Robots on the beach

20 April 2012

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Young people and their families from across Wales will get the chance to experience computing in the outdoors at Beach Lab, a Technocamps event held at Aberystwyth Bandstand from 11am to 3pm, Saturday 12 May 2012.

Beach Lab is the first in a series of free public events being run by the Technocamps team based at the Computer Science Department at Aberystwyth University, with the aim of giving young people aged between 11-19 years old a chance to develop their computing skills beyond the usual screen and keyboard.

The one-day event is open to all who are keen to experience technology in the open air with flying kites (with on-board cameras), land robots, sailing robots, wearable technology and much more.

Some of the demos will be using programmes designed by young people from Ceredigion who have been involved in Technocamps through school and holiday workshops.

Dr Mark Neal, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Aberystwyth University and one of the academics involved in Technocamps, will be on-hand at Beach Lab.

Dr Neal is keen to get as many people involved, he says “This event will interest local young people (some of whom will have been to Technocamps), teachers, educators, families, prospective students, tourists, geeks and the uninitiated - you won’t need to know anything about technology to enjoy yourself at Beach Lab.

“Many people think computing is something done inside in front of a screen and keyboard but there's so many ways to get involved in computer programming and electronics that makes computing really fun and creative.”

There will be other academics and students from Aberystwyth University’s Computer Science Department who will be giving demos and engaging with the public and others from the University’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines.

Director of Technocamps, Professor Faron Moller of Swansea University, said:
“We want to get young people across Wales excited about computing and what better way to do this than by bringing it to life in the big outdoors.

“We hope everyone who comes along and takes part in this ‘fun-packed’ day will leave wanting to learn and do more of the fascinating things you can do with computers.”

For more details on the Technocamps Beach Lab go to www.technocamps.com/events or contact Lisa Fisher on 01970 622454 / lisa.fisher@technocamps.com.

Technocamps is a £6 million project led by Swansea University in partnership with the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Glamorgan that provides daily and weekly sessions to young people aged 11-19 on a range of exciting computing-based topics such as programming, robotics, cryptography, animation and much more.

The £3.2bn Structural Funds programmes 2007-2013 in Wales include the Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys (the successor to Objective 1), and the Regional Competitiveness and Employment programmes for East Wales. The programmes are delivered through the Welsh Assembly Government and are aimed at creating employment opportunities and boosting economic growth.

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