Middlesex University is staging a virtual camp offering 11 to 14-year-olds the chance to develop their digital and academic skills with innovative video game design sessions.
The October Success Camp, which is being held during Half Term next week, will encourage the next generation of digital creators to learn skills in game designing, computing and creative writing.
This is the second Digital Camp in collaboration with the not-for-profit programme Digital Schoolhouse, which together with Nintendo uses play-based learning to engage pupils and teachers with the computing curriculum.
The hugely successful Summer Camp was attended live by 60 students with more than 700 hours of content engaged with via the MDX Education and Liaison YouTube channel.
The students come from 21 local schools, with a quarter receiving free school meals and 31% having no immediate family members who had attended university, highlighting the value of such educational initiatives.
Organisers aim to provide academic support for disadvantaged students during the ongoing pandemic while opening access to higher education pathways.
"The Digital Camp allowed these students to catch up with academic learning and develop digital skills through an engaging topic. We welcome this initiative and activities that support our students in these difficult times." Margaret Phillips, a Careers and Aspirations Manager at St Mary’s and St John’s School in Barnet.
Head of Education Liaison, Elita Eliades said: “Our digital camps are one of several widening participation interventions we are delivering to students to remove barriers for them to succeed in education and employment.
“We recognise the need to address the learning loss for students during lockdown and work in partnership with local schools through initiatives like our camps that inspire students.”
Penda Tomlinson, a lecturer on Middlesex University’s Games Design course, said: “The games industry is growing rapidly, contributing more than 1.35bn to the UK economy.
“We are excited to showcase the variety of careers that a Games Design course at university can lead graduates to, from becoming entrepreneurs to games developers to academics.
“We are looking forward to inspiring local students to consider careers in the games industry and sharing the experiences of graduate professionals.”
In the October Camp students will progress from learning game design principles to creating digital prototypes, programming and games testing.
It will also include a careers panel featuring academics from Middlesex’s Games Design course and industry professionals.
The panel will include a live Q&A for school and college students to direct questions to and share guidance of how to enter the growing industry successfully.
In an exciting competition, students will also get the chance to create campaigns which promote online safety and digital citizenship.
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: “We are delighted to continue our learning programme and further support students and their families.
“We are determined to support efforts to equip Digital Camp attendees with the skills they need for the future digital economy through play-based learning and innovative activities.
"Digital Schoolhouse is pleased to partner with Middlesex University once more and to continue to make computing both inspiring and accessible for everyone.”
The October Success Camp takes place over Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 12:30pm, from 28th – 30th October 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.
Prizes will be awarded to encourage students to engage and showcase their skills, including video game related merchandise from Digital Schoolhouse partner, Konami.
Anyone else interested in signing up their child to develop their digital creativity should visit the MDX October Camp page.
Find out more about studying video game design at Middlesex University.: