LJMU hosts Computers at School Conference
30 March 2011
Last week, sixth form students from local secondary schools attended a one day conference on Computing at LJMU. The conference, held under the auspices of the Computing at School organisation was one of several held across the country in order to encourage students to find out more about the subject and to consider studying at university and making a career in this fast changing and exciting area.
The event, held at IM Marsh, was organised by LJMU lecturer in Educational ICT, Richard Vickery and King George V College Computing teacher, John Stout. 65 school students and 10 teachers spent a day attending lectures and practical sessions run by a variety of Computing experts from both LJMU and other universities around the country.
Bob Askwith from the LJMU Computing department opened the session with a talk on innovative technologies including a demonstration of research being carried out to help people with Cystic Fibrosis to manage their breathing using a computer game. He also talked about some of the Computing degree courses offered by LJMU.
Jonathan Black from Queen Mary’s College in London gave a very interesting and interactive talk on Artificial Intelligence whilst Neil Brown from the University of Kent demonstrated Greenfoot which is a visual way of learning Java. After lunch there was a talk on Encryption by Dan Page from Bristol University, followed by a choice of sessions which included a practical session on Greenfoot, a hands-on session on the Scratch programming language (and its extension, BYOB) and a stimulating talk by Professor Roger Boyle from Leeds University on climbing as an analogy for solving computer problems. The day was rounded off by a talk by Stephen Robertson of Microsoft on Search Engines. The day was well-received by students and teachers and we received positive feedback.
Alan Doyle, Head of ICT at West Derby School in Liverpool said:
“The Conference was really good indeed, the pupils got an awful lot out of it and some have even decided upon Computing at university”
Val Winrow, Head of ICT at Merchant Taylors School for Boys said:
“Thank you very much for inviting us to such an exciting day. The boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have been inspired and motivated by the CAS Conference.”
Richard Vickery commented:
“This is one of several events run by CAS around the country to raise the profile of computing in schools and the visiting speakers (who gave their time for free) had clearly put a lot of time and effort into preparing interesting and stimulating talks”.
For further details visit http://www.computingatschool.org.uk/
The team is planning to run this CAS event on an annual basis, in addition to programming courses (on Scratch and Greenfoot) for interested teachers during the summer. For further information please contact Richard Vickery email@example.com or call 0151 231 5205