So, the summer holidays are fast coming to their end for this year. What better time, then to look ahead to our after-school sessions which will be restarting in mid-September.
As most of you know, our building, our equipment and our staff are paid for by grant funding from the Coastal Communities Fund in association with Eastbourne Borough Council, and with a lot of volunteered effort (even our paid staff put in loads of unpaid hours because they love the project). From a TechEd-workshop-for-kids perspective, we’ve absolutely obliterated the targets we set when the project started. Over 300 different people have had hands-on workshop experiences from scribblers and brushbots to CodeClub and Raspberry Pi computers.
What was set up as something of an experiment to see whether there was really a need for this sort of club/group/activity has surpassed all our expectations and people tell us all the time how much we’re needed and (even better) how much their children (and parents, for that matter) really enjoy the sessions.
Sadly, though, the reality is that our funding comes to an end early in 2017 and we don’t have many other sources of income at the moment.
We really want to continue our work because we think it’s really important to pass on our enthusiasm to others and start to help to bridge the gap in digital skills – not only in Eastbourne but in the wider world, too.
So we’re working hard to try and bridge some of the funding gap with grant applications to other funding bodies and with some sponsorship from local businesses. Meanwhile, to stretch our existing funds as far as we can, we’ve made the hard decision to start charging a small amount for most of our after-school sessions.
At the same time we’re improving the structure a bit to try make sure that all age groups can really develop their tech skills with us.
TechResort Teens will now revolve around specific projects (starting with Raspberry Pi Roboteering) which will last for 6 – 8 weeks and there will be a single charge for the whole project. Teens’ sessions will be slightly tweaked to be most suitable for 13 – 18 year olds.
We’ll be introducing a new type of session for 10 – 12 year olds called TechResort Innovators. Like Teens, this will be project based but for 3 – 4 weeks at a time giving them a chance to learn some deeper skills and move away from learning from a script. We’ll be starting with Lego Mindstorms. Again, there will be a single charge for the project.
TechResort MiniMakers will continue much as before with one-off sessions learning different technical and creative skills with activities that can be completed in around 60 minutes. Mostly appealing to children aged 8 – 9, or older kids who just want to try their hand at one thing at a time, or those who aren’t ready to move onto in-depth activities that need more concentration and perseverance. As before, children of 6/7 are welcome with an adult to help them do the activity. The charge for these sessions will be a one-off for the session.
Teens and Innovators sessions can be booked via our Events page. MiniMakers start on 29th September at 3.30pm (or a repeat session on 6th October starting at 3.45pm) and sessions cost £3, payable at the door. Please book MiniMaker sessions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once we’ve nailed down the autumn agenda we’ll be turning our attention to badges to reward progress; First Lego League groups; HomeEd classes; and gaming sessions…oh, and sessions for adults too. Busy times ahead!
If you have any questions about the sessions, their content or suitability, please get in touch.