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Computing and Coding

There are various opportunities throughout the year to take part in activities to develop IT and coding skills. Please see Miss Richmond for more details.

Sentinus Coding Workshop
Report by Rachel Smith and Charlie Warnock (Form 4)

In April, Sentinus visited Methody to run a coding workshop.  Pupils from Forms 3 and 4 attended.  At this workshop we learnt how to use a MaKey MaKey board to input text by pressing on some Playdough and built computer programs from scratch. We were able to create programs to control keyboards and electrical instruments such as synthesisers. We learnt how the signals in a keyboard control what appears on the screen. 

After this, we used a simplified version of Java programming to create our own images using number values and characters. For example, we made a French snowman holidaying on the sunny Isle of Scilly.

Irish Bebras Computing Contest 2014

In November 2014 some of our GCSE and A level pupils entered The Irish Bebras Computing Contest (IBCC) which is an All Ireland problem-solving challenge with a focus on computational and logical thinking.  It is part of the International Bebras Computing Contest.  The questions are in the form of engaging puzzles, related to computer programming. 

In the Cadets level Jack Martin and Rahul Yellavarjula received Gold Awards and Zac Patterson received a Bronze Award. In the Seniors level Luke Calvin, Calvin Gibson, Emily Marais, Samuel Marrs, Jordan Marshall and Karen Wong received Gold Awards, Eshraq Ahmed and Charlie Eldred received Silver Awards and Callum Power and Dannier Xiao received Bronze Awards.

Kainos Code Camp - Summer 2015
Report by Cameron Thompson (Form 5)

During the summer (2015) Kainos ran a 2 week course for young people with a passion for IT.  As well as learning how to build their own Android app using MIT App Inventor they also received mentoring and guidance from professional software developers.

Over the summer my friend’s and I attended Kainos code camp at Queen’s University. The course lasted for two weeks and was attended by approximately 75 people of ages 14 to 18.During the first week we were introduced to coding and it’s uses through helpful online tutorials provided by Kainos and classroom mentors.

We learned the basics of a package called “MIT App Inventor 2” which is a drag and drop coding package where blocks can be combined to create games and applications.  We also had various taster sessions in related topics and areas such as user interface design and Java programming.  The taster sessions were delivered in a professional, enthusiastic and enjoyable manner where curiosity was encouraged.

In week two we were let loose to develop our own applications from scratch using the techniques and logic skills we had gained from week one.  Our applications were judged for a competition.  First prize was an iPhone 6 and an Apple watch, unfortunately I didn’t win 1st prize but my app was commended and I was asked to take part in an interview regarding the future of games development in NI with Radio Ulster.

I feel that attending the code camp sparked an interest in computer programming and equipped me with new skills in logical breakdown of programs and problem solving.   I have since applied these skills to other forms of programming which enabled me to understand the logic of how programs are built and can be changed.

Code Camp is an excellent introduction to the world of coding and I would recommend it to anyone interested in computers and games.