Creative Computer Club will include computer programming, robotics, computer game design, engineering, high altitude ballooning, design, electronics and more. Applicants for the course must be aged 11-16, and own their own fully functioning laptop, no previous experience required however enthusiasm for the subject areas is a must. Applications are not yet open.
The previous Creative Computer Club summary is below.
Creative Computing Club was a self-funded social enterprise founded by Matthew C. Applegate in March 2012. During its first and only crowd-funding fundraising campaign it raised £1000.00, for a 8 week pilot course. However due to the high level of interest and success of the project in ended up running until January 2014, finishing just two months shy of two years. During the course of the extended pilot, the Creative Computing Club (CCC) had over 45 participants aged 10-16 years old from all over Suffolk.
The course featured a modular learning approach comprised of computer programming, electronics, robotics, video game design, computer graphics and more. It produced number of electronic teaching resources which have been downloaded over twenty five thousand times by teachers and home educators all over the world.
The project featured an annual week long game jam every summer during the school holidays, where students designed and built video games and received prizes by way of sponsorship from several video game manufacturers.
In addition to this the course featured regular visits from successful professionals in the areas the participants were currently studying allowing them to see their work in a wider context.
Although the only funding that CCC was successfully awarded was the initial £1000.00 raised through a crowd-funding campaign, it did secure additional sponsorship and support from O’Reilly Publishing, LEGO, YoYo GameMaker, Rapid Electronics and Love Electronics by way of equipment and prizes. CCC received local support from Theo Clarke at Chantry Library and Jean Freeman at Parkside PRU by way of use of their facilities to host the club.
The CCC was a success for the students, many of them have had the good fortune to obtain places at A-level with one student able to skip straight to degree level work at the age of 14. Several of the students have gone on to pursue technology subjects in their GCSE studies and even win prestigious awards from British Telecom, while others have started their own lunch time computer clubs in their schools.
CCC not only helped those learn about technology, but build confidence and skills to be used in other areas of their lives. The social skills were applied to school and their overall academic performance improved due to becoming confident in the uses of technology. CCC was more of a success than originally envisaged, the waiting list to join had over one hundred and fifteen students, by the time it unfortunately had to come to an end.
Creative Computing Club fell through every single funding gap possible, as we were not strictly ‘educational’ or attached to an educational institution, we were not a Community Interest Company, we hadn’t been running for over a year or we only dealt with a specific group of children, or one of a dozen other reasons given to us from the twenty five plus funding applications filed to local and national funding and grants organisations. Everyone just said no time and time again.
It was impossible to manage without funding and operating at a financial cost to myself, I was simply unable to complete the seven hours a week preparation, promotion and teaching required to keep CCC going. In total I put in over 800 voluntary hours of work for Creative Computer Club.
CCC ceased operating in January 2014.
Ironically I was offered a job in London to help with Rewired State and Young Rewired State, a national organisation which helps a huge community of kids under 19-years-old code. Which has a regular annual week long summer festival with over one and a half thousand participants and just been recognised by the Duke of York at special event at Buckingham Palace.
After a successful year at Rewired State delivering projects for the Cabinet Office, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK Parliament, NESTA and the Research Council UK I have decided setup my own startup “Make Paper” in Ipswich and I am once again looking to relaunch Creative Computer Club in Suffolk.
With considerable experience of managing public facing projects for some of the most prestigious institutions in the UK and with advice from some of the top professionals in both the technology and edtech sectors I present this proposal for funding.
“My son attended Creative Computing Club, he really enjoyed it and learnt so much. Not only did it bring out his obvious love of all things computers it helped him believe in himself. He is now doing A level Computing and who knows hopefully next year Games Design at UCS. If he does it is largely to do with the chance he got at the club and both Joe and I are eternally gratefully for that, thank you Matthew.”
Creative Computer Club’s informal approach and emphasis on making things as opposed to learning things helped the student acquire new skills through “stealth learning”; making video games helped with mathematics and group work, presenting projects helped with confidence and socialising, Electronics helped with fine motor skills and science based curricula outside of the club.
Our two boys joined the CCC pilot aged 12 and 14. As both were struggling at school we had recently started to home educate them and saw the CCC as a way of turning their love of computer games into a social activity and an education opportunity. We were not disappointed.
This experience has been very beneficial for both our boys, the youngest found he has an aptitude for making videos and animations, and is pursuing that as one of his main hobbies, who knows where that could lead.
The oldest has staggered us. I still remember you congratulating him at CCC for gaining a place on a part time computing degree aged just 14. Now nearly 3 years later and still not 17 he has a CertHE in computing and IT (he got a distinction), he also passed a couple of gcse's along the way (english and maths) and this week we have just heard the results of his 2nd year Java exam. It was a really tough exam, yet he still achieved 98% and another distinction. That mark has to be one of the highest (possibly even the highest) out of nearly 700 candidates that sat the paper through his University. When he got the result notification his first comment was "this is thanks to Matt getting me interested in Processing and Java". He is right of course, and CCC experience also helped him to get on the course in the first place.
Hard to believe that four years ago he was a year behind at school, yet now he is half way through a degree and currently predicted to get a first class honours to boot."
Creative Computer Club provided 4-8 week long modules with further resources for students to continue using long after that particular module had run. The courses were pitched at absolute beginners and allowed for students to develop even further outside of the sessions. The resources were published for free online allowing them to download, learn and re-do the activities at home, and was key in the success of the students rapid learning.
Additionally the range of activities from illustration to electronics, computer programming to design provided the students with a wide and varied set of engaging activities and to develop new skills they would have otherwise overlooked.
“Ethan really enjoyed the Creative Computer Club. It was a great way to explore his interest in coding and introduce different applications, methods and techniques. With the emphasis on creativity and fun, it helped stimulate ideas and motivate him to spend his spare time developing his skills.
CCC helped with his problem solving skills and taught him the benefits of working within a group and sharing ideas. The club also gave him the confidence within his school and even help deliver lunchtime IT clubs. CCC has also benefited in beginning to focus his mind it terms of the type of career he will want to go into and has also extended his social group with like minded friends.”
Creative Computer Club could be a continued source of excellent young technologists for Suffolk, with UCS Game Design Degree and many local technology businesses requiring a continual influx of new talent.
The CCC already has a excellent track record of facilitating and accelerating students interested in technology however to deliver a programme to such a high level does require dedicated time and investment.
About the Founder
Internationally renowned chiptune musician, educator, published academic author, video game designer and PhD research student. Matthew C. Applegate / Pixelh8 has run workshops, given lectures and performances all over the world. Since 2006 he has released three studio albums, two large scale musical works, four soundtracks and won several awards for both his music and design work. He is the founder of Creative Computer Club, CCC4Kids, Ipswich Game Developers Network and Make Paper. He is currently studying for his PhD in “Educational Music Technology”.
For more information on the previous Creative Computer Club March 2012- January 2014 visit our website at http://creativecomputingclubsuffolk.blogspot.co.uk/ or contact me below.
Contact: Matthew C. Applegate Email: firstname.lastname@example.org