Review of Computing Education Events at NUI Galway in 2014

 

With the NUI Galway Computing Summer Camp now in its fifth year all available places were filled in record time. 41 secondary school students from a variety of schools across Galway city and county arrived at 9am on Monday 9th June to a brief introduction by the Head of IT, Dr. Michael Madden. The students were then led to their classroom to begin the camp modules.

Each day comprised 3 sessions (9am -11am, 11:30am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm) with a 30 minute break at 11am and an hour for lunch at 1pm. Students were introduced to a variety of fun & interesting IT topics including Scratch, Lego Mindstorms, Python and Google Sketchup. For all sessions during the week there were up to 6 tutors (with extensive teaching experience gathered from their postgraduate work in IT) in the classroom to assist the lecturer. On Friday students were given the freedom to work on a project using the topic they had most enjoyed during the week and prizes were awarded to those that showed most application and promise.

To facilitate an ethos of a rounded Summer Camp experience, outdoor activities were provided throughout the week. These included photo walks around the campus – which gave students the opportunity to use a number of digital cameras provided for the camp, football – the final score remains a contentious issue although the absence of any refereeing abilities on the part of our tutors may have played a significant role, juggling, hula hooping and a few brave students were also observed taking the unicycle – yes a UNICYCLE - for a spin – with some considerable success!

As the week progresses students easily make new friends both in the classroom and during the outdoor activities. This was evident again this year and the teams for the projects on the final day were primarily based on new alliances formed during the week. The social aspect of the Computing Summer Camp is high among our priorities. Students will make friends in their 5 days with us in NUI Galway that will last for many years to come – not only based on attendance at the camp but also on common interests discovered while they are with us. We are not only privileged but also delighted to be able to facilitate a strong learning environment within which our students feel free to flourish both from an educational and social point of view.

For more information email Tina Earls tina.earls@nuigalway.ie