Stepping Up!

Breaking the ice with the TAP students.

This summer, two of our mentors took a step up to run their own workshop in Bridge21. As part of the TAP Summer School, Bridge21 runs a 5 day course in “Animation and Game Design”. The module is really an introduction to computer programming using the Scratch programming language so it is a fun but challenging few days for the students. Here, Stephen and Shane talk about the experience of leading the workshops…..

Hello we are Shane and Stephen. We are both former students of Bridge21 and we both have extensive experience mentoring and helping out with the various workshops and activities over last two years. This was our first time leading one though.

Using the newly refurbished back room, we took sixteen students and ran the workshop. It involved a lot more work than we were used to just mentoring. It was a bit like the presentations Bridge21 students make before showing  your day’s work, but all day long.

There were a number of challenges, such as time constraints and a lack of internet access but over all it was a great success. The biggest challenge that we faced was planning. We usually would come in and be told the days plan but actually having to sit for about three hours to plan a workshop that takes an hour and a half is a whole other story. You constantly panic that you’re going to run out of time or everything is going to fall apart or that a giant space rock is going to crush all your students.

Stephen is a former Bridge21 student.

It gave us a greater appreciation of the amount of work and effort that Kevin and the team put in to planning weeks and weeks of workshops for all the students.

It was a wonderful experience and we were very proud of the work that the students came up with in the time that they had and would love to run it again in the future.

Shane was in Team Skittles, our team of the year in 09/10.

Stephen and Shane did a fantastic job with this programme. Every student that took part rated it “good” or “excellent” and we hope they’ll come back and run more sessions for us. Seeing former students return as mentors and go on to lead these sessions on their own is wonderful. We hope they won’t be the last!

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