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Technocamps to encourage young people to follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates

An £6million project to encourage young people to follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and other successful technologists and entrepreneurs has been announced  today (2.2.11) by Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, <p>An £6million project to encourage young people to follow in the footsteps of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and other successful technologists and entrepreneurs has been announced  today (2.2.11) by <span class=Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths AM launches Technocamps with school pupils.School pupils assisted Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths AM in launching Technocamps..

Bangor University’s School of Computer Science is a partner in the Swansea University led scheme, along with Aberystwyth and Glamorgan Universities. Technocamps will provide daily and weekly sessions to pupils aged 11-19 on a range of exciting topics, including robotics, games development, animation, digital forensics, software development and much more.

Backed by with £3.9m from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government, Technocamps will deliver a series of outreach programmes to schools and colleges; inspiring young people to study computing-based topics underpinning and aligned with the STEM subjects (Science Technology, Engineering, Maths) and pursue a career in one of the key strategic areas that drive economic growth and create wealth. 

Over 2,600 pupils from across the Convergence area of Wales will get the chance to take part in interactive workshops, develop their technical skills and gain an insight into the wide-range of careers open to them.

Participating schools will also be encouraged to set up ‘Technoclubs’ to encourage pupils, particularly girls, to continue to learn about STEM-based subjects in a fun, friendly and interactive environment. 

Said Sa’ad Mansoor, Head of the School of Computer Science at Bangor University:

“We are very excited to be part of the Technocamps initiative in Wales. Technology and computing is an important growth sector for Wales and the UK and the Technocamps project will enable Bangor University to engage with school pupils at an early age and support and enrich the science curriculum. 

 

Our programme of events is already taking shape and schools will be contacted in due course with details of how to get involved."

Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, said: “We are committed to ensuring our young people can acquire the skills and confidence to use digital technologies. Delivering a Digital Wales highlights how we can capitalise on the digital age and ensure more youngsters achieve higher level technology skills required to take advantage of the valuable opportunities for them to help grow Wales’ digital economy.

“It is vital that we get more young people interested in taking up science related subjects and getting them enthused and actively involved at an early age is key to this, which is why I am delighted to support Technocamps which aims to do just that.”

The Technocamps initiative will build on the achievements of a pilot project, delivered in 2004 to 36 students between the ages of 11-19, which provided young people with the chance to gain practical experience through the use of ‘real-life’ learning scenarios.

Professor Faron Moller, Director of Technocamps, said, “I am very excited that all the hard work to get this off the ground is now paying off.  The project – which is the only one of its kind in Wales – links up schools with Universities through novel, interactive and exciting workshops and master classes.

“Through these, young pupils will see how computational thinking underpins the STEM subjects and can be practically applied in the ‘real world’. They will then be inspired to work towards qualifications in computing and technology to satisfy the demand for highly-skilled, high-value jobs that will put them at the forefront of the exciting and rapidly-growing digital economy.”

Publication date: 2 February 2011