The announcement, at a Prince’s Trust event in Cardiff, confirmed that the University’s Technocamps Programme at the Department of Computer Science would receive £5.3 million from the European Social Fund.
The three-year Technocamps Operation aims to inspire and motivate pupils across Wales to learn more about Computer Science and STEM subjects and will engage with 3,600 pupils. There is a particular focus on girls – to help address the disturbing gender imbalance within Computer Science – with two-thirds of targeted pupils being female.
The programme will target pupils from schools who are struggling to offer or deliver Computer Science at GCSE with the view to encourage and support schools to offer it in the coming years.
Each youngster will complete a STEM Enrichment Programme over a school year, taking part in a range of Computer Science- and STEM-based activities both at school and on university campuses.
They will look at a broad number of topics such as:-
- Python programming
- Cyber-physical systems
- App development
- Artificial intelligence
They will also learn how to apply these topics in a range of subject areas such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and politics.
Director of Technocamps, Professor Faron Moller said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this funding announcement which will help ensure that young people in Wales, particularly in schools where delivering GSCE Computer Science is a challenge, will not be left behind in gaining such key skills. We are committed to driving this forward and by helping young people gain these fundamental skills, we hope to equip them to take on the digital world which is now encompassing our everyday lives.
We also want to see computer science education extending to widening participation, providing digital up-skilling opportunities to people in employment as well as various opportunities for life-long learning.”