Primary students get hands-on at Makespace to create games from Scratch

Makespace opened up their ‘inventing shed’ for Year 5 students from Fen Ditton and Teversham Primary Schools to take part in coding discovery days. The events were part of Cambridge LaunchPad, a STEM outreach programme managed by Form the Future CIC.

Mac Bowley, Outreach Organiser at Makespace Cambridge Ltd., said

The project days were a great opportunity to show the students that programming is accessible and fun. The kids took to the days with an infectious enthusiasm and watching them learn and create using the tools was inspiring. I was very impressed with the grasp all the students showed by the end of the project days, especially considering not very many had used the pieces of equipment before.

The Makespace team introduced the students to Scratch, a free programming language that allowed them to create their own interactive stories and games whilst using a Raspberry Pi. Some of the fantastic ideas that they developed were a ‘Britain’s Got Talent’-style game and a pub quiz with questions about STEM. Learning to code helps young people to think creatively, problem-solve and work well in a team – all core values within the Cambridge LaunchPad programme.

Sarah Di-Bella, Year 5 Teacher at Fen Ditton Primary School, said

What a fantastic day!  We learned how to use Raspberry Pis and Scratch to write and control games.  All the pupils from Teversham had a positive day and were able to achieve the tasks set.

The volunteers selected four students from each activity day who were able to best demonstrate these skills, who will attend a prize trip alongside Year 4–6 students from other schools and colleges that are taking part in Cambridge LaunchPad.

Molly Askham, STEM Outreach Assistant from Form the Future CIC, said

The project days at Makespace gave the students a great opportunity to use programming equiptment that would not normally be accessible to them in school. The hands-on activities really allowed their creativity and innovation to shine through and the level of detail they achieved in their video game designs was incredible.

Please contact us at cambridge-launchpad@formthefuture.org.uk if you wish to inspire the next generation at one of our STEM outreach activity days.

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