Local school children learn to code thanks to Bangor University

Pupils from five Llŷn primary schools visited Bangor University recently as part of a collaboration between the University’s Widening Access Centre and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Pwllheli campus.

Pupils from Ysgol Pont y Gof (Botwnnog), Llangybi, Cymerau, Tudweiliog and Edern had already taken part in a CodeClubs project earlier in the year, whereby Llandrillo Menai tutors and Bangor University student volunteers delivered interactive tuition on the basics of coding.

Following the training sessions, the pupils then entered a design competition and were tasked by competition judge, Canolfan Bedwyr Language Technologies Unit chief engineer, Mr Dewi Bryn Jones, to design a game. The winners were awarded tablet consoles.

All the participating schools were then invited to visit the University’s School of Electronic Engineering and the School of Computer Science, in order for the pupils and their teachers to see how fostering an early interest in coding and the mechanics of computer science could lead to highly sought-after careers in a sector that will be of huge importance in the coming years.

Led by Dr Iestyn Pierce, head of the School of Electronic Engineering and Dr Sa’ad Mansour, head of the School of Computer Sciences, the pupils were given tours of the schools’ laboratories and work areas as well as the opportunity to use of some of the equipment used in teaching and research.

Head of Bangor University’s Widening Access Centre, Delyth Murphy said:

“The age of computer science being a standalone subject for the interested few is long gone – even toddlers now can navigate their ways on their parents’ iPads and smartphones with ease. It stands to reason that we should do as much as we can, working with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, to introduce this subject area as early as possible to children, so that, in time, North Wales will have a capable pool of talented engineers and coders.”

“Add to this the fact that all these activities – the CodeClubs, the design competition and this visit to Bangor University – have all been through the medium of Welsh, we’re not only showcasing the University’s own commitment to Welsh-medium provision but also extending the pipeline of Welsh-medium education from primary all the way through to university and employment”. 

Publication date: 17 September 2015