Kids, Teachers, Raspberry Pis and #techmums

Sun 23 March 2014

Wow! What a crazy week! Feels like I haven’t stopped moving since Monday, though that strictly wasn’t the case. But it’s definitely be awesome.

Tuesday saw me in Surbiton for an interview to become a #techmums trainer with Dr Sue Black. It was quite a surreal experience as Sue and I have known each other for quite some time, first meeting at a Station X meetup at Bletchley Park. The interview apparently went well. I am now confirmed as a #techmums trainer!

After Surbiton it was time to head in to London, firstly to meet up with my good friend Debbie Davies and then to go catch Jess De Wahls amazing exhibition Big Swinging Ovaries finally ending up at #DrinkingAboutMuseums with the wonderful Mar Dixon. All in all a great day in the company of some truly amazing ladies!

Wednesday ended up being a much quieter day, but not by design. The morning saw me with an early appointment at a local doctors surgery to see an ENT specialist to have a persistent wound in my right nostril cauterised. That was to say the least an interesting experience. Even more so the reaction afterwards. One the local anaesthetic had worn off, I got knocked for six by the pain and found myself spending a good portion of the day collapsed on the sofa waiting for painkillers to kick in. Not what I had planned.

Feeling better, Thursday meant a day in North London assisting at a CPD for Teachers Raspberry Pi Inventions course. It is always great to help teachers feel a little less scared about the new computing curriculum and to show them how to utilise the Raspberry Pi in delivering parts of it. After Wednesday’s inactivity it was good to get stuck in to teaching and answering loads of questions. And even the travel wasnt too bad.

The end of the week brought two days of activities with kids. Friday I was at The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux representing STEM Sussex at a mini Big Bang Fair. I was there with the now infamous Makey Makey Banana Piano and a display of Raspberry Pi activities including my ultrasonic sensor / Minecraft-Pi mashup. There were a constant stream of kids (and some adults) wanting to know what the bananas were all about and why I had Minecraft running. Lots of great conversations and hopefully a few more people inspired to consider studying, and possibly a career in, computing. Didn’t get to see much of the event outside our tent, but apparently there was lots to see and everyone who I spoke to had had a great day.

Up early for a Saturday to head to Brighton for CoderDojo Brighton to once again enthuse about the Raspberry Pi. I gave a version of my Teachmeet Brighton presentation, answered question and had a couple of Pis set up so that the kids and parents could have a chance to see the Pi in action and find out what makes it different from the computers that already have at home. Hopefully I persuaded a few more households to get a Pi for their kids to experiment with.

And that was my week. The coming week looks no less busy. Maybe I’ll do a write-up next weekend, if I don’t completely crash!