Mickey Day, Regional Coordinator for London and the East of England, takes us through the success of his first Code Club meetup, which included talks by people from Teaboy Games, Barefoot, and Samsung Online.
The 7 September marked my first Code Club meetup, hosted by the software company Pivotal in London. Our meetups are an opportunity for Code Club volunteers to come together to share their experiences, and for newcomers to learn about the importance of digital making, about what a Code Club entails, and about how to get involved.
Pivotal kindly allowed us to use their amazing space on Old Street for the evening. The event gave our London community the chance to celebrate Code Club’s expansion into secondary schools, and allowed potential volunteers to find out more about what we do. We welcomed almost 100 guests, who came flooding through the doors and past our table of goodies.
Among the attendees were large numbers of teachers and potential volunteers, and everyone was keen to learn and hear the evening’s talks. The event started with attendees enjoying a drink while registering their venues with Code Club.
When everyone had taken a seat, I opened the session with a short talk on the importance of receiving a digital education as a child, and how Code Club supports this cause.
We continued with lightning talks from Frazer Merrick, creative director of Teaboy Games, who covered all things Scratch; Simon Vaughan-Long, volunteer for Barefoot, who impressed upon us how essential teachers’ digital knowledge is; and uve, digital advocate for Samsung Online, who demonstrated just how immersive VR can be. The session lasted an hour, then the floor was opened to questions from the audience for the panel of speakers.
After the Q&A, guests enjoyed a rather large amount of pizza before getting their hands on some activities. Code Club volunteer Marc Grossman demonstrated some Makey Makey kits capabilities: he used play dough to control Scratch sprites. Then computing student Hugh Wells flexed his musical muscles demo’ing Code Club’s new Sonic Pi projects.
There was a lot of activity on Twitter using the hashtag #CodeClubEvent, with guests posting photos, reviews, questions, and slides of the night. Because so many community members used social media to share photos of and thoughts about the event, the hashtag was trending in London for two and a half hours. That’s pretty awesome!
The event concluded with networking and setting up new clubs in preparation for inspiring new young digital makers!
“Absolutely fantastic event – what you arranged and Pivotal hosted was truly inspiring. There was a great buzz around the place!”
— Simon Vaughan-Long, Barefoot volunteer
Our next free London meetup will be on 12 October 2017 from 5:30-9:00 pm at Monzo HQ on Old Street, and it will include lightning talks from Monzo, Disney, ustwo, and pi-top. Join us there to find out more about Code Club — you can get your free ticket here.