Summer School 2015 at @Ri_Science, for children 7-12, w Prof Paul Curzon on the magic of computer science

The Royal Institution (21 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BS) hosts public science events for all ages and is currently running a Summer School over the next few weeks with a range of science topics including maths, computing, cryptography, engineering, biomechanics and acoustics. The full programme covers workshops for children aged 7 and above with workshops for different year groups up to and including adults over 18.

Prof Paul Curzon, who has delivered many engaging workshops on the magic of computer science for teachers, will be delivering two workshops for school children on Tuesday 18th August.

The morning session will be for 7-9 year olds and the afternoon one for 10-12 year olds.

“When you learn to be a magician, it turns out you are learning the skills needed to be a great computer scientist too: computational thinking. In this workshop Paul Curzon will demonstrate some real magic tricks and teach the group how they are done so they can do the tricks themselves. Students will then use the magic to learn the linked basics of computer science and see what computational thinking is all about and how both magicians and computer scientists rely on it.

There will be a short break during the workshop and a drink and a small snack will be provided. Students should bring their own snack if they have any allergies.”

Morning workshop (Sunley Room)
The Magic of Computer Science with Prof Paul Curzon
Age group: 7-9 year olds – £30/27 (Faraday members)

Afternoon workshop (Library)
The Magic of Computer Science with Prof Paul Curzon
Age group: 10-12 year olds – £30/27 (Faraday members)

Financial assistance
The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial assistance to enable children to participate in Ri events and activities if this would otherwise be difficult. Please contact Anna Comino–James on 01844 351666 or email her at thepotentialtrust@gmail.com.

Our next events – one free workshop, one (not free) CPD course for A-level Computing teachers

Here’s what we have coming up so far in August… do also sign up to our mailing list to be kept informed of future activities.

1. Course for A-level Computing teachers in London
A-level Computing CPD August one-week intensive 2015 – from Teaching London Computing
Monday, 17 August 2015 at 10:00 – Friday, 21 August 2015 at 16:00 – at QMUL
This is a one-week intensive A-level Computing CPD course from Teaching London Computing. The course equips Computing teachers with the programming subject knowledge and skills to teach the new A-level Computing curricula.
[More information] [Eventbrite tickets]

2. Free workshop for Computing teachers in London
Using Turtle Graphics to Transition from Visual to Textual Programming
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 from 13:00 to 15:30 – at QMUL

How to transition from visual languages (e.g. Scratch) to text based languages (e.g. Python)?
A hands on workshop exploring the use of turtle graphics for making the transition from visual programming (using Scratch) to textual programming (using Python).

  • Comparing programs in Scratch and Python
  • Setting problems that can be soved in both visual and textual languages

Computers are provided but delegates may bring a laptop if they wish
(with MIT Scratch 2 and Python 3 installed). Some knowledge of basic programming assumed.
[More information] [Eventbrite tickets]

Do I have to be a London computing teacher to attend Teaching London Computing courses and workshops?
While we prioritise London computing teachers we do make space available for those from outside London. For our courses we charge non-London teachers the full price (£300) but thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we’re able to offer a 50% discount to London teachers only (£150). Our courses are aimed at those who are currently (or who are about to begin) teaching the Computing curricula (GCSE and A-level). Contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk) for further information.

Launch event for the new CAS London Regional Centre (Computing At School) – Fri 10th July

Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London will be involved in running the new CAS London Regional Centre (this is separate from Teaching London Computing project but many of the same people are involved). There will be a launch event [free] from 4.30pm on Friday 10 July and the invitation and details are below. [Eventbrite link for the meeting]

Find out more about CAS London @cas_london_crc.

Here is a map of the CAS regional hubs and Computing at School‘s website, and they’re @CompAtSch on Twitter.


We would like to invite you to the first CAS London Meeting. This is a regional collaboration bringing together primary and secondary teachers, Computing At School master teachers, hub leaders, lead schools, universities, boroughs and other training groups and interested parties to promote and support computing education in London. The meeting aims to start a discussion of how we can best mutually support each other, further developing our London education computing community.

The twilight event is on Friday 10th July 2015, at King’s College London.

Here is the link to eventbrite invitation.

Outline:

  • 4:30 Networking tasks & refreshments
  • 5:30 Keynote speaker Simon Humphreys
  • 5:45 Contributed presentations: What’s happening in London?
  • 6:30 Working together: Tasks
  • 7:00 Finish – more refreshments and networking

We aim to explore three questions about computing CPD and teaching computing in London schools: What is working well? What help do you need? What can you offer others?

If possible, can you create 1 or 2 slides with your answers to the above questions and send them to us. We will share your slides on a rolling display during the networking sessions and ask a number of contributors to talk through their slides in the contributed presentations session (maximum of 4 minutes per presentation).

Join us to celebrate the work done by our fantastic community of computing educators (that’s you) and to find out how we can further grow and develop the network of support and computing CPD provision across London.

For more information and to share your slides please contact Jane (jane.waite@computingatschool.org.uk) or Trevor (trevor.bragg@computingatschool.org.uk)

Many thanks
Paul Curzon, William Marsh, Jane Waite, Trevor Bragg, Sue Sentance

The CAS London meeting is supported by ‘Computing at School’ and ‘Teaching London Computing’, which is funded by the Mayor of London and Department for Education. The meeting is being organised by London’s CAS Regional Centre (CRC) a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London.’

What short courses & workshops do we have available for London Computing teachers at the moment? These!

Newly announced: we have a new free event, Understanding New Careers: Creativity and Technology on 14 July and a one-week intensive A-level CPD course coming up in August (17-21). More details about these below.

We also have space on our evening workshop session, on the 13th July, on GUI Programming in Python. (There’s a waiting list for the earlier one (identical workshop) on Monday 29 June though).

In upcoming-date order…

1. GUI Programming in Python – Monday 29 June 2015 – FREE (limited availability)

Python is a popular language for elementary programming but it not so easy to write programs with a graphical user interface (GUI). This workshop will introduce GUI programming in Python, covering:

  • the concepts common to all GUI frameworks: events, widgets and attributes
  • the role of object-oriented programming in GUIs
  • the choice of GUI frameworks (but looking mainly at tkinter, the default framework)

[Our page on this workshop]
[Link to Eventbrite tickets for 29 June workshop]

 

2. GUI Programming in Python – Monday 13 July – FREE (spaces available)

This workshop is identical to the one above.

[Our page on this workshop]
[Link to Eventbrite tickets for 13 July workshop]

 

3. Understanding New Careers: Creativity and Technology – 14 July – FREE

The event is for any London teacher who advises young people on careers, or who teaches art, or technology. Part-presentation, part-panel discussion, we will look at what happens in Tech City and discuss routes into new career opportunities in technology and creativity.

[Eventbrite link to more information and tickets for ‘Understanding new careers: creativity and technology’]

 

4. A-level Computing CPD: one-week intensive – 17-21 August 2015 – £300/150

This course equips Computing teachers with the programming subject knowledge and skills to teach the new A-level Computing curricula.

The course is taught using Python and includes much practical work. It is essential to have experience in programming, to GCSE level at least, including assignment, if statements, loops and arrays and ideally also function definitions. Delegates should be confident to solve simple programming problems requiring approx 20-50 lines, either with Python or a similar language.

The course costs £300 but thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we are able to reduce this for teachers in London.

[Our page on the A-level computing course]
[Link to Eventbrite tickets for this A-level Computing CPD]

OCR A453 Arithmetic Assessment using Python – Islington, 24 June

Please note: This is not a Teaching London Computing event but we occasionally share examples of others’ courses that we think our readers might find interesting.

Note that Teaching London Computing has a miniCPD session on Controlled Assessment with Python on Saturday 27 June 2015 from 10am to 4pm (£30 for London teachers, £60 for those outside London)


Dear Computer and ICT teachers,

We will be hosting CPD course for teachers delivering the OCR Computer Science Specification. The course based on delivering the OCR A453 Arithmetic Assessment using Python .

Venue: Islington Arts and Media School
Date: 24 June 2015
Time: 9:00 – 16:00
Cost : £100
Limited places available. The course will be delivered by David Batty from Code College.

Booking
Telephone 01772 454328 (10am to 10pm – 7 days a week)
Email courses@codecollege.co.uk
More information

Details of the course are below:
OCR A453 Arithmetic Assessment using Python

OCRThis in-school cpd course (for teachers only!) builds on your existing Python programming skills by teaching you how to break down a large task and, with stepwise refinement, build a fully working solution to a larger task.

This course will teach you, step by step, how to plan and write a solution for the OCR A453 Material 2 Arithmetic controlled assessment using the Python programming language.

This is not just giving you a possible solution to the task, on this one day course you will learn how to approach the task like a programmer, and be guided through each section as you plan, design and code a completed solution using nothing higher than GCSE level Python.

Participants will gain the skills needed to think like a programmer and to see how to write a complex task easily. At the end of the day you will understand the software development techniques teachers need to teach in the classroom prior to pupils starting the controlled assessment.

Although you are guided through every part of the project, course attendees will need existing Python skills. This course is ideal for teachers who have attended our two day Python course or who are quite confident in their Python programming skills, but are struggling to understand how to design and write the controlled assessment.

At the end of this one day course, you will have a working solution to the controlled assessment, you will understand how it was put together and how it all works. What is more important is that you will understand the skills your students need to complete the assessment and you will know how to teach students to approach designing and writing larger projects like the controlled assessment.

Obviously you cannot share this solution with pupils or teach them how to write it, but having written it yourself from scratch (with the tutors guidance) you will feel more confident when choosing how to guide students towards the skills needed to gain good grades with this assessment.

The course is delivered by David Batty of Code College who has 24 years of classroom experience deliver computing courses and 33 years experience as a professional programmer.

Two free Computing workshops for London teachers on Tuesday 26 May @QMUL / @QMEECS

We have another two workshops happening next week, on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 May, at Queen Mary University of London. Both are free and you are welcome to attend either or both (but you will need to register for each separately) – there is a half hour break between the two workshops.

Thanks to funding from the Mayor of London we are able to offer these workshops at no charge but we do prioritise London Computing teachers though other Computing teachers are welcome too. The workshops are not suitable for school pupils however.

For more information please contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk)

The workshops below are named ‘2’ and ‘3’ as they are part of a series of three, however the first one “Explorers need maps: Abstraction, Representations and Graphs” (last Monday) has finished but the information and slides are available on the workshop website.


Workshop QMUL2: Tue 26 May 2015, 1.30 to 3pm

Primary Computing Unplugged

Overview

Computing doesn’t need to be taught at a computer and in fact to get across key concepts it is often better (and more fun) not to. This is especially true of the early stages of learning programming and computing more generally. A core idea behind the new computing syllabus is computational thinking. We will give you a deeper understanding of computational thinking and give practical ways to teach both it and other computing topics such as programming away from computers. Computational thinking is a fundamental skill set that students learn by studying computing. We will demonstrate a range of activities that show how core ideas and concepts can be introduced using fun unplugged activities and games. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer.

Session material

This session presents a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is an algorithm
  • Writing your first program

Eventbrite - QMUL 02: Paul Curzon workshop - Primary Computing Unplugged for Workshop 2 – Primary computing unplugged
More information about this workshop on our page for Primary computing unplugged.

Workshop QMUL3: Tue 26 May 2015, 3.30 to 5pm

The Magic of Computer Science

Overview

When you learn to be a magician, it turns out you are learning the skills needed to be a great computer scientist too: computational thinking. Just like software, magic is a combination of algorithms and presentation. In this workshop we will demonstrate some simple to do but strong magic tricks. We teach the group how they are done so they can do the tricks themselves and then use the magic to illustrate the linked basics of computing. Overall we will show what computational thinking is all about and how both magicians and computer scientists rely on it.

Session material

This session will demonstrate a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking using easy to learn magic tricks.

Eventbrite - QMUL 03: Paul Curzon workshop - The Magic of Computing for Workshop 3 – The magic of computing
More information about this workshop on our page for The magic of computing.

[FREE] Three new workshops for teachers from Teaching London Computing on 18 and 26 May

We’ve added another three workshops to our activities and will be running these across two sessions in a couple of weeks. Our previous workshops (at Queen Mary University of London or as part of an invited talk elsewhere) have been very popular.

Workshop One: Mon 18 May 2015, 5.30 to 7pm

Explorers need maps: Abstraction, Representations and Graphs

Overview

Abstraction – essentially just hiding information – is a core part of computational thinking that is closely linked to the choice of data representation. We will give a deeper understanding of abstraction, providing fun ways to teach it, based on cs4fn / Teaching London Computing resources. The great explorers didn’t just wander around new continents finding things. They drew maps. Maps are just abstractions of the world. Based on games and puzzles, we will see how drawing a special kind of map called a graph and a variation the finite state machine is a part of computational thinking problem solving. They are useful tools for understanding how to use, exploring and designing computer systems.

Session material
This session will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is abstraction?
  • Why does the choice of data representation matter when solving problems?
  • What is a graph and why are they useful?
  • What is a finite state machine and why are they useful?

Eventbrite - QMUL 01: Paul Curzon workshop - Abstraction, Representations and Graphs for Workshop 1 – Abstraction, Representations and Graphs
More information about this workshop on our page for Abstraction, representations and graphs.

The second and third run on the same day at half-term, on Tuesday 26 May 2015 (you can come to the first or the second or both, but you will need to register for both separately).

Workshop Two: Tue 26 May 2015, 1.30 to 3pm

Primary Computing Unplugged

Overview

Computing doesn’t need to be taught at a computer and in fact to get across key concepts it is often better (and more fun) not to. This is especially true of the early stages of learning programming and computing more generally. A core idea behind the new computing syllabus is computational thinking. We will give you a deeper understanding of computational thinking and give practical ways to teach both it and other computing topics such as programming away from computers. Computational thinking is a fundamental skill set that students learn by studying computing. We will demonstrate a range of activities that show how core ideas and concepts can be introduced using fun unplugged activities and games. We will show that computing can be fun for everyone and that it doesn’t have to be taught at a computer.

Session material

This session presents a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking.
  • What is an algorithm
  • Writing your first program

Eventbrite - QMUL 02: Paul Curzon workshop - Primary Computing Unplugged for Workshop 2 – Primary computing unplugged
More information about this workshop on our page for Primary computing unplugged.

Workshop Three: Tue 26 May 2015, 3.30 to 5pm

The Magic of Computer Science

Overview

When you learn to be a magician, it turns out you are learning the skills needed to be a great computer scientist too: computational thinking. Just like software, magic is a combination of algorithms and presentation. In this workshop we will demonstrate some simple to do but strong magic tricks. We teach the group how they are done so they can do the tricks themselves and then use the magic to illustrate the linked basics of computing. Overall we will show what computational thinking is all about and how both magicians and computer scientists rely on it.

Session material

This session will demonstrate a variety of activities from the other workshops. It will cover:

  • What is Computational Thinking?
  • Inspiring ways to teach Computational Thinking using easy to learn magic tricks.

Eventbrite - QMUL 03: Paul Curzon workshop - The Magic of Computing for Workshop 3 – The magic of computing
More information about this workshop on our page for The magic of computing.

miniCPD – one day Controlled Assessment and Programming skills (Sat 2 May)

One of the things we try and do is vary the format of our courses so that we can offer something to suit as many teachers as possible. Some prefer weekly classes, others prefer intensive week-long, some are able to take a day from work for study, others aren’t. One thing teachers have asked us for is help with controlled assessments and so we’re trying out new ‘miniCPD’ one-day sessions.

The first will be on Saturday 2 May and will be held at King’s College London (Waterloo Campus). The cost for the day will be £30 for London teachers thanks to funding from the Mayor of London (£60 for non-London teachers). The miniCPD course will run from 10-4pm.

The new one day course ‘Preparing Pupils for Controlled Assessment‘ uses Python to program solutions to problems of a similar type to those set in GCSE Controlled Assessments. The aim is to make teachers feel confident about tackling these problems and programming solutions themselves, so that they can pass their knowledge, experience and confidence on to their pupils. Teachers should already have some knowledge of the basics of Python; strings, arithmetic, ‘if statements’ and loops. This is not a course for complete beginners.

Eventbrite - KCL: miniCPD - Preparing Pupils for Controlled Assessment (Python) - Saturday short course at King's

About us

Teaching London Computing, is a successful partnership between Queen Mary University of London’s Computer Science Department and King’s College London’s Computing Education team which has been running courses and workshops for the past two years helping Computing and ICT teachers to deliver the new Computing Curricula at GCSE and A-level.

*New course* A-level CPD Computing for London teachers, from @TeachingLDNComp

Our new A-level CPD course will run over Spring and Summer at King’s College London (Waterloo Campus). The course will run on Tuesday evenings from Tuesday 28 April and run for 10 weeks (with a break for half term) until 7 July 2015. William Marsh from QMUL will be the tutor and all materials will be made available to course delegates at the start of the course.

The course dates are below, full course content information is available from our A-level CPD Computing page and tickets are available from Eventbrite.

You might also be interested in the new free material we’ve added to our section on Interdisciplinary Computational Thinking – lots of classroom activity sheets to download and other free resources.


 

Next A-level CPD course(s): Our next 10 week A-level CPD course will begin on Tuesday 28 April 2015.
Eventbrite - KCL: Summer 2015 - A-level Computing CPD - from Teaching London Computing

Fees
Our courses are reduced by 50% to £150 for London teachers, thanks to our funding, the full price for non-London teachers is £300 – please see our Fees and Funding page for more information. London teachers have priority on our courses.

Eligibility requirements
This course is a follow-on from our GCSE Computing CPD courses. The course assumes that you will be familiar with programming in Python or a similar language.

More information?
Please contact Jo Brodie (j.brodie@qmul.ac.uk)

Course dates: all on Tuesdays

Week 1: 28 April 2015
Week 2: 5 May 2015
Week 3: 12 May 2015
Week 4: 19 May 2015
Half-term: 26 May 2015 (no class)
Week 5: 2 June 2015
Week 6: 9 June 2015
Week 7: 16 June 2015
Week 8: 23 June 2015
Week 9: 30 June 2015
Week 10: 7 July 2015

Please sign-up to be kept informed of future courses.

 

 

 

 

New free activity: The Emotion Machine – ready to download and print, with instructions

Computing teachers might find this useful, newly published on our website.

Emotion Machine bThe Emotion Machine

Age group: 7 – 12
Abilities assumed: None
Time: 40-60 minutes
Size of group: 1 upwards

Focus
• Programming
• Sequences
• Low-level code and high-level commands
• Compilers and interpreters
• Abstraction
Summary
Students create and program a 2D robot made of card to show different emotions. They create a table that can be used to translate emotions (high level commands) into low level machine instructions.

robot pdf

Click to download the PDF. Click the link above to visit the info page for instructions.