Trainee teachers assist at Microsoft Research Think Computer Science Event

Think Computer Science is an annual event held by Microsoft Research at Duxford Imperial War Museum in Cambridge each December. This year, over 600 secondary school students and their teachers attended to hear inspirational speakers and view a variety of demonstrations and workshops. The aim of the event is to inspire young people to study, and perhaps pursue a career in, Computer Science.

This year, seven PGCE ICT trainee teachers from Anglia Ruskin University attended the event and ran a .NET Gadgeteer workshop. The workshop involved the school students working in small groups to build a digital camera, by assembling the hardware components and then writing a computer program. The session was very popular and the trainee teachers worked with many different young people.

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The contribution of the trainee teachers was very much appreciated by Microsoft Research. Scarlet Schwiderski-Grosche of Microsoft Research said “The training teachers did a fantastic job running 6 Gadgeteer mini-workshops for two consecutive hours without a break.” Sue Sentance, PGCE ICT Tutor said “I was extremely proud of my trainees. They were very professional and enthusiastic. Their contribution enabled lots of school students to have a really hands-on experience of using .NET Gadgeteer.”

The trainees themselves found the event very worthwhile. Adele Southam said “It was a great experience meeting and interacting with students from different schools. The best part was seeing the expressions of the students when they produced a working piece of code and could take a picture using the Gadgeteer kit.

The school curriculum is moving towards more integration of Computer Science into the ICT curriculum, and the Anglia Ruskin trainee ICT teachers are proving that they have the skills and enthusiasm to make an effective contribution in these changing times.

Sue Sentance