#ABHackathon – Argyll and Bute Youth Services Hackathon
Argyll and Bute Council
Young people aged 11 to 16, with a particular focus on girls.
Provide opportunities for young people in Argyll and Bute to access emerging technologies and inspire them to take an interest in STEM subjects through education.
The #ABHackathon was the brainwave of Year of Young People 2018 (YOYP) Ambassador, Rhona McCracken who wanted to attend a hackathon, however there were none near to where she lives in Oban, so we decided to plan our own!
The Hackathon was a one off event, held as part of YOYP2018, where young people from across the (mostly rural) local authority were invited to attend a series of workshops throughout the day. It is hoped it will become an annual event.
Transport for staff and young people (including ferries), lunch and other food/snacks, available venue (the youth centre) which was also a “central” location for those wanting to attend, internet connection, timetables displayed in the venue, badges, laptops, BBC micro:bits, Robo:Bits (buggies controlled using BBC micro:bits), tools for assembling the Robo:Bits, Sphero SPRK+s (we’re now using Sphero Bolts, which are similar but with additional functionality), Raspberry Pis, electronic starter kits for Raspberry Pis (included things like breadboards and jumper wires), large screen (in our case it was a Promethean interactive panel), Minecraft: Education Edition
The response from young people has been fantastic. All said they would like to see a similar event held again in the future. All had said they learnt a lot and enjoyed the workshops provided as well as made friends with young people with similar interests.
The event was planned with input from young people to ensure we delivered a day that they would enjoy. An evaluation was held at the end of the event with young people being asked what they enjoyed, what they would change and what they thought wasn’t so good, all those taking part were entered into a prize draw for a book written by one of the workshop providers.
The event has provided a wider understanding among young people of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects, careers available to them, emerging technologies and the opportunity for young people in rural and remote areas to build relationships with others with similar interests.