Exa’s First Summer Camp!

Exa Summer Camp 2016

We think that those interested in technology need spaces in which to develop their ideas. Creating and supporting spaces like these is one of the main goals of our exa.foundation, and just last week (8th- 12th August), we ran a small-scale event designed to do something a little more experimental.

We opened up a floor in our Bradford office to a few Digital Makers, running a week-long summer camp to let them explore new kinds of tech with a like-minded group of peers. Across the week, long-time teacher Alan O’Donohoe from exa.foundation and ICT/ Computing teacher Martin Cottrell ran some great presentations and workshops taking a look into some new kinds of tech. Find out more about the camp below!

Python Logo made of beads

Sessions and events from Exa Summer Camp

The main goal of Exa Summer Camp was to give the attendees a chance to work on their own project, with a demonstration planned for the final day at camp, with expert advice and peer feedback. On each day, however, we explored some different topics to help the attendees develop a wider understanding of digital tools, techniques and approaches.

Martin Cottrell explores the micro:bit

Starting off by taking a look at what our attendees were confident about understanding, what they didn’t know about, and what they were uncertain on, we designed a program based around their interests and requirements, before heading into some sessions on micro:bit and game design.

A quick course in game design

On the second day, attendees worked through their personal projects, leading into a crash course on Raspberry Pi on day 3, and a full-on Twine course on the Thursday. All in all, the sessions covered a fairly wide range of subjects and fields, and were designed to be both informative for more advanced learners and accessible for beginners.

Taking a look at Twine at Exa Summer camp

By the end of Exa Summer Camp, our attendees all managed to create a range of entirely different projects, from Twine stories to games made via Python, Minecraft mods and a 3D headset powered through Raspberry Pi! Check out some photos below:

Space Invaders remade with Python

Raspberry Pi 3D Helmet

A story made with Twine

What happens next year?

This year’s Exa Summer Camp was a small-scale event, with only a few children attending. That’s entirely on purpose - we wanted to make sure that everything worked out properly with a relatively low-key event rather than just jumping in at the deep end. We’ve definitely learned a lot from the camp (hopefully our visitors would say the same!), so there’s a lot of scope for future events like the summer camp. Stay tuned for more - follow us on Twitter [@ExaNetworks][https://twitter.com/exanetworks) for the latest updates!