a great day today playing with our new construction system at the Old Blue Coat School in Thatcham. Around 25 children helped us test it out and made all manner of contraptions. We were pretty pleased how it worked, although we might redesign the angled plastic connectors as they turned out to be a bit fragile.

The system is designed to be a bit similar to mecano, with a series of different length bars with equally spaced holes in them, that can be joined together. The difference is ours is more suitable for younger children - the pieces are much larger, and instead of nuts and bolts our system uses some very clever plastic rivets. These simply push into the hole, and expand to lock the two holes together - much easier for children to use. They can also be pushed back out from the other side of the hole, and reused as many times as you like. Combined with a series of small plastic brackets, the bars and rivets can be used to make all manner of creations that are quite large in scale very quickly.

Many thanks to all the human guinea pigs who helped out!

Laser Tag - Brand New Version!

Laser Tag - Brand New Version!

This is about the third version now of our laser tag system for Tech Camp. Every time we've built a batch with kids we've made it simpler. This time we decided that we needed just one main PCB; it now has the batteries, sensors, microcontroller, LED display bank and associate circuitry on it.

Caviar Night

Caviar Night

Jack and I went to the Science Museum tonight to run a workshop for their 'lates' programme. We've done quite a few workshops for their 'Science Night' programme (for kids), but working with adults opens up a few more possibilities! The theme of the night was 'alcohol', so we ran a version of our 'Chocolate and Orange' caviar using Cointreau.