So, we come to the end of 2015 and the first six months of TechResort’s residence in Devonshire Ward.
It’s been tremendously hard work for our directors (all of whom give their director time for free), our staff and our volunteers. We’re immensely grateful to the Coastal Communities Fund and to our lead partners for encouraging us to be a part of the Driving Devonshire Forward programme of work.
It seems a good time to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far – and we’ll start with some numbers.
We’ve run nearly 100 hours of hands-on skills development for children and adults and 145 different people have taken part. We’ve hosted a local Computing At Schools hub meeting to give teachers support and help to teach their students in innovative ways. More get togethers are coming up.
We’ve bought Codebugs, Floras, Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, laptops, monitors, Lego, electronic components, craft materials and plenty of other things to help people make digital and physical stuff. Many of the families we work with wouldn’t have had the chance or, perhaps, the confidence to buy these things for themselves to use at home.
We’ve used Linux, Python, SCAD, Stykz, Scratch and Blockley, amongst other things, to do digital making.
Our most popular making project of the year was definitely the Scribblers inspired by our book of the moment – “The Art of Tinkering” by the fantastically innovative people at the Tinkering Studio in San Francisco.
What does next year bring?
We’re hoping to continue with regular sessions for our Mini Makers group which has been far, far more popular than we could have dreamed. This will be complemented by continuing our sessions for Teens and extending this to cover the odd specialist subject.
We’ll be working with Bourne Junior school to run a Code Club for their older pupils to give them a chance to enhance their coding skills.
Our first cohort of TechMatch students (from the A level computing course at Sussex Downs College) will be finishing their projects and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.
For adults we’ll be introducing sessions for parents so that they feel better able to help their children at home with some of the computing elements in the National Curriculum and for women who need a confidence boost with IT skills. All this and some special events from to time.
While we’re doing this training in our lovely centre near the seafront, other TechResort folk are working with local businesses and other organisations to ensure that no one gets left behind and that Eastbourne can truly be a great home for all things, and for all people digital.
We’ve helped safeguard several jobs and create a couple of new ones, making a significant difference to the Eastbourne tech, digital and creative scene. There’s plenty more where that came from.
2016 promises to be very exciting indeed! If you’d like to get involved, please do drop us a line. Happy Christmas from everyone at TechResort!