Creative Computing Club and the summer of Artificial Intelligence

July / August 2018

We had a great summer and we covered a lot during our July / August courses; Artificial Intelligence, Game Making, Animation and more. Our Ipswich and Campsea Ashe groups looked at how neural nets work and finished off their courses with a hands-on experience IBM Watson to build a chatbot.


We had a our annual games week and got to try out the Microsoft Hololens thanks to Orbital Media as well as the new Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. We also had a lot of nostalgia after playing Wii Sports Resort and Minecraft throughout the week.

The Creative Computing Club took part in the Ludum Dare 42 producing loads of interesting games based around the theme of "Running Out of Space". We plan to take part in future Ludum Dare Games Jams as we had a lot of fun having to think fast to make a game in 48 hours.

The Friday Under 12's group has grown significantly and completed a course in animation making some amazing and hilarious animations. They are going on to do a course using the BBC Microbit where they will be building interesting and useful apps for the fantastic little gadget.

The Monday Stowmarket group have completed their introduction to Game Maker and produced a lot of fantastic games and will shortly be moving on to website development.



Over the summer we also ran twelve Generation Code sessions for UK Youth and Microsoft to encourage young people to try out coding, it was really good fun, and we think we have found a bunch of talented new coders.

Some of the older Creative Computing Club members who trained with UK Youth to become "Code Champions" were on hand to help out, and they did a fantastic job supporting the younger newer coders.

We are really grateful to More Bongo Limited, Sloan Squared and a number of other excellent local businesses generously purchased laptops on behalf of the Creative Computing Club allowing us to run the workshops for over 60 young people, who otherwise would not have been able to take part and for that we are genuinely grateful.


And last but not least a we were fortunate to write a guest blog for UKIE, Digital Schoolhouse you can read about it here . We were also recently interviewed by Tech East and you can read about that here. It has been a busy couple of months but it is set to get even busier as the Creative Computing Club CIC has now been made an Alternative Provision by the Suffolk County Council and we are set to begin work with eight new schools in Suffolk.

We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Courses page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club and the Robots

May / June 2018

We have had another fantastic two months with the four groups in Ipswich focussing on Robotics, looking at several different types and uses of robots each week. From robotic arms to drones, soft-robotics to full-size androids. We had great fun using some cutting-edge robots to further our learning and understanding of the potential of robotics.


We were also fortunate enough to attend the ""AI - Fables, Facts, and Futures; Threat, Promise or Saviour?" lecture by Prof Peter Cochrane at the University of Suffolk. He was kind enough to take the time afterwards to further discuss concerns and the potential of A.I. with our young people.

Our two satellite groups at the Railway Station in Campseas Ashe and the Red Gables, Stowmarket are up and running.

The Campsea Ashe Creative Computing Club have successfully built an Automated Herb Garden, which monitors the soil temperature, air temperature, humidity, soil moisture and tweets a message to tell us when it needs watering. The group have earned a British Science Association Bronze CREST award for their hard work.

The Stowmarket group have completed their introduction to programming, where they learned the fundamentals of computer programming building several different apps and games. They also learned how to take control of the web cameras do real-time image analysis and build a paint program using processing.



The Under 11s got stuck into robotics and achieved loads, building art robots, programmed robots to deliver packages, talk and A.I. how to recognise shapes and also got to have a hands on with cutting-edge "Soft Robotics".

Behind the scenes, we trained up several of our older Creative Computing Club members with UK Youth to become "Code Champions" to help us deliver workshops using the BBC Microbits and generally improve the level of computer science in Suffolk.

Some of our staff also got to attend training at UKIE as the Creative Computing Club CIC has now become a Digital Schoolhouse Powered by PlayStation, which means we will have the funding and support to bring computer science to several primary and secondary schools in the Suffolk area.


And last but not least a huge shout-out to The Seckford Foundation who have funded our Campsea Ashe Railway Station group so we can deliver courses in the area for another six months. This will mean we can do a lot more with the young people in the area and provide them with engaging and worthwhile activities.
We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Courses page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club and Big Data

March / April 2018

We have had an amazing March / April looking at Big Data and what perfect timing with all of the concerns over Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. We started off by looking at Space X mission data, then weather data over the last 100 years, then Facebook Scandal broke, and this turned our attention to scraping the last 50 tweets of elected officials and running psychometric analysis on those. We rounded off the course looking at data taken from a FitBit over a two week period and were able to make predictions based on the data.


In addition to analysing data, we were able to watch the Judiciary Senate Committee live and discuss what impact if any these revelations would have on the young people and their online lives. Overall it was a great course, and we were better able to understand and access the world of data all around us. The Ipswich groups will be moving on to Robotics for their next course.

We also took part in Ludum Dare 41 an online game jame with thousands of other creators rushing to make a game in 72 hours. You can see some of our games here. Gradris, Field of Skulls and War Musician. It was great fun, we learned a lot and look forward to doing Ludum Dare 42 in four months time.

For our satellite group at The Station House, Campsea Ashe, Wickham Market they started to learn all about Game Maker and began to make platformer games. It was the first time any of them had made a video game, and they did incredibly well to create some fantastic worlds. They will be moving on to building an Automated Herb Garden thanks to a grant from the Alfred Williams Trust.



In March and April, we ran three one-off courses for the home-ed community one on Safer Internet, on robotics and one on game making. It was great fun, and many of them got to discover new digital skills they never knew they had. A few of them have now joined us for the regular weekly groups as they enjoyed the one-off sessions so much.


And last but not least a huge shout-out to two10degrees who got involved with the Creative Computing Club members sponsoring her so she could sit her IGCSE in Computer Science with us, it is a huge boost to her confidence knowing that an amazing local tech company is looking out for her.

We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Courses page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club Funding Update

April 2018

We have had a busy March but spreading the word about what the Creative Computing Club CIC does has really paid off. Firstly we are really please to announce. The Creative Computing Club CIC is receiving £8500.00 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 via the StartEast Small Grant Scheme. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding .



This funding will allow us to expand our services to Stowmarket and Wickham Market setting up and expanding groups to serve more people in rural areas. It will also enable us to build our adaptive learning platform to better teach young people Computer Science in Suffolk. Finally, it will help us buy new equipment for day to day use.

We are incredibly grateful for the support and training we have received from Start East and their mentors which have helped us to look at what we offer Suffolk and how we deliver our services.

The second bit of good news comes in the form of a Community Business Trade Up Grant of £10,000.00 from the School of Social Entrepreneurs The grant match funds any improvement of income over last year. Last year the Creative Computing Club CIC's turnover was £18k so if we make £28k this year the Community Business Trade Up Grant will match fund us up to £10k. So it encourages us to grow our business and rewards us accordingly.



Combined with the grant comes a load of support and mentoring from the Eastern Enterprise Hub which has been a constant supporter of the organisation from its formation as a CIC.

This fund will allow us to take on support staff and pay our fulltime staff a salary.
And finally, we have very gratefully received £1500.00 from the Alfred Williams Charitable Trust to run a series of special environmental focussed technology workshops in Stowmarket and Wickham Market to engage rural people with technology. Their charity is focussed on environmental and rural issues, so this is the first time they have ever funded anything like this, so we hope to do them proud.
So in total that is £20,000.00 in funding for 2018. It has been a long journey to get here, and we still feel we will need a bit more funding to hire additional staff a set up additional satellite groups to better serve Suffolk, but it is certainly a massive boost to help us deliver what we do. This is the first time the Creative Computing Club CIC has received such significant funding in its six years of running in Suffolk. We are genuinely grateful for all the support the people of Suffolk has given us and look forward to engaging more young people with technology.

A huge and sincere thanks to all the organisations involved especially Start East and the Eastern Enterprise Hub without whom this would have not been possible.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club A Great Start to a New Year

January / February 2018

We have had a busy start to the new year year in our four Ipswich groups we have been looking at the fundamentals of computer programming with Python and Processing. We had a visit to the Government Digital Service in London to work on a project using their development framework. We also had a chance to visit Goldman Sach investment bank to learn a bit about how and how much teachnology they use in their daily work. Both the visits were incredibly inspiring for our young people and for several of them it gave them a goal to focus on for their future careers.


At the end of January we had a visit by Joe Kinglake a former student, Creative Computing Club helper and games designer (formerly Guerilla Games/ Cloud Imperium games) to talk about designing games in Games Jam environment. It was great to catch up with him and to see how he has grown as a designer and an individual.

Febrauary marked our annual "Safer Internet Day" session and this year we took all the groups through discussion / workshop teaching them the dangers, how to report and protect themselves while being online.

We got some amazingly thoughtful discussions from our young people, who shared their experiences and concerns about online safety.


Our 12 to 16-year-old and the adult group at the Station House, Campsea Ashe, Wickham Market "Station X" began their web development course and have learned some introductory HTML,css and javascript culminating in the building of PONG in javascript.


All of our groups 12 - 16 and adult groups will now be moving on to Big Data and the Internet of Things, with our Under 11s moving on to learning about video game design. We are in the middle of updating our website but if you are interested in taking part be sure to get in contact.

We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Courses page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club Gets Ready for Lift Off

November / December 2017

An action-packed final two months of 2017 rounding off the year with an in-depth, hands-on look at virtual reality. Throughout the course, we looked at the PSVR, the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and the Google Cardboard. It was an excellent way to round of the year and relax before we focus on some intense and exciting projects in the new year.


In 2018 we will be focussing on programming, game design, Big Data & IoT, Robotics, AI, Cyber Security and AR/VR. Alongside this we have some exciting projects with Government Digital Services, the European Space Agency, Astro Pi as well as a few work placements and interneships for the young people we work with. We will also be taking part in a number of games jams and attend gaming events all over county to give our young people the opportunity to expolore all of the careers open to them.

The Under 11's have had a great year earning British Science Crest Awards, Trinity Arts Awards and ended the it by having a course on the BBC MicroBit thanks to the MicroBit Foundation. They ended the year with an xmas party and a Mario Kart 8 tournament.

A number of the Under 11's will be moving up to the 12 to 16-year-old groups as they are growing up and need to take that next step to advance their skills.


Our 12 to 16-year-old group at the Station House, Campsea Ashe, Wickham Market "Station X" is going strong and got to try out some VR equipment while learning the fundamentals of programming. They will return in the new year looking at web development.

We will also soon be offering an adult course at the Station House on Thursday evenings, 18:30pm to 20:00pm starting on the 4th of January. The first course for adults will be looking at web development, get in contact via email if you are interested in attending.


We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Courses page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation CEO & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation Launch

September / October 2017

On the 24th of November we held the launch of the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation. The guest speakers included Bill Thompson (BBC Click), Andy Payne OBE (British Esports Association, Games Aid, Special Effect), Mark Thomas (Coderus) and Professor Mohamed Abdel-Maguid (University of Suffolk) and Matthew C. Applegate (Creative Computing Club / Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation).


The event was hosted by the Eastern Enterprise Hub in the Aquarium to a full house of guests from all over Suffolk. The catering was provided by Cult Cafe and staffed by volunteers from the Creative Computing Club. It was a fantastic evening of talks and discussion about technology, education and what the Creative Computing Club CIC has been achieving with young people in Suffolk and how the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation aims to add to that.



Thank you to those of you who were able to attend the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation launch. We sincerely hope you found it both informative and entertaining.

You can now donate online through paypal by following the link below. We can even claim Gift Aid if you allow us to collect your postal address.


  Online

The launch was also a huge success online with the #CCCCFLaunch and @CCCCFSuffolk trending in Suffolk for three days and was tweeting by over 500 people and seen by over 100,000 people across the world.



Sponsors

We are very grateful to have these organisations as sponsors to the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation. They have have helped us tremendously as an organisation both finacially and through their considerable experience in technology and video games. If you wish to sponsor the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation with a substantial donation or on behalf of an organisation, or sponsor the Creative Computing Club CIC please get in contact at info@creativecomputingclub.com





Thank you again for your support, let's work together to ensure that Suffolk becomes a leader in technology skills for young people.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation Founder & Trustee
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club Makes A Lot of Games

September / October 2017

September and October was all about gaming for the Creative Computing Club from making games, running a 24 Hour Games Jam to traveling to EGX in Birmingham for a massive games expo. All four 12 to 16-year-old groups took part in the games making course which included remaking classic games from the 1980's using the excellent Game Maker software.


With the 8 week course over it was time for the Creative Computing Club to run its first 24 hour Games Jam where the young people had to design and build as much of a game as possible by the end of the 24 hours. The theme which was given at the start of the Games Jam was "Trick Or Treat" and the winning team took home a huge bundle of games a software donated by Bundle Stars / Fanatical. The winning team made "Give Me Sweets or Die" which was a fully working demo with online leaderboard, which was incredibly impressive given the timeframe.



Meanwhile, the Under 11's have been hard at work learning the fundamentals of computer programming using Processing and creating generative computer art.

They are now joined on Fridays by Megan, a former Creative Computing Club member and Creative Computing Clubs' first employee.

  EGX, Birmingham Trip

On the 23rd of September we took a minibus of Creative Computing Club members to EGX in Birmingham to see what the game industry is up to and to play on a lot of great games old and new. They got to talk to a lot of game developers, universities and some former Creative Computing Club members who were demoing their first commercial game "RUYA".







We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club 2017 Questionnaire Summary

September 2017

The Creative Computing Club is a community interest company, therefore the positive impact we have on young people's lives, the educational and social opportunities we provide them are of more importance to us than generating a profit.



Out of the 39 young people we work with on a weekly basis, we got 25 responses from the young people and 19 completed questionnaires from the parents. A full breakdown of those numbers can be found in the reports. Overall we are very pleased that both parents and students feel that the young people we work with are gaining more confidence, technology skills and social skills from attending the Creative Computing Club.
You can download the attendee questionnaire summary here, and you can download the parent questionnaire summary here. There is some lovely feedback and it has allowed us to create new goals for the Creative Computing Club.




We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club Work Hard and Play Hard!

July / August 2017


We have had an incredibly busy 8 weeks over the summer which had us running an Cram Week where we worked through the fourteen chapters in the iGCSE Computer Science coursebook. We also had a week long gaming marathon full of retro gaming, D&D and VR check out the full gallery here.

Behind the scenes the Creative Computing Club has been busy and have had the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation approved by the charities commission. It is now registered charity number 1174658.

You can attend the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation launch event on November 24th, it is a free event and tickets are available from eventbrite here.

Finally thanks to O'reily for supporting the games week and offering up some great books as prizes!






We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Make things, make friends, have fun.


Creative Computing Club, some virtual, some reality!

May / June 2017


In another action packed 8 weeks Group A & B have been trying out the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR & PSVR on their virtual reality course. Group C & D have been playing with Lasers. Group E the Under 11s have had their animation course be sure to check out our Youtube page here and the video below. The automated herb garden is complete so they should be receiving their certificates shortly but sadly the launch of the high altitude balloon has been delayed until later in the summer when we can get a good launch opportunity.



Behind the scenes it has been incredibly hectic. Firstly, we have started our crowdfunding campaign to build a Creative Computing Centre you can check it out here.

Secondly, we have also been busy filing paperwork for the Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation more details of that can be found here. The Creative Computing Club Charitable Foundation helps young people aged 11 to 22 in Suffolk from low income families purchase computers and software to help with their studies.

Finally, Matthew has been successfully nominated for the BAFTA YGD Mentor for his work with the Creative Computing Club!




We will have lots of new courses listed soon, join the Facebook Page to get regular updates and be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page and enrol early to avoid disappointment.

Matthew C. Applegate
Creative Computing Club Founder & Director
Make things, make friends, have fun.

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Creative Computing Club: A Community Interest Company ©2014.