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Fire Tech in Gibraltar: Day One

With just a two day break after wrapping up the February half term camps, the Fire Tech Camp team are back doing what they do best – inspiring kids with tech – but this time in sunny Gibraltar!

We are working with the Kusuma Trust and the Department for Education in Gibraltar to get young people coding, making and engineering with technology. If the first morning is anything to go by, it’s set to be a packed week of innovation, creativity and fun!

Session 1: Monday 22nd February

After meeting with representatives from the Kusuma Trust, whose generous sponsorship has made this whole initiative possible, we plunged straight into the classroom with a mission to make music out of apples and bananas! A class of 22 seven-year-olds quickly got to grips with Makey Makeys (an invention kit full of potential) and Scratch (a free visual programming language created with kids in mind).

Using an array of fruit, wires and software, pupils at the Notre Dame First School learnt about the three C’s: circuits, connectors, code. The result? Connecting up a circuit and making musical sounds at the touch of an apple! As the session developed, we built up the complexity of the circuits and commands to create healthy-looking pianos and experiment with more materials, including mushrooms, bread and – a Fire Tech favourite – marshmallows.

A tasty looking piano

Making human circuits

Did you know? The Notre Dame First School is one of 12 schools in Gibraltar.

We also tested whether the circuit could reach around the entire class. One half of the group (with the banana end of the circuit) held hands, as did the half with the apple end. To connect the circuit, the two students in the middle high-fived. This was great fun and elicited much excitement and laughter from the class!

Fun with Electronics: Wired Up and Fired Up!

Only one student had ever seen a Makey Makey before and, even though everyone already had some experience of programming in Scratch, this was a new and memorable experience of how to get hands-on with tech and enact its capabilities in a physical way. The headteacher and reps from the Department of Education also seemed impressed.

Fire Tech Camp’s Angela Brennan led this bespoke session, supported by David Long and Rob Sheridan. High fives all round!

More Tech Coming Up This Week

This afternoon, we’re off to the newly-opened University of Gibraltar to lead a session on Ozobots, Blockly and Javascript. Bring on the robots, games and code!

Over the next few days, we’ll be teaching four more groups of school students and squeezing in some time to enjoy the sunshine. We’ll keep you updated with photos on our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

An International Outlook

As part of our mission to widen access to tech and inspire children with opportunities to create amazing games, gadgets and designs in true 21st-century style, we are delighted to be working with the Kusuma Trust on this project. We have already welcomed Fire Tech Campers from all over the world to our courses in the UK and we hope to develop more awesome programmes like this in the future. If you are a sponsor, school or educator interested in what we might be able to do for you, then please get in touch.

We also invite parents and students to check out our residential summer school at Wycombe Abbey, which is specifically geared up to cater for teens with an international background and a desire to learn critical tech skills in a fun and creative English-speaking environment.