Case Study: Lauren Powell

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Before going to university, Lauren didn’t know what she wanted to do. After learning about Computer Science, she became passionate about Technocamps’ work and doing her bit to encourage young people (especially girls!) into STEM.

At school, Lauren enjoyed maths but wasn’t interested in doing a degree in it. When she came across Computer Science at a careers event, she thought “this is everything I love about Maths but I can apply it to something more interesting,” so she decided to study Computer Science at Swansea University, with no idea of what it would be like. 

Lauren enjoyed every aspect of the degree and when she heard about the work Technocamps does, she was keen to get involved. She had never heard of Computing or Computer Science as it wasn’t offered at school, so when she had the opportunity to work with Technocamps, she wanted to offer children the opportunity she wished she had at their age. Through Technocamps, Lauren got to teach children of all ages about Computer Science, about how it is not just writing code and computational thinking and problem solving. She also got the opportunity to attend lots of Girls in Science and Technology (GiST) events and Girlguiding groups and be the role model in STEM that she never had growing up. Lauren enjoyed seeing how inspired and hard working the girls were, which motivated her to do more. Computing is an important subject to learn at all ages, and it is important for children to understand how to use computers effectively and safely to improve aspects of their learning. We live in a quickly developing digital world so Lauren understands the importance of children understanding computational thinking and using it in the entirety of their education to give them the skills they need to go into the working world.

During her time as a Delivery Officer at Technocamps, Lauren set up the Ambassador Programme, which allows University students to get involved with Technocamps alongside their studies. Part of their role includes assisting in workshops and creating additional resources. The ambassadors have been a big support to Technocamps and it’s great to have so many role models with varying routes into Computer Science motivating and inspiring children. 

At Technocamps, Lauren got the opportunity to teach the Computer Security module on the Degree Apprenticeship programme. Cyber security has always been a topic of interest to her, and being able to share this knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject with others was been really useful. However this, together with teaching in schools, showed Lauren the lack of common knowledge there is around cyber security and how to keep safe, and the importance of programmes like Technocamps. This inspired Lauren to look further into cyber security education, looking at the content that is taught, and how it is taught to be more applicable with the use of hands-on practical tasks. 

Thanks to the many opportunities and invaluable experience I gained while working with Technocamps am now a Lecturer in Computer Science at Swansea University. My role at Technocamps allowed me to develop my teaching skills and discover a real passion for teaching, while enabling my creative side when developing workshop resources which I have carried through to my lecture material. My confidence and knowledge has grown incredibly, I have been able to flourish thanks to the support of every single member of the Technocamps team, I have learnt so much and I couldn’t imagine my life now without the Technocamps family.