Free STEM Workshops for Secondary Schools

Megan ChickNews, News and Events

Our very popular STEM and Computer Science workshops for schools support the digital curriculum and can be adapted based on your school’s needs. Workshops vary in length between 1 hour and half a day. All workshops are fully funded through support from the Welsh Government.

Swansea

Web Development with Dreamweaver
These sessions are aimed at older KS3 and KS4 pupils to give them an introduction to the concepts of developing websites and applying these to create their own using Adobe Dreamweaver. The pupils will become familiar with both the Dreamweaver software as well as HTML development to allow them to implement their web designs. These will also be excellent CPD opportunities for teaching staff looking ahead to the upcoming Digital Technology qualifications. Requirements: Adobe Dreamweaver installed and available for the pupils to use.

Games Development with Gamemaker
These sessions are aimed at older KS3 and KS4 pupils to give them an introduction to designing and programming their own games using GameMaker Studio 2. The skills and concepts covered mirror what is used in the Games industry when designing games and implementing common features in basic platform/arcade games (on a smaller scale of course!) These will also be excellent CPD opportunities for teaching staff looking ahead to the upcoming Digital Technology qualifications. Requirements: GameMaker installed and available for the pupils to use.

Animation with Adobe Animate
These sessions are aimed at older KS3 and KS4 pupils to give them an introduction to the concepts of animation and applying these to create their own using Adobe Animate. The pupils will learn to use the software and various animation techniques to allow their creativity to flourish. These will also be excellent CPD opportunities for teaching staff looking ahead to the upcoming Digital Technology qualifications. Requirements: Adobe Animate installed and available for the pupils to use.

Boolean Algebra
This is a session aimed at GCSE/A Level pupils to teach them everything they need to know about Boolean algebra and how it underpins computer science. The first session looks at the 4 main Boolean algebra operators OR, AND, NOT and XOR as well as how to visualise these working using a simple circuit simulator. The second session builds on these 4 operators and teaches pupils about the many laws of Boolean algebra in order to simplify Boolean expressions.

Greenfoot
This session is aimed at GCSE Computer Science pupils to give them an introduction to object-oriented programming and teach them everything they need to know for a typical Greenfoot question in their Unit 2 exam. The session will look into what object-oriented programming is and why we use it before completing a follow-along Greenfoot tutorial where pupils will learn the following, but not limited to: how to create a new world, populate it with characters, make the characters move randomly and with the keyboard, remove characters when two characters collide, add sounds to the program and add a counter to the program.

Python Maths
An introduction to Python in a visual and artistic way. Session 1 introduces the Python programming language which pupils will learn and explore through the use of Turtle. Pupils will learn the initial commands and improve their computational thinking skills as they develop their ability to program. Session 2 begins to look at more complicated tools that are used throughout computer science such as for-loops, if statements and user feedback. Session 3 sees students move onto using lists and Python’s random library to do some quite advanced programming.

Catch the Crooks
These sessions allow pupils to investigate a bank heist, analysing clues such as DNA, shop databases and receipts, cracking ciphers and piecing it all together to arrest the criminal mastermind!

Ethics, Technology and the Future
These sessions will look back through the history of technology, what we used to use before technology existed and how it has developed over the years to the devices we use today in everyday life. Pupils will also get to look at the ideas and development behind some new technology that is yet to be released as well as designing their own future devices for different real-world scenarios. Throughout the three sessions, pupils will need to think about the ethical issues of past, present and future technology and consider this when designing their own technology.

Cryptography
Session 1 will cover an introduction to cryptography and three different ciphers with additional online worksheets that can be completed as practice. Session 2 will cover a final cipher before pupils have the opportunity to do our virtual version of the Break Into the Box activity, which is a huge favourite from previous experiences. This can be done on their own devices at home or as a class.

Modelling Zombies
Have you ever wondered what would happen if a Zombie virus began spreading across the nation? Is it possible to stop the spread, how would you predict how many people might get infected and what measures could you put in place to slow the spread? As part of this workshop, pupils will learn about the concept of disease modelling through a variety of fun activities and explore their links to the on-going global pandemic cause by COVID-19.

Assembly Language
Students will learn about the constituent parts of computer architectures and how these work together to complete a simple programme when writing Assembly Language code in Little Man Computer.

Computational Thinking
In this workshop pupils will learn the 4 strands of Computational Thinking through fun and engaging activities and why they play an important part in everyday life, through fun and engaging activities.

Welsh Baccalaureate
The series of workshops should equip students to tackle the Enterprise and Employability component of the Welsh Baccalaureate. The workshops will give students a range of the core skills needed to tackle the Enterprise and Employability Challenge effectively, including core business topics such as SWOT, marketing, and the 5Ps; reflection; auditing; SMART targets and reflective logs. Pupils will also be introduced to MIT App Inventor, an online app development tool and be guided through creating a simple app and adding features and formatting. This will give students an opportunity to embed digital skills within their projects. Data analysis, wireframes and visualisation will also be covered, which will provide students with additional grounds to engage with digital technologies within their project and produce visual displays and pitches that incorporate practical and transferable professional skills. 

Smart Devices
Pupils will design and build a smart device using an Arduino microprocessor. Initially they will use a virtual environment called tinkerCAD before implementing the same circuits using real components and testing the device in their classroom.

USW

Programming

Scratch
Introduction to Scratch programming through a variety of projects such as games, quizzes, animations, and topic based projects – all adaptable for KS3 & KS4 pupils and to your requirements.

Python
Introduction to Python Programming and Python skills – IF statements, Iterations, read/write to file etc. Python projects to prepare pupils for coursework, all adaptable for KS3 & KS4 pupils and to your requirements.

Greenfoot
Introduction to Greenfoot, Python projects to prepare pupils for coursework.

Microbits
Introduction to programming Microbits, Bitbuggy programming.

HTML
Introduction to HTML and skills development.

Robotics
Introduction to Lego Robotics programming. Projects can be adapted for KS3 & KS4, project based and to your requirements.

Unplugged
Workshops without a need for a computer, such as Computational Thinking, Brain Games, Algorithms and Code Breaking.

Digital Technology GCSE
Key skills needed for Digital Technology GCSE curriculum, like Adobe Animate and Dreamweaver.

Bangor

Computational Thinking
This workshop aims to introduce or reinforce computational thinking principles for learners with little or no programming experience. Pupils will gain an improved knowledge of Decomposition, Abstraction, Pattern Recognition and Algorithms, as well as improved problem-solving abilities and improved programming skills in Scratch.

Brain Games
This workshop encourages learners to use their thinking and problem solving skills to complete a number of collaborative challenges in small teams. Pupils will gain improved skills in communication, collaboration
and problem solving.

Code Breakers
This workshop introduces the concepts behind code breaking and cryptography. Pupils will learn to understand how and where cryptography is used, be able to encrypt and decrypt messages using Caesar cypher / pigpen cypher, and improve their problem solving and communication skills.

Reaction Time
This workshop shows how physical computing devices can be used to collect data in an experiment. It also shows how this data can be analysed and interpreted to draw conclusions and test hypotheses. Pupils will gain a better understanding of the scientific process e.g. Questions, Hypotheses, Methods, Data and Results.

Smart Greenhouse
This workshop shows how smart devices can be used in plant cultivation. It also investigates the effect of changing environmental conditions on plant growth. Pupils will use multiple sensors and actuators that allow computer systems to interact with the world around them. Pupils will gain an understanding as to how digital technology can be used to affect our environment.

Computational Art
This workshop introduces Python for KS3 pupils in a way that illustrates how coding can be applied to a creative
outcome. Pupils will learn to write simple Python programs using Python Turtle, how to use variables, functions and
parameters, and how physical devices can be controlled to produce artwork.

Renewable Energy
This workshop introduces some scientific and engineering concepts behind renewable energy – specifically wind turbines. Pupils will gain an understanding of how important design is to a project and the factors that influence it, an understanding of programming concepts, and the ability to work as part of a team and evaluate and feedback effectively.

Make Some Noise
This workshop introduces the idea that programming can be used in more creative applications such as music. This workshop is delivered in 2 modules – making instruments with BBC micro:bits and/or creating music with Sonic Pi. Pupils will learn how sensors can be used for input, be able to connect external devices to the
BBC micro:bit for output and begin to understand how a programming language can be used to create music.

Micro:bit Makers
This workshop introduces basic coding using the BBC micro:bit and shows how the device can be used to make a product to solve a specific problem. Pupils will learn about the different parts of the BBC micro:bit and what they do, be able to apply previous knowledge of block based coding to the BBC micro:bit and learn how external input can be used to control a device.

Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Builder
This workshop introduces and improves the skills needed to complete various aspects of the Welsh Baccalaureate, particularly the Enterprise and Employability Challenge. It can also include further sessions introducing app development. Pupils will gain an understanding of how to use SWOT analysis, a understanding of markets, market research and social media marketing, the 4 Ps, the skills needed for reflection and basic app design.

First LEGO League Missions
This series of workshops aims to introduce students to the First Lego League Challenge. Pupils will gain an better problem solving skills, work together to create a successful solution to a problem, become aware of the challenges involved in First Lego League and understand how line following is useful in robotics.

Digital Technology Skills Builder
This workshop covers the skills required to complete the practical aspect of Unit 2 ‘Digital Practices’ of the WJEC Digital Technology GCSE. The session will cover one of the following applications: Adobe Animate, Adobe Dreamweaver, Game Maker. Pupils will become aware of what is required for Unit 2 – ‘Digital Practices,’ become confident in the basic use of the application covered and start to formulate ideas for a product that
will meet the requirements for the unit.

Wrexham

Introduction to Scratch
Scratch is the largest free coding community for kids for creation of stories, games, and animations. This workshop teaches learners how to get started coding in Scratch block-based programming language that opens the door for coding across all platforms.

Further Scratch Programming
Taking programming skills to the next level using the block-based visual programming language. In this workshop, learners will explore the physics behind popular game formats while expanding their coding skills with functions, variables, and loops.

Machine Learning
Create a Pac-Man game in Scratch that teaches Pac-Man to avoid the ghost. This workshop is useful for introducing learners how machine learning systems are trained, how they are used, and some of the real-world implications of AI applications.

Computational Thinking
Create a Pac-Man game in Scratch that teaches Pac-Man to avoid the ghost. This workshop is useful for introducing learners how machine learning systems are trained, how they are used, and some of the real-world implications of AI applications.

Transport That Doesn’t Cost the Earth
How much environmental impact and cost-saving can be affected by the aerodynamic re-design of lorries on our roads? This workshop introduces aerodynamics and CAD. Learners will swap a box-on-wheels lorry with their futuristic design and run it through a virtual wind tunnel.

Micro:bit Inventor
BBC Micro:bit is a handheld, programmable micro-computer that can be used for an endless possibility of creations. Learners will use block-based coding to create programs and flash programs onto the Micro:bit and then physically construct and control electronic circuits.

Micro:bit Mover
Enter the world of robotics and build a micro:bit controlled robot that can be coded with the Microsoft MakeCode Editor. The robots utilse the BBC micro:bit and a clippable motor driver board, to allow for bumping, spinning and many other tricks. Fully customisable vehicle body.

Micro:bit Music
Let’s make digital music by programming Micro:bits. First we run through a tour of how computers have been used for innovative music. We will use Microsoft MakeCode Editor for some block-based coding and then take things to the next level by coding in Python.

Micro:bit Guitar
This workshop uses the Micro:bit inventors kit and noise pack. We will first simulate our circuitry for a Micro:bit guitar and then hands on with bread board, wires, resistors, capacitors and amplication for the real thing to bring together electronics and code to make some noise!

Build a Computer
Let’s take a look inside a machine that we take for granted and explore what each component does and why they are important. Starting from scratch, we will learn to build a PC, assembling physical components and also play a virtual build simulator to make a super computer.

Rocket Cars
Learn about rockets and make your own rocket that will launch to a height of up to 100m at zero cost. Learn about how rocket technology has been developed to propel the Bloodhound car and then make and launch your own rocket car.

Python Turtle Art
Learners will learn initial commands and improve their computational thinking skills as they develop their ability to program in Python by using the pre-installed Python Turtle library. They will create complex artwork with simple commands by providing them with a virtual canvas.

Edison Robots Pen Plotter
Make your very own printer using Edison Robotics and a felt-tip pen. This pen plotter can be programmed to draw different shapes using EdPy, Edison’s Python programming language. You will be programming a robot that controls the paper and a separate robot for the pen.

Edison Robots Robo Claw
We will use Edison robotics to create a RoboClaw which can be programmed using the barcodes created from EdScratch block-based coding language and be controlled with a standard TV remote control to drive forwards, backwards, spin and open/close to pick up objects.

Crumble Robot Security Robot
In this workshop learners will build security robots using Crumble robotics. They will use a computer and write some code to allow their robots to detect movement using ultrasonic distance sensors and react with opening jaws, flashing lights and a buzzer.

F1 in Schools CAD
A series of sessions giving full tutorials that will allow the learners in the school F1 team to use the F1 in Schools recommended 3D packages: Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360 and rendering software to design an F1 car of the future to the regulation specifications.

TinkerCAD Augmented Reality
We are rapidly moving into more digitally connected times where we can view the world in 3D Augmented reality projections into our own room. In this workshop we will create 3D models in TinkerCAD and prepare them to be brought to life in the classroom.

3D Modelling and Rendering
Learners create the basics for a solid 3D model for a new character in TinkerCAD and then import this model into a 3D sculpting engine, for finer detail profiling. We then import this into a rendering app to make a high resolution shaded visual. Select models will be 3D printed.

LEGO Mindstorms Wind Turbines
In this session, pupils will discover how to harness the kinetic energy of the wind and how to develop a computational model of this interaction. Pupils will learn about the fundamentals of coding and how to work as a team of engineers to develop their very own LEGO wind turbine.

Planets and Orbits
The sun orbits the earth? The planets orbit in circles? The earth floats in the water of the heavens? Take a trip through history as we explore how observations and mathematics led us to the current models of the solar system before pupils construct their own models online.

MakeCode Arcade Make a Platform Game
In these sessions, we will use MakeCode Arcade to create a platform game based upon a retro game involving an Italian-American plumber and his brother. Sonic? No. We will start with the pixel art and creating characters and work through the coding to create a working game.

Cryptography
A workshop about various Cryptographic techniques and the importance of being able to encrypt and decrypt messages for secure communication. Pupils will be challenged to put their code breaking skills to use to crack codes in a Break Into the Box activity.

Frontend Web Development
This workshop is an introduction to the 3 components of frontend web development: HTML, CSS and Javascript. We begin by inspecting existing websites, then create a website using a simple text editor and finish by dissecting a broken version of the classic game ‘Snake’.

TinkerCAD Games Controllers
In TinkerCAD classroom, we will focus on creating the electronics for a computer game controller and simulate its use after investigating the history of controllers. The second part will involve 3D Modeling in Tinker CAD to design the perfect controller to house the circuitry.

Creating Websites using Adobe Dreamweaver
In this workshop, students will learn about how to use the software package Adobe Dreamweaver to create, design, code, and edit websites with user-friendly features like images, text, and links. Firstly, we dig in to frontend web development and learn about HTML, CSS and JS.

Creating Prototypes using Adobe XD
Learn to create apps & web projects in this Adobe XD workshop. Adobe XD was developed for designing user interfaces and user experiences. Learners can create working prototypes in the app by using artboards to efficiently design web layouts for mobile, tablet and desktop.

Creating Artwork using Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is THE industry standard image editing application and established Adobe’s name and reputation. This workshop picks out the key features of the software and gives learners confidence to use the software and explore it further independently.

Editing Videos using Adobe Premiere
Adobe Premiere is the first-choice video software for most video professionals. This workshop shows learners around the user-friendly interface and how to import clips, edit videos, create motion graphics, apply transitions and effects and publish in many formats.

Vector Graphics with Adobe Illustrator
This course is aimed at learners new to using Adobe Illustrator. We’ll start right at the beginning and work our way through step by step. We’ll start with the techniques you’ll need to create just about everything in Illustrator. Including icons, logos and hand-drawn illustrations.

Animation using Adobe Animate
In this interactive workshop, students will learn the basics of Adobe Animate, look at different types of symbols, discuss the different types of tweens (classic, motion and shape), use onion-skinning and bone tool to aid animation, import sound and export animations.

Games Development with Gamemaker
GameMaker is a Game Engine that provides a human-readable coding interface to compile games for different devices. This workshop will give learners an introduction to designing and programming their own games using GameMaker Studio 2. The skills and concepts covered mirror what is used in the games industry when designing games and implementing common features in basic platform/arcade games (on a smaller scale of course!)

Algorithms
This workshop develops students’ ability to decompose complex processes through the use of flowcharts and step-by-step instructions. In this workshop, we will be looking at what algorithms are and how they can be used to solve various day to day problems.

Arduino Projects
These sessions are for allowing exploration of open-source electronic prototyping platforms enabling learners to create interactive electronic objects. We will be virtually and then physically making the electronic circuits and writing code to make it work and exploring why it works.

Graphs and Networks
Graphs and Networks are very important concepts in computer science and this workshop introduces such concepts as graph theory. We implement a classroom-based finite autonama activity to demonstrate networks and create a safe zone in the computer game Fortnite.

Sorting and Searching
This workshop teaches each Linear and Binary Search algorithms that incorporates a blended mix of activities and information on the world of computational sorting and sorting. We use BBC Micro:bits to use these methods to locate the Dr. Who TARDIS.

PyShop Python Programming
The PyShop programme helps students develop the ability to program in Python. Throughout the workshop, they will develop a complete shop system and cover key topics such as networks. The goal is to have a fully functioning micro:bits-based shop programmed in Python.

Monte Carlo Simulations Probability
Probability and Statistics is much more than pulling balls from a bag or drawing cards from a deck. Students will be led through interesting experiments where they use random generated data to make discoveries such as throwing darts to predict Pi and why casinos always win.

Greenfoot Java Programming
This workshop develops students’ knowledge of object oriented programming, focusing on the Java-based Greenfoot environment. Through creating a series of games, students will strengthen their understanding of how object orientated programs are structured.

Computer Architecture and Assembly Language
These sessions cover computer architecture and hardware and low level programming using the LMC simulator using assembly language instructions such as input and output, storing and loading, adding and subtracting as well as the various forms of branching.

Boolean Algebra
This workshop is all about Boolean algebra and how it underpins computer science. We look at 4 main Boolean algebra operators OR, AND, NOT and XOR and visualise these in a simple circuit simulator. Students will learn about the many laws used to simplify Boolean expressions.

Forensic Scientist: Crime Scene
Forensic Science: Crime Scene is a ‘CSI’ style workshop, introducing the forensics of investigating a bank heist, analysing clues such as DNA, shop databases and receipts, cracking ciphers and piecing it all together to arrest the criminal mastermind!

Forensic Scientist: Steganography
Steganography is the practice of hiding secret messages in something that is not secret. This workshop will improve learner understanding of the subject as they will work as computer forensic analysts to investigate information hiding techniques and uncover a criminal plan.

Modelling Molecules
An investigation into the movement and behaviour of atoms in different states of matter. This workshop will develop pupils’ knowledge of atoms and molecules and their behaviour as well as using Scratch to model different states of matter and simple chemical reactions.

Animal Classification
This workshop provides learners with an opportunity to learn about different groups of animals whilst developing their computational thinking skills in Scratch. Pupils will make their own Dichotomous Tree in Scratch to narrow-down school of animal from user questioning.