Teddy Bear Games Controller... Genius Invention! Teddy Bear Games Controller... Genius Invention!

Technology Workshop at The Mall, Maidstone Featured

On Friday 8th April U Can Too ventured into Maidstone to run a technology workshop in the middle of The Mall, shopping centre.

This pop-up workshop was run as a book in advance or drop-in session, so we had the pleasure of some familiar faces and lots of new faces too.

This was a wonderful way of running the session as those familiar with our format were able to get going on a task, whilst others could be led by one of the Mentors, including one of our lovely youth Mentors. George.  

During the sessions, we discovered that the majority of drop-in visitors hadn't had the opportunity to code before and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to find out more about how they could use code to 'make things happen'.

In fact we're delighted to say that we all had a bundle of fun and even a wonderful new invention from one lovely young lady, who created a Teddy Bear Games Controller!  I don't know about you but I love the idea of switching from playing a game whilst getting a fluffy hug too!  

We also experienced the newfound musical masterminds of two lovely young sisters who applied their musical and coding talents to Sonic Pi.  Creating sounds in Sonic Pi is the easy bit but these young girls layered many sounds to create a complex piece of music, making adjustments until these layers played in time with one another, a challenging task, and done in a very short amount of time too! The end result had us bopping away to the beat... yes, yes we really were dancing in the middle of the The Mall; perhaps we should've removed the headphones first!

In Minecraft children, wrote code to make a huge slab of clay arrive in their world, which they then sculpted. Others attempted walking on water, whilst others enjoyed leaving a path of obsidian behind their every step. We saw some fantastic problem solving too as many children needed to adapt to navigating Minecraft using a keyboard and mouse on Minecraft Pi, rather than playing using a controller.

Whilst on the Makey Makey track, children used the Makey Makey alongside Scratch to turn tin foil tart cases into a drum kit, games controller and more including one young girls fantastic creation of the day a cuddly games controller in the form of a teddy bear.  With the help from our Youth Mentor, she used knowledge of electronic circuits and a little bit of coding in Scratch, the Teddy Bear could be used to move a character around a scene.

You can see by the smiles that a great time was had by all, with many children asking how the could do more at home!!

Thanks to the Mentors for helping and thanks to all of the visitors to our Pop-up Workshop who came along and enjoyed the fun.


Were you there?  We'd love to hear from you, feel free to comment below.



Su Adams

Su Adams has been working with schools for over 10 years and is passionate about computing in education.

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