Technocamps: Your favourite memories

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As the European-funded Technocamps project comes to an end, we asked Technocamps staff for their favourite memories of the pan-Wales STEM outreach project. Here’s what we reminisced about…

After the Yellowsands Summer School, we went to Ysgol Bae Baglan to visit the pupils and chat to them now. We arrived early and heard that the pupils had escaped from their lessons to see us and catch up with our delivery officers! – Jo Ralph, Schools Liaison Officer.

On a workshop in Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, we experimented with using Dreamweaver for a workshop. This was a big learning curve and we developed the workshop through trial and error. It is now one of our most popular workshops and has a much bigger impact on pupils. – Toby Benson, Delivery Officer

A few years ago when Pokemon Go was very popular, a couple of other delivery officers and I would go to schools early to catch Pokemons in the area. This inspired us to develop a Python program that used the data from the app to compare Pokemons and teach the pupils about which ones were worth catching! – Randell Gaya, Teaching Fellow

My first workshop was Incredible Innovations, where pupils are asked to compare the pros and cons of physical books and e-books. I was nervous about delivering a workshop for the first time but the pupils’ engagement was amazing and they pulled my leg about enjoying the smell of physical books! – Olga Petrovska, Teaching Fellow

An Ammanford coding club VR session was my first ever experience of VR. I was really scared at how realistic the jump over some water was but the pupils really got stuck in. – Rama Vaidhiyanathan, Teaching Fellow

On the Butterfly Hunter workshop, pupils get really creative and come up with unique stories to report back. As they describe their stories, it brings out their confidence and they become more and more engaged as the workshop goes on. – Alex Southern, Delivery Officer

Soon after the first COVID-19 lockdown announcement, we decided to host a virtual Summer of STEM event, which required loads of hard work in a short amount of time. The activities had so much variety and so many pupils engaged, it was definitely worth it! – Tom Blanchard, Teaching Fellow

My first teaching time in a primary workshop, I wasn’t feeling well but I powered through. At the end of the session, a pupil came over and said ‘I love you,’ which made my day. – Alicia Peterson, Delivery Officer

During the Castle of Logic puzzle activity during our STEM Academy, one task was to translate ancient Welsh into modern Welsh, then into English using the Minecraft translation tool. Technology isn’t always right and there was a mix-up with the word ‘maiden,’ meaning one sentence came out as ‘And thus he did name his beautiful carrot.’ This gave the pupils a laugh! – Jack Roberts, Delivery Officer

I got the opportunity to go to Hong Kong with Theatr na nÓg and seeing our hard work being disseminated to young people in Hong Kong and the impact it had on the pupils there was incredible. A separate but equally exciting memory is when some teachers made a cake to look like me! – Luke Clement, Operations Manager

My first in-person event at Technocamps was the STEM Academy. It was great to see the impact of Technocamps and the pupils engaging so much and being able to support with the teaching of Minecraft was definitely a highlight! – Mike Bulpitt, Senior Finance Officer

The rocket launch during the STEM Academy was such a wonderful way to end the day, and seeing (and sharing!) the pupils’ amazement was incredible. – Megan Chick, Communications Lead

Seeing the reach and engagement Technocamps has on teachers in the 2021 Education Conference, and how they benefit and learn from the Technocamps content makes them passionate about continuous learning made me proud to be a part of it. – Chess Hutin, Finance Assistant

The after-school coding clubs host a wide range of young people including home educated pupils, from different backgrounds, and those who don’t enjoy school but love learning in a more relaxed environment. Merlin, who progressed along the club, now helps out and spoke at our 2022 International Women’s Day event. – Jo Ralph, Schools Liaison Officer

Seeing the first cohort of our Degree Apprenticeship programme graduating on Bay Campus was a highlight for me. Seeing that there are students on the course that sometimes didn’t take their GCSEs, but completed the Degree Apprenticeship shows the value and impact of the programme. – Maria Moller, Business Engagement Officer

The STEM Academy was my first time teaching face-to-face, and seeing pupils from different backgrounds enjoying together was lovely. We also had to work as a team and adapt the sessions when the rain kicked in, which was fun. – Felix Moller, Delivery Officer

I am proud to have been a part of the GiST events to encourage girls into STEM. Being a role model for them and seeing them more engaged and comfortable in a female-only environment was so rewarding. The girls tend to go above and beyond what’s being taught directly and get really creative with the sessions. – Lauren Powell, Delivery Officer

Seeing the Technocamps team grow and develop through the years has been wonderful. Technocamps exists because there are not enough confident and engaging educators of computer science, so we support them by welcoming people from all backgrounds, giving us fresh and inspiring ideas. – Stewart Powell, Assistant Director

Designing the first annual report and seeing the impact of everything in one place after working so hard on each event throughout the year. – Rasa Mombeini, Marketing Assistant

Championing Women in STEM and being shortlisted for a Chwarae Teg Womenspire Award to recognise my work. – Laura Roberts, USW Coordinator

Developing the STEM Ambassador scheme which has seen over 500 students with a 100% employability rate. – Dr Catherine Teehan, Cardiff Academic Lead

The biggest impact I have had is seeing pupils who don’t usually engage get completely focussed on a task during a workshop and realise they can do it after all. – Alex Clewett, Bangor Coordinator

I loved inspiring girls to enjoy coding and help them realise that they can do anything, even as a farmer’s girl at heart! – Lois Roberts, Delivery Officer

Learning that pupils I taught have decided to spend their pocket money on technology – Megan Round, Delivery Officer

Working at the Eisteddfod was great and gave me an opportunity to learn about Welsh people and the culture here. – Madhav Pandya, Delivery Assistant

Inspiring more girls into STEM and having a real impact on their education while developing my own skills. – Casey Hopkins, DA Programme Director

Making a difference and inspiring a child to continue with computing at secondary school. – Sally Burkitt-Harrington, Cardiff Schools Liaison Officer

We would love to hear your favourite Technocamps memories! Let us know via