Creating in Computer Science! by Kate Trueman

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Last week (19th and 20th March 2015) I was part of a silver stage specialising in computer science. After enjoying the first stage, I was overjoyed when I was told that I would be continuing in the programme.

On the first day, visiting the VRTGO Lab in Gateshead, we meet a range of different people in the area of computer science. They spoke to us about their experiences and gave us some great advice on progressing within computer science. I was surprised on how significant all of these people were within the industry, from people breaking the boundaries on what’s possible in the digital world to others changing the lives of people all around us- truly inspiring.

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Ross Linnet speaking at the VRTGO Labs about his software- Recite Me

An inspiration to me was Ross Linnet, I found him to be a popular favourite within the speakers. Personally I think he showed how anything is possible- Ross was aiming to be an athlete but when this didn’t go to plan he studied Northumbria University (engineering). This unlikely situation lead to him creating an awesome software called Recite Me. This allows the user when hovering over text, to be able to listen to it without the struggle that may come with reading to people with dyslexia. Ross Linnet gave great advice of what you need to really succeed: working hard, good friendships and being confident in whatever you do.

Next, we went to the Northern Design Centre, this included speaking to animators and people using e-learning. Here we went to Kuro Dragon this had people using technology to their advantage, creating amazing digital art. This was really interesting to me because as well as thoroughly enjoying computer science, I really enjoy art. The people at Kuro Dragon showed that combining these clearly can create something visually stunning and this is evident within app-design and animating.

After this we arrived back at the VRTGO Lab. One speaker was Emma Nicol a designer at DroneLab, the reason I found Emma particular mind evoking is that along with her great work, she was the only female speaker. To me I think she showed how there are women in the industry of computer science, which many people may be unaware of.

The following day, we visited Campus North (Ignite 100) and Northumbria University. We also were able to view the partial eclipse, this was

“We took part in tasks that mimicked working roles in developing apps” at Campus North
“We took part in tasks that mimicked working roles in developing apps” at Campus North

really cool. At Campus North there was a variety of different working environments, from individuals to bigger companies like DroneLab who often work there. We took part in tasks that mimicked working roles in developing an app.

We then went to Northumbria University and created a digital storyboard (Using Storyboard That), showing the events of the previous day. This was really intuitive to manipulate and fun to use.

Overall the whole experience was extremely mind opening, inspiring and furthered my knowledge in the creative area of computer science. One of my favourite aspects of the silver stage was being able to avidly ask questions to the speakers as this allowed me to find out a range of information/advice which may not ever be available again. I really enjoyed the TICE Silver Stage (Computer Science) and I hope to continue in the programme.

By Kate Trueman, 14-Whitley Bay High School