National Software Academy opens its doors to public for family fun day

15 June 2017

Children in IT workshop

Cardiff University’s National Software Academy will host Wales’ first ‘Family Jam’ event in Newport on Saturday 17 June 2017.

The event is designed to inspire the next generation of software engineers by getting families with children aged between 5 and 15 involved in tech.

Attendees will be able to attend workshops and presentations where they will learn how to use free programming software like Scratch and Python to create interactive stories, games and animations.

Dr James Osborne, Lecturer at the National Software Academy, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome families to our Academy and are looking forward to seeing their innovative software creations on display...”

“We hope they’ll gain a wealth of experience from the activities we’ve organised for them.”

Dr James Osborne, Lecturer

Hardware used by astronaut Tim Peake

Families will also have the chance to get to grips with a Sense HAT, hardware used by astronaut Tim Peake on board the International Space Station.

STEM ambassador Matthew Elcock, who will lead this workshop, said: “We have a lot of enjoyable activities planned, where families will be able to play with some really cool kit...”

“It'll be a fantastic opportunity for a head start on the most basic and fundamental aspects of computer science and engineering such as programming and electronics.”

Matthew Elcock, STEM ambassador

The event will culminate in a series of competitions for budding programmers to create software which responds to several challenges.

The entries will be judged on originality and effectiveness with prizes awarded to the most innovative solutions.

Dr Osborne added: “We hope, by running events like the ‘Family Jam’, we can encourage whole families to get involved with tech and inspire the next generation to consider studying and working in this field.”

Computer Science and Digital Literacy

Organisations from across Wales will support the event including Capgemini, Admiral, ESTNet and Pi Academy.

The event is also being supported by Technocamps - an outreach programme involving Welsh universities which delivers school workshops in Computer Science and Digital Literacy on topics such as game and app development, programming and robotics.

‘Family Jam’ is free and open to all. Secure your place here.

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Students in a small classroom with laptops

National Software Academy

A centre of excellence for software engineering in Wales.