Free Workshop for Secondary Teachers: Introduction to BBC micro:bit

Interested in getting hands experiences on with the BBC micro:bit, due to land in the hands of every Year 8 student in the summer term? Now’s your chance!

Farset Labs will be running a free, hands on “Getting started with the BBC micro:bit” Computing at Schools Northern Ireland Hub workshop on the 10th March 2016 from 6:30pm-9:00pm at Farset Labs.
We will hope to cover
– What is the micro:bit?
– Getting started and making your first programs
– Brief overview of the different programming environments available
– More in depth look at Python on the micro:bit
– Ideas for use in the classroom

We will have a few computers available at Farset, but if possible, please bring your own laptop.

If you have any queries or questions, feel free to drop myself (Andrew Mulholland, Outreach Manager @ Farset Labs) an email at andrew.mulholland@farsetlabs.org.uk

This event is supported by the Python Software Foundation, Farset Labs and Computing at Schools NI.

FAQ

Do I need to have any previous programming experience?
Nope! We are targeting the workshop at those will little or no programming experience.

I am not a secondary school level teacher (am a primary school teacher, higher education academic or from industry), can I come down and take part?
Unfortunately we expect high demand for this workshop so have to prioritise secondary teachers for now. If we still have space closer to the workshop, we would still love to see you there though. Put your name down for the waiting list for the “Other” ticket type and we will be in contact closer to the date.

If there is sufficient demand, we well look into launching follow-on events for a wider audience.

Do I need to provide my own BBC micro:bit?
Nope! We have been kindly been provided a set by the Python Software Foundation.

Is there anything then I need to bring?
If you have a laptop running Windows, Mac OS or Linux, then it would be great if you could bring it. Although we have some computers available, it is better to learn and practice on familiar equipment.

Is there free parking available nearby?
Yip! Weavers Court Business estate (which Farset Labs is located within) has ample onsite free parking.

Eventbrite - Introduction to BBC micro:bit

Policy Hack: Hacking our way to better outcomes

We’re happy to announce that we’re playing host to the first Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) “Policy Hack” day tomorrow morning from 9:30am.

So what is a Policy Hack? It’s a way to bring together policy makers from across the community and voluntary sector, activists, trade unionists, academics, business people, civil servants and members of the public with an interest in the topics to attack issues experienced across a range of themes using a different perspective; the experimental, iterative, and “agile” practices common in the technology and digital creative sectors.

Farset Labs is hosting this programme in our inspirational event space, which should create the atmosphere of open collaboration and knowledge sharing that is often lacking in the rest of the world.

This first event is focused on finding alternative solutions to the current quagmire that is working poverty; where due to a range of factors, individuals and families remain below the poverty line despite being partly or even fully employed.

For more information about NICVA’s programme of events, check out their website. Tomorrow’s event will run from 9:30 to 17:30 and there are just a few spots left, but to express interest in future events, sign up here anyway!

Outreach at Farset Labs

NdGT, tellin' it like it is.
NdGT, tellin’ it like it is.

This is going to sound old hat, but here at Farset, we’re all about cultivating an environment where the next generation of technologists can come into their own, but as the old saying goes, to teach is to learn twice.

That’s why we are always encouraging not only peer-teaching within the space and at Farset events, but also try and encourage our members to take part in STEM outreach to local schools.

As such, we’ve been internally working on a semi-regularly-updated wiki of the STEM events that need help in Northern Ireland, and hopefully, people will step up to the plate and give their time and energy to the next generation of technologists.

And before you say “That’s the teachers job”, just think back to your own teachers. Did they really know about the latest and greatest technologies going on?

I bet they didn’t (obviously replace those with temporally relevant technologies…).

As an aside, we’re trying to find someone to fund travel expenses for such outreach, because we definitely can’t! But if you’re free at any of the listed times, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or the listed contact points on the wiki and give back to the education system.

GO HERE AND PLEASE GIVE YOUR TIME