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.
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!)
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.
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."
Twenty six planes all built, and all in the air! Twenty five came down (pretty much) intact. This is Greg just before the maiden flight. Sadly this one went straight in a tree but we were able to retrieve it today with the help of some very long ladders, poles, and the helpful people at Ufton Court.
Last day of the Tech Train today! We've had a great week, seeing all sorts of science demonstrations, and participating in a variety of workshops from Lego Mindstorms to biotechnology. Today was mainly sightseeing, with trips to the Camera Obscura and Edinburgh Castle. Tonight we will be having a tour of the underground medieval streets before heading back to London on the sleeper train.
An exciting day today; Tech Camp has taken on it's first employee (well, sort of ...) Jack has been a Tech Camp regular for several years now and has convinced me to take him on for a year as an intern/gap-year student. I'm really looking forward to working with Jack; he is not your regular 18 year old ...
Just finishing up at the Cheltenham Science Festival. We've had a great weekend. I've been runing some "Light, Lasers and Illusions" workshops for the Family Programme, and Jack & Felix have been running laser tag with the public in the gardens. Some of the locals were really geared-up for the tech tank, but even with full camouflage some of them still couldn't reach the trigger ...
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!
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.