It takes two…

Earlier this year, we asked two of our senior mentors to lead three weeks of Bridge21 activities. They did a fantastic job and have written a little about their experience….

“When given the opportunity to take over the Computer Science Transition Year (CSTY) workshops this year, Jake Byrne and I (Claire Hayden) were delighted, but Kevin is a hard act to follow, hence it taking two of us to fill his shoes.

Hailing from all four corners of the country, the distances some students were willing to travel in order to get involved was impressive, but we feel that most would agree that it was worth the effort. The level of commitment and enthusiasm shown by the participants throughout this year was nothing short of amazing. We were astounded not only at how adept the transition year students were at using technology, but also at how once given the opportunity, the teams worked exceptionally well together to develop their projects. Each member contributed in their own way, producing some really great projects.

Some of the games produced using Scratch might easily be re-imagined as the type of addictive app that might make somebody a lot of money! Watch this space!

During the weeks each cohort were asked to keep a blog. Blogging was used to help teams stay on task and also to help them document and reflect on their work. Blogging became quite central to this year’s CSTY workshops as a competitive element developed between teams as to who could write the most interesting blog and perhaps more importantly the most entertaining blog.

Transition years were treated to presentations from TCD lecturers, 1st year Computer Science students and more informal dialogue with the mentors on what college life might entail. Unsurprisingly not all of the questions asked involved academic courses and some gave rose to interesting debate!

Jake and I, having made the leap from mentors to coordinators, also did our best to contribute to these. I think it’s fair to say that Jake was ever more like Kevin in his deliver of well-timed one-liners as the week went on.  Coupled with my authoritative teacher’s voice, I think we just about managed to emulate Kevin’s presence.

Backed by the ever supportive Bridge21 team and the wonderful team of dedicated mentors, running the CSTY courses was a treat and gave me a new understanding of how Kevin sounds so convincing when he says he loves his job. He really does, and so do we! Thanks Kevin for a great few weeks!”

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