The school children really enjoyed playing our game and we were pleased to discover that some of them had strong programming knowledge for their age.
The aim of this project was to develop workshops for secondary school children, in order to attract them towards computer science.
As the time was limited, I chose to work with a fellow vacation student, Joshua Dawes and develop an activity together. We decided to build an educational game which has the purpose to enhance the programming knowledge of whoever plays it. The game was displayed as a maze and the goal was to get to the “Finish” point. In order to reach the finish, the user will need to face some obstacles which are represented by programming questions. All questions involved determining the order of the steps of some simple algorithms, so that the children can become familiar with the notion of algorithms and how they fucntion. Some of the algorithms were either determining the minimum or maximum in a list of numbers, determining the sum of the numbers of the list or to determine whether a list is ordered or not.
We established a connection with a local school, who expressed their interest to attend to one of our workshop sessions. It was fantastic to have a chance to put into practice everything we have developed. The activity was a real success and the children enjoyed it. Around eight children took and in order to make everything more exciting and raise the interest of the children, we spread them into two teams and ran the workshop as a competition between them. We were really pleased to discover that some of them had particularly strong programming knowledge for their age. Overall, we received a lot of positive feedback from the children and the School expressed they would be keen to get involved in further activities from us again.
During the development of the project, David gave us his entire support by sustaining and encouraging our ideas. It was a great pleasure to work with him and I hope I will get the opportunity to be involved in more projects with him in the near future.