@MakerFaireBTN Brighton Maker Faire


What a day!

This all day event took place at the Corn Exchange plus more of the Dome. A very beautiful building (if you haven’t seen it). The event was immense from tweeting with a BBC Micro & a raspberry Pi to hot air ballons! You had to be there Maker Faire Brighton. I think my favourite thing was the Dalek. 20120909-073202.jpg

Why am I writing about it, apart from being amazing, I was one of the makers! I even got to make my own badge! I was giving a beginners coding workshop using Greenfoot. Greenfoot is a 2D simulation and gaming environment to enable younger students to learn how to code Java.

This all sounds calm and relaxed, reality was quite the reverse :) The night before I had gone to set up the room layout making sure that there were enough extension leads. As you can image the following morning we had one! This was compounded by the fact we had no laptops to give the workshop with…… Not getting stressed at all ;) @DonnaComferford came with a three. We managed to borrow four more *sigh of relief*. As these weren’t the laptops we were looking for – the software wasn’t installed so an added delay but everyone was great about it. Phew the workshop can actually start.

Neil Brown from Kent University, Greenfoot Team delivered the workshop which was broadcast live via Google Air Hangouts. This was my first air hangout and thankfully we had a wired connection! The 90min workshop enabled the students to go from blank canvas to completed game. Or as we like to say Noobie to Ninja. The workshop started with a demo of Greenfoot’s capabilities, which are impressive. Even more so that it is free for everyone.

We have students from year 6 all the way through to year 13 plus a few parents. NO girls! Come on girls! Coding isn’t just for boys!

Using the Crabs and Worms scenario the students were able to create and code their own complete game which they were able to take away with them on USB sticks provided by us. A very kind donation from Neil ford from Rewired State.

As a teacher it was inspiring to see the engagement and concentration from all of the students. It was a very quiet workshop at times. The ideal lesson! After they had created their games Neil gave a demonstration of what other things are possible with Greenfoot. What do you get with four spoons, a pico board and four volunteers = Pong! Very entertaining. It was a great workshop and thank you to all the support from the Maker Faire