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Topics: STEM

Beyond - TechSpace Club

June 2022

Every week over the past term students have been attending TechSpae – a club for students to tinker with and explore their own digital projects, from physical computing using Arduinos, flashing lights and things that beep, to game design using GameMaker and Blender. Jemima and Iona (10M) tell us about what they’ve been working on and where TechSpace has led them.

‘We first heard about TechSpace through our Computer Science lessons and thought it would be a great opportunity to partake in some projects that we wouldn’t usually get the chance to do in normal lessons. It’s a great space to ask any questions relating to computer science and to speak to other people in our year – and other years – who also enjoy the subject, in a relaxed environment. 

We both really enjoy the problem-solving element of computer science, and it’s good to be able to apply this beyond normal lesson work. In addition to this, we both enjoy working on open projects – at the moment we are focusing on programming an Arduino, which is a programmable microprocessor. It combines our knowledge of coding with tangible hardware and it’s very interesting to see how the hardware and software elements of computing combine. 

Other people do a variety of other projects such as focussing on coding skills to improve lesson work, and designing and creating computer games. We’ve both been interested in computer science since we started it in Year 7. 

Aspects of TechSpace that we particularly enjoy include coding, problem solving and algorithmic thinking. Throughout Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, St Helen’s Computer Science lessons focus on the coding and algorithms side of the subject, and now we’re going to focus on hardware and software, networks and ethical issues, which we are both excited for as it applies context to what we have previously learnt.’

Later this year, Jemima will be putting her knowledge to the test during her work experience at the Culham Centre of Fusion Energy where she has chosen to focus on software engineering and will be assigned a specialist supervisor in that field. 

‘I applied for the programme having been introduced to it through the School’s Careers Department and in Computer Science classes. I was then invited for an interview session where we solved some problems in groups, which was really enjoyable – especially meeting other candidates who had similar interests to me – and then I had a more formal interview. I am looking forward to seeing how computer science is relevant in a working environment to help me decide if it is a good career option for me.'

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