In 2018, Digital Xtra Fund will be introducing over 3,200 young people to digital technologies by supporting 11 high-quality initiatives across Scotland. Over the next few months we will highlight each of these initiatives through a series of blogs as they inspire, enable, and engage young people to be digitally innovative and creative, and give them a better understanding of the future career opportunities digital skills provide.
The first initiative we will look at is Stirling High School’s (SHS) new Digital Learning Hub, which launched this week at CodeBase Stirling and will involve pupils from SHS as well as six of their feeder primary schools. The Hub will help inspire pupils from P6-S2 through extracurricular coding workshops; engaging more girls in computing science and giving young people, regardless of background or where they live, a chance to take part.
The Digital Learning Hub aims to build a sustainable ecosystem of young computing science developers. 30 pupils six Stirling primary schools will complete 10 workshops using Raspberry Pi development kits: setting up a computer; coding in Scratch and Python; using sensors, LEDs and autonomous vehicles; and getting the chance to be creative and explore their own ideas. Workshops will be run by experienced Computing teachers, supported by pupils from SHS and primary teachers, and run in partnership with CodeBase Stirling, who are providing a collaborative space for young people to learn to code in a live industry environment, and meet and learn from CodeBase’s tenants and partners.
Once the initial round of workshops are completed, the 30 participants will be recognised as Digital Champions within their own primary schools and will go on to deliver the Hub’s 10 workshops to their peers, again with the support of pupils and educators from Stirling High School. Overall, up to 210 young people will take part in the Digital Learning Hub, giving them an exciting early introduction to coding, hands-on activities, and peer-to-peer learning that will build confidence and leadership skills.
Paul Cassidy, HT Stirling High said “This project is an excellent example of how we are preparing our young people for their future through developing a range of skills including teamwork, collaboration and digital skills. Our Digital Champions in S1 and S2 are developing their leadership skills by supporting the young people from our primary schools as part of the project. The learning community is excited to be working with CodeBase Stirling and we are grateful for the support from the Digital Xtra Fund and Sharp.”
Digital Xtra Fund’s commitment to inspire future talent is backed by a range of partners who understand the importance of empowering young people to understand and create with technology, not just consume it. Support for SHS’ Digital Learning Hub has been generously provided by Sharp as part of their biennial Inspire Expo, taking place in Edinburgh from 15-17 January 2018. Sharp has been inventing one-of-a-kind products and solutions that benefit society and business for more than 100 years and their support of Digital Xtra Fund is greatly valued in benefiting Scotland’s next generation of digital makers.
In addition to supporting Digital Xtra Fund, Sharp has also kindly donated a BIG PAD interactive display to Stirling High School, giving participants an innovative way to present their ideas to their peers as well as brainstorm and collaborate on their projects. The BIG PAD will also be used in day-to-day teaching at Stirling High School, benefiting all SHS pupils with the use of Sharp’s latest technology.
Jason Cort, Director of Product Planning and Marketing, Sharp Europe said: “The future’s not only about technology, it’s also about the young people who will be using that technology. That’s why we decided to support Digital Xtra Fund this year as part of our Inspire Expo event. 2018 being Scotland’s Year of Young People makes this even more poignant. Sharp has a portfolio of interactive solutions, including BIG PAD, that are dedicated to helping students get better education outcomes. BIG PAD will let Stirling High School’s teachers and students share information in exciting new ways and crucially, it is very easy to use, so these benefits will be accessible to everyone.”
Digital Xtra Fund’s annual grant rounds, which support SHS’ Digital Learning Hub and many other inspirational projects, are made possible by the valued support of Scotland’s tech industry, supplying sponsorship, donations and in-kind support that all go towards our goal of giving every young person in Scotland access to a digitally creative activity. Find out more about supporting Digital Xtra Fund and inspiring Scotland’s digital future.