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Students see the light at computer programming workshop
STUDENTS came up with plenty of bright ideas as they got creative with computers in Oxford.
The Creative Computing project at Science Oxford in London Place saw students from four secondary schools gather to tackle computer programming.
Initially, they coded light-emitting diode (LED) lights to work to on and off switches.
Quickly catching on, the youngsters even managed to program their own set of traffic lights by the end of the day.
Children from Oxford High School, Oxford Spires Academy and Cheney School in Headington took part.
Jonathan Jeczalik, the head of information and communication technology (ICT) at Oxford High School, said: “Students were taught how to write a program, compile it and then upload it.
“From a standing start they were able to plug all this software and hardware in and write short programs to get a switch to turn some lights on. It was really quite something.”
William Cheetham, 13, from Headington, a pupil at Oxford Spires Academy, was among those taking par.
He said: “It was quite exciting because I had never done anything quite like it.
“It was challenging in the right areas, it made you think.
“I am quite interested in computing generally, and this was developing that kind of interest further.
“I would definitely like to do more of it within the school curriculum.”
Students used basic computer science to design, write, and test Arduino programming code, which operated the lights.
Arduino is an Italian microchip that is cheap, flexible and designed for anyone to use and write programs on.
The program can be used to create interesting projects – from light displays and alarm clocks to robots.
Sixteen students, four from each school and four ICT teachers took part in the event.
They were taught by four volunteers who work in computer science at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell.
They will act as mentors to students and teachers as they continue to work on their projects back in school.