For the past three years, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis Continuing Education of the Institute of Informatics has been offering coding workshops to young people from 8H to 11CO. Summer camps have also been organised for young people for many years. We took the time to interview Tamara and Amandine who participate in our summer camp and Gaetano Manzo, trainer at our continuing education centre.
Tamara and Amandine have been interested in IT for a few years now. Tamara has already taken an Internet course and Amandine a robotics course, both of which are offered by the HES-SO Valais-Wallis.
In their free time, they have fun creating websites or learning about coding, and this summer camp gives them a different perspective on all areas of computing. In the afternoon, various workshops are offered, including one dedicated to hacking, which Tamara attended. She even virtually "hacked a bank" during the last class! A good way to recognise computer flaws and to know how to protect yourself. Amandine tells us that she would like to study robotics and Tamara tells us that she would like to study graphic arts.
|Laurine (16) took part in the level 2 coding workshop, and was able to create games of chance with animations.||Rejan (13) shows us the other side of the coin: the lines of code he created to make his game of chance work.|
Why did you choose the coding workshop?
Rejan: I chose this workshop because I really like computers and coding in particular.
Laurine: I did it because I'm going to go to business school and it will help me there. I also want to learn more about coding.
Tell us about your workshop and what you learned there.
Laurine: I learned how to create mini-games by coding, with Python and visual code applications. This workshop is great for developing a game or a website. I loved this course, it taught me a lot in one week, including little tricks.
Rejan: We learned how to use Streamlit to create our own website and games. It's something everyone can try and it's very interesting to find out what's behind the sites!
Damien and Grégory (both 13 years old) took part in the Game Creation workshop and created their own Pac-Man game from scratch in a few days!
What made you decide to sign up for this gaming workshop?
Damien (13 years old): Because I had never done this before.
Gregory (13): Because I wanted to make video games.
Do you play video games at home?
Damien: Yes, more like Mario
Grégory: Yes, Fortnite and Fall Guys
What did you learn from the workshop, and what arguments would you use to convince your friends to participate?
Damien: All the possibilities of Scratch. It's easy, visual, beautiful, and I was able to integrate my Pac-Man game on my personal web page, which I created during the morning classes this week!
Gregory: I learned how to make web pages and games. I loved the workshop. I also liked the morning lecture on fake news, it's very useful to know how to best protect yourself on the Internet.
Our trainer, who is also a post-doctoral assistant at the Computer Science Research Institute, Gaetano Manzo, takes up the challenge each semester of finding simple and fun ways to explain complex concepts and says that "coding is above all a state of mind, more than a technical skill". He also notes with satisfaction that the number of girls participating in these workshops is constantly increasing, and that this year for the first time there were more girls than boys!
Throughout the workshops, the children learn the basics of programming in a very interactive way. They code not only on the computer, but also on the board and in groups. At the end of level 1, the pupils have acquired a good overview of coding and can therefore pose a problem with a developer's mind. At the end of level 2, they apply their programming skills to web and mobile development.
Gaetano Manzo was once again involved in the creation of vocation, and after these workshops his advice is: "No matter if you are a beginner or an advanced developer, my advice is to keep learning by following other courses and online resources. If you have completed Level 1, move on to Level 2. And once you've completed Level 2, find a specialised course (for example, game development). In the meantime, keep up to date! Hackerank, for example, is an excellent and accessible platform.
Autumn workshops start on Wednesday 21 September 2022.
Wednesday afternoons, from 2pm to 4pm or from 4pm to 6pm.
More information :
Contact: 058 606 90 43 / firstname.lastname@example.org