Middlesex University is staging an innovative virtual summer camp offering young people aged 11 to 14-years-old the chance to learn about video game design and filmmaking.
The Summer Success Camp, which begins on Monday August 10, will be delivered through live streamed lessons to support disadvantaged students impacted by learning loss following the coronavirus lockdown.
It is one of several projects that the Education Liaison and Outreach team are managing as they support the university’s Annual Participation Plan objectives and creating opportunities for disadvantaged students to succeed.
Prizes include video game related merchandise from Digital Schoolhouse partner, Konami, to encourage sustained engagement and creativity.
All live streamed lessons will be recorded and shared with local partner schools that Middlesex University engages with through its Make Your Mark programme to reduce the learning loss experienced by their students.
Make Your Mark is a programme of activities designed to help young people progress through education on to a successful university experience, and a fulfilling career.
It gives students in years 7 to 11 access to advice and experiences focused on building an awareness of pathways, study skills and how to progress in education successfully.
Nic Beech, Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University, said: “Our team has worked hard during this challenging time to provide support to students, teachers and the local community, particularly in light of the growing inequalities in access to educational resources. As an integral part of our widening participation work, we’ve developed a virtual Summer Success Camp to inspire students and remove barriers to success. Our camp aims to introduce 11-14 year old students to digital skills such as prototyping and video editing, whilst also developing their numeracy and literacy."
The event will feature the not-for-profit Digital Schoolhouse programme which, together with Nintendo UK, uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of pupils and teachers with the Computing curriculum.
Digital Schoolhouse is delivered by the UK games industry trade body Ukie and is supported by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Shahneila Saeed, director of Digital Schoolhouse, said: “Our emphasis on play-based learning and use of everyday household objects to teach Computing and video games design, puts us in the perfect place to support students and families through virtual lessons, at home.
"We’re delighted to be able to support Middlesex University’s Summer Success Camp and to continue to make Computing both inspiring and accessible for everyone.”
Digital Schoolhouse’s summer camp sessions will include a workshop titled Part-Baked Games: Chef’s edition.
This has been developed in partnership with Outright Games and introduces students to the concept of prototyping; both on paper and digitally. Learners begin by creating a paper prototype for their own version of Gigantosaurus and then a digital prototype based on these ideas.
Covering topics such as creative writing and probability, LCC Learning will work through specific parts of the KS3 English and maths syllabus during these lessons to put all students into the right frame of mind for returning to school.
Jai Vohra, Director at LCC Learning, said: “LCC Learning is delighted to be collaborating with Middlesex University in the delivery of the Summer Success Camp 2020.
“We are confident the students will develop their creative and technical skills throughout the programme.”
Meanwhile, Chocolate Films is a Social Enterprise Film production company, offering filmmaking workshops which will enable summercamp students to take their creativity, imagination and skills to the next level.
Over the course of six sessions, and using the power of smart phones and simple materials, Chocolate Films will cover the basics of filmmaking without students leaving the comfort of their homes.
Alessandra Cocksedge, Senior Account Manager at Chocolate Films, said: "In a time of many changes across the world, we are excited to be adapting the way we run our fun and creative workshops, taking them into a virtual dimension!
"Being able to reach a bigger audience with the power of the internet means that everyone can be encouraged to produce their own work, empowering the participants in a supportive digital environment."
The Summer Success Camp takes place over three weeks, each Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9:30am and 2:30pm, from 10th – 28th August, and sessions will be free to view to all signed up students.
Parents of 11-14 year old students attending local schools or who are being supported by community organisations have been invited to apply for a free place.
Anyone else interested in signing up their child to develop their digital creativity should visit the MDX Summer Camp page and fill out the form.