STEM grant creates opportunities for Crumble Coding

Buggies controlled through the magic of code were weaving their way around a classroom in a science session made possible with a £500 grant.

The Royal Institution awarded Bradford College the funding under its Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) enrichment and enhancement grant scheme.

The money was used for a Crumble Coding class, giving an introduction into programming for learners studying for the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma in IT.

The College’s Projects Team successfully bid for the funding and worked with curriculum staff to choose an activity that would best support them.

Networking and systems support lecturer Steven Clay said:

“We knew that this STEM-based activity was something the students would enjoy.”

The day was led by Dom and Liz Surry, a husband and wife team who run Skill Supply. Together they deliver STEM workshops for people of all ages, helping to develop team and leadership skills in a fun and interesting way.

During the day, the students worked together on a series of mini-projects. They connected block-based coding systems to motors, sensors and lights to create miniature buggies that were able to navigate obstacle courses.

Steve said: “They have totally engaged with the activity and given them a strong idea of what they will be doing on future units within their course.”

The activity has helped students to understand basic programming concepts. These will provide the baseline for the development of the coding skills they will require for the second year of their course.

Furthermore, the activity required learners to work collaboratively to succeed. This gave them a realistic taste of how developers work, where team work, good communication and problem solving are essential.

The Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in IT course allows students to gain an insight into the development of a range of applications across platforms and sectors. On this course students have the opportunity to gain the right combination of knowledge, understanding and skills required for the 21st century, enabling them to demonstrate the skills of design, building, testing and implementation of applications.

The Royal Institution 2020 STEM E&E grant scheme info

Grants of up to £500 are offered for schools to experience an activity selected from the STEM Directory. This scheme is generously supported by the Clothworkers’ Foundation and the L.G. Harris Trust.

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