Category Archives: Education

RCN to exhibit in Shakespeare country

King Edward VI School
King Edward VI School

For the second year running, Retro Computing News will be attending the Recursion computer fair on Saturday 2 July 2016 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

But this time around, we’ll be an exhibitor – at William Shakespeare’s very own school!

RECURSION 2015  from above - general view
RECURSION 2015 from above – general view

We’ve been invited along by the event organisers at the historic King Edward Vi School, where the legendary English playwright was educated, and will have a table in the ‘history of computing’ section (see below) of this fantastic, free and fun-packed digital day out dedicated to computer science and computing in education, industry and leisure.

The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward Vi School
The Levi Fox Hall, King Edward Vi School

Last year, over 500 students, parents and members of the public visited the fair in the Levi Fox Hall of the school, and the organisers are looking to expand the range of exhibits and activities further this year. There will be stands from local businesses, universities and other schools. A number of stands and activities will make use of small-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi, Micro:Bit and Arduino.

At Recursion 2015, Tom Williamson showed off his historic BBC Micro's as well as his self-built Ident computer case containing a Raspberry Pi
At Recursion 2015, Tom Williamson showed off his historic BBC Micro’s as well as his self-built Ident computer case containing a Raspberry Pi
History of computing
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team at Recursion 2015
Andy Spencer (right) and his Retro Computer Museum team at Recursion 2015

In addition, the fair will offer a community-led ‘history of computing’ section, where local user groups and aficionados of “classic” and “retro” computing can get together and share their passion for everything from a ZX80 to an Amiga 1200.

Those attending Recursion 2015 were rewarded with a buzzing, vibrant and diverse event for computer fans of all interests, not only gaming, with a great retro component.  This year’s fair, which opens at 11am, promises to be an equally exciting event and one that should both promote and celebrate the industry and enthuse the next generation of British Computer Scientists and Engineers.

See you there?

Recursion is a show of a kind which has been rarely seen since the 1990s, and we’re only too delighted to give it our full support!  Retro Computing News’s editor and publisher, Stuart Williams, will be setting out our stall at Recursion 2016, and will be there to talk to any and everyone about our magazine site and retro computing in general, as well as covering the event for RCN.

A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall in 2015 - click to enlarge
A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall in 2015 – click to enlarge

As we receive more detailed information about this year’s fair, we’ll pass it on in these pages, meanwhile, why not check out our feature on Recursion 2015 to get an idea of what you can look forward to?

See:  https://retrocomputingnews.com/2015/07/07/recursion-2015-repeats-success-in-stratford/

For more info as it is posted, also see the event website:

http://www.recursioncomputerfair.co.uk/

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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Young students receive prizes in honour of Ada

Ada competition winners meet Colossus operators Margaret O’Connell and Irene Dixon (pic TNMOC)
Ada competition winners meet Colossus operators Margaret O’Connell and Irene Dixon (pic TNMOC)

Three winners of the Fascinating Ada Competition designed to inspire female students about careers in computing have received their prizes at Oxford University and their entries have now been published online.

At the Ada Lovelace Symposium, marking the bicentenary of the person widely acclaimed as the creator of the first-ever computer program, three young students aged between 5 and 18 received their prizes from two of the first operators of Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer.

Competition

TNMOC sign 2

The competition, run by The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) and the University of Oxford, in conjunction with cs4fn at Queen Mary University of London, asked girls what they would like to communicate to Ada Lovelace about twenty-first century technology. More than 250 entries were received and judged by a prestigious panel of women involved in computing today.

A parallel competition, with a similar judging panel, was also run in the USA by the Computer History Museum and today some of its entries are also published online.

Entries to the UK competition could be almost in any format and they ranged from hand-written letters, a poem and a song to emails, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos and other formats.

Ada Maisie Hards, aged 5, presented a series of photographs and captions showing how much computing technology has pervaded our everyday lives – and how Ada was the inspiration for her own name.

Amelia Doran won the 13-15 age group with an animated three-minute video explaining computing and highlighting some of the remarkable ways that it has changed our lives, but not losing sight of some of the negative implications of today’s technology.

Naimh Owens, winning the 16-18 age group, opted for a traditional letter to express lyrically her thoughts about today’s world “where people can communicate, delegate, deliberate and fascinate with technology”, but how she thinks Ada Lovelace would implore people to use technology to “discover and innovate … [but] not define us.”

Judges with a Colossal reputation!
Part of the Colossus gallery (pic TNMOC)
Part of the Colossus gallery (pic TNMOC)

The judging panel comprised operators of the very first Colossus computer, Margaret O’Connell and Irene Dixon, computer scientists Sophie Wilson and Professor Ursula Martin, journalist Maggie Philbin, author Betty Toole, animator/cartoonist Sydney Padua and Heinz Nixdorf Museum curator Doreen Hartmann. Shortlisting was undertaken by TNMOC volunteers led by Jill Clarke.

The prizes included tablet computers, Ada Lovelace books, and visits to The National Museum of Computing. We are very grateful to the sponsors of the UK prizes: Dixons Carphone, Penguin Random House, Oxford University and cs4fn.

Read entries online

TNMOC logoComputer History Museum logo

A selection of entries from the UK and US competitions are now available online on the TNMOC website and on the Computer History Museum website.

All the UK winners are as follows:

Age 13 and Under
1st Ada Maisie Hards
2nd Chandani Phelps
3rd Preetam Panesar

Age 13-15
1st Amelia Doran
2nd Alice Wilkening
3rd Matilda Ruth Joyce

Age 16-18
1st Niamh Owens
2nd Melissa Lee
3rd Mathusha Mohan

Groups

1st Amelie McKenna, Safaa Mirza, and Rebecca Allen from Stroud High School
2nd Elizabeth Peers, Rebecca Harry and Eleanor Kelly from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Derbyshire
3rd Riya Stephen, Merin Benny, Ashlin Roy and Diana Sabu from St Anthony’s Girls Catholic Academy

Continue reading Young students receive prizes in honour of Ada

TNMOC to deploy Impero classroom monitoring

In the classroom at TNMOC (pic courtesy TNMOC)
In the classroom at TNMOC (pic courtesy TNMOC)

Students and teachers on the Learning Programme in the Classroom at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) on Bletchley Park, England, will soon be able to have first-hand experience of digital network monitoring software donated by the UK’s leading classroom and network management software provider, Impero Software.

The donation of Impero Education Pro licenses will enable the Learning Programme tutors to streamline the process and ensure that students are focused on the tasks they are set. The software will also help turn laptops on one side of the classroom into the functional equivalents of 1980s BBC Micro computers.

Welcoming the donation, Tim Reynolds, Chairman of TNMOC, said: “Impero’s education software clearly demonstrates how far IT in education has come in just a few decades. Our ever-popular BBC Micro workstations help students focus on the tasks they have been set. The modern laptops we also use don’t enable the same focus because they are connected to the internet. Impero’s software allows us to limit the laptops to whatever applications we choose.

“As part of our highly successful Learning Programme we are very pleased to be able to introduce teachers and students alike to the potential of classroom monitoring software and demonstrate computing past and present in a dramatic way.”

Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero of Software, said: “We are delighted to partner with The National Museum of Computing and provide software licences for the Learning Programme classroom. Our classroom and network management software will enable students and teachers who visit the museum to have a more productive and safe online experience.

“Giving students the opportunity to work on 1980’s BBC Micros is a unique experience that will help them understand how far personal computing has come in the last 30 years.” Continue reading TNMOC to deploy Impero classroom monitoring

Recursion 2015 repeats success in Stratford

The hall from above - general view
The hall from above – general view

Organisers of an exciting and innovative – but also nostalgic – computer fair which took place at a school in Stratford-upon-Avon, England on Saturday were celebrating another highly-successful repeat event as crowds swarmed in to see everything from retro-computers to robots via Raspberry Pi’s.

King Edward Vi School's Anroid App Inventor workshop
King Edward Vi School’s Anroid App Inventor workshop

The historic King Edward Vi School, where William Shakespeare was educated, was offering a free and fun-packed digital day out dedicated to computer science and computing in education, industry and leisure, to one and all – and were rewarded with a buzzing, vibrant and diverse event for computer fans of all interests, not only gaming. In short, a show of a kind which has been rarely seen since the 1990s!

Recursion 2015 banner
Recursion 2015 banner

The show, dubbed the Recursion 2015 Computer Science Fair, was held in the modern Levi Fox Hall of the Tudor school off Church Street, and delivered a great opportunity for anyone looking for a techno-fix of retro and modern computing, and all things educational. Amazingly, there was no charge for both visitors and exhibitors – but the packed event was definitely worth far more than the non-existent admission fee.

A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall
A 360 degree panorama from a corner of the hall

There was plenty of time for all kinds of fun and learning, since the fair was open between 11am-4pm, allowing visitors to catch up on the latest community gossip and events, sign up to a user group, find out about robots and computer science –  or just reminisce by playing their favourite games from the good old days.

From Vectrex to Einstein - a tiny sample of exhibits from the Retro Computer Museum in Leicester
From Vectrex to Einstein – a tiny sample of exhibits from the Retro Computer Museum in Leicester

The editor of Retro Computing News, Stuart Williams, was delighted to be able to attend in person to cover the show this year, and certainly had a ‘grand day out’ amongst the Amiga gurus, the Risc OS evangelists, the preservers of rare computers and historic software, the robot warriors and the gadget makers – and not least amongst the educationalists, teachers, and their students who are the future of British computing.

Our editor was certainly spoiled for choice, from wallowing in nostalgia (back in the 1980s-90s he wrote for several home computer magazines) by chatting to the Amiga experts, to watching the boffinaceous science and engineering antics of the fizzPOP maker crew and robot experts.  He was also excited to see all the new developments in school and university computer education, especially as there were no computers in schools when he left in the mid 1970s!

GEEKY FUN IN THE SUN AND INSIDE

Early British home computers the Compukit UK101 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k
Early British home computers the Compukit UK101 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k

The weather was blisteringly hot outside, but while it was warm inside too, it was actually really cool in so many ways! In fact there was everything for the geek (whether budding or ageing!), the hobbyist, the educationalist and the prospective student of school or university to take their minds off the soaring temperatures – not to mention the handy refreshment area.

From virtual reality learning to school video, there was plenty to interest the educationalist
From virtual reality learning to school video, there was plenty to interest the educationalist
SCHOOLS
Practical Programming Workshop using Scratch in the King Edward Vi School's Show in a Show
Practical Programming Workshop using Scratch in the King Edward Vi School’s Show in a Show

There was a great educational theme threaded all through Recursion, as you might expect in a school which clearly recognises the importance of real computing education and not just ‘ICT’ for pupils’ career prospects as much as its’ cultural connections with the Bard of Avon.

The Android App Inventor workshop
The Android App Inventor workshop

King Edward Vi School had also joined forces with several other schools and educators from the area and beyond, and students and other youngsters were treated to the opportunity to try modern coding by taking part in Android and Scratch programming workshops as well as experiencing the fun and excitement of building, programming and fighting with warrior robots in the Mindstorm Arena – as well as some high-powered modern PC gaming!

Those are the droids we're looking for - busily building and programming in the Mindstorm Arena
Those are the droids we’re looking for – busily building and programming in the Mindstorm Arena
Robots ready to rumble in the Mindstorm Arena
Robots ready to rumble in the Mindstorm Arena

Continue reading Recursion 2015 repeats success in Stratford

Visit Recursion 2015 this Saturday!

Part of King Edward Vi School
Part of King Edward Vi School

A great little show for computer fans with retro, hobby and education computing interests is ready to RUN this Saturday in Stratford-upon-Avon, England – at Shakespeare’s school!

The Recursion 2015 computer science fair is taking place in The Levi Fox Hall at the King Edward Vi School in Church Street on 4 July, 11am – 4pm, and judging by the final exhibition plan released today (click image below for larger version) should be a cracking event – and what’s more, admission is FREE!

In fact, we like the look of it so much that our editor, Stuart Williams, will be covering Recursion 2015 in person for Retro Computing News!

Recursion 2015 floor plan (courtesy Recursion)
Recursion 2015 floor plan (courtesy Recursion)

For more information on the exhibitors and what’s happening at the event, read our recent preview of Recursion 2015 and check out the event website. Download the event programme in pdf form via this link.

Amiga, Acorn, RiscOS, Retro computing and Raspberry Pi fans in particular have much to look forward to, whether you’re into hardware, software or coding – as does anyone interesting in computing education and employment, making stuff – and robotics!

There’ll be exhibitors from universities to user groups, via museums and business – as well as student-led workshops. Something, in fact, for geeks of all ages.

IF you can get there, THEN GOTO it – it looks like a great computing day out – with added Shakespeare!

Recursion show returns as Shakespeare’s school looks to repeat success

King Edward Vi School
King Edward Vi School

A highly historic but equally forward-looking Stratford-upon-Avon school is looking to repeat the success of a computer science fair held there last year as this year’s packed event is just weeks away.

And King Edward Vi School, where William Shakespeare was educated, looks all set to do it again, with a fun-packed digital day out dedicated to Computer Science and Computing in both industry and leisure!

The event, dubbed Recursion 2015, offers a great opportunity for anyone looking for a techno-fix of retro and modern computing, and all things educational, on Saturday 4 July – and amazingly, admission is free for all visitors and exhibitors!

Retro Computing News will be covering the show, so it seems timely to offer our readers a preview here.  We hope to see you there!

RETRO AND COMMUNITY

Why not join the school and exhibitors alike, to celebrate more than four decades of computing history?  With stands and presentations from all the favourites: Spectrum, Commodore, Amiga, Atari, Acorn and many more.

Catch up on the latest community gossip and events, sign up to a local user group or just reminisce by playing your favourite games from the good old days.

AMIGA 30

Amiga A1000
Amiga A1000

There will be special stands, competitions and activities to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Amiga, including the following:

Amiga North Thames
Andy Spencer
Retro Computer Museum
Demonstrations of
X1000, SAM460 running Amiga OS4
Demonstrations of
MorphOS, AROS and AEROS
Nick Severin Nigel Tromans

 

RISC OS SUMMER SHOW

Acorn Archimedes
Acorn Archimedes

The Midlands RiscOS User Group will be holding their annual Summer Show as part of Recursion.

RiscOS Exhibitors include:
The RiscOS Midlands User Group Vince Hudd Softrock
Chris Dewhurst Drag n Drop Magazine Andy Spencer Retro Computer Museum
Tom Williamson ROUGOL

– and don’t forget, RISC OS is a popular Raspberry Pi OS as well as on Acorn and later independent computers!

Continue reading Recursion show returns as Shakespeare’s school looks to repeat success