My Maker Space speech...

When I was ten my parents purchased for me an amazing computer. It was an Amstrad CPC6128. It was an incredibly slow computer compared to today’s standards. In fact it only had 128 KB of RAM. This is probably nothing compared to even your simplest electronic toy. To give you an idea, you need 5 MB of storage for 1 song, 50 pages of text, 3 photos or 30 secs of video. My computer was so slow you could make a cup of tea before it had even turned on. It was unable to store one video, song, photo or page of text. Your calculator at home probably has more know-how.

Yet it is on this machine that I developed an interest in coding and computers. I spent hours on the computer learning the art of programming. I also remember receiving a package once that provided the instructions and parts for constructing a radio. Like many of you I acquired box after box of Lego for birthdays and Christmas presents. I loved my Lego so much that I’d wash it when it got dusty. I have always been interested in building, creating and using technology.

I wasn’t ever provided opportunities to explore my interests at school. In contrast many schools today provide activities, lessons and after school clubs that provide opportunity for students to invent, create and learn while working collaboratively with friends in exciting, new and innovative ways. The collision of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has provided a unique opportunity for schools allow student to pursue individual interests.

After school on Thursday’s I have been running workshops that have provided time for students to make paintings with robots, pull technology a part and recycle the materials into exciting new projects. Classes have also participated in coding, 3D Printing, Bristle Bot making, Minecraft and gaming.

Hour of Code has been operating at Suncoast Christian College for almost two years. During this time many students have been involved in the program and have become Coders, Makers and in some circumstances leaders. Can I please have anyone that has been involved in Hour of Code stand? These students have participated in workshops that have equipped them with skills that have prepared them for a brighter future.

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field you choose to go into as adults, your ability to succeed will increasingly depend on whether you understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning how technology works. Only 1 in every four schools are actually teaching computer science. That’s why Suncoast is teaching these foundational 21st century skills. I want for our Hour of Code to continue to be an amazing program for you. I encourage you to join the movement and register for this term’s workshops.


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