Blog 18th Jun 2019
Speechmatics and Frontier volunteering at ChYpPS youth coding group in Cambridge

Having formed a partnership with ChYpPS youth group last year, Speechmatics now delivers monthly coding workshops for children involved in the Cambridge-based community.

This month, I was joined by two volunteers from Speechmatics as well as Laura and Stuart from Frontier Developments. Together, we delivered a coding workshop for the local children at Brown’s Field Community Centre.

June’s workshop was a continuation of last month’s session where we started to create the top-down Elite game, originally created by Frontier in the 1980s. It was great to see the children’s enthusiasm return this month with many of the children eager to get started before we had even set up the session. Whilst it is evident that some of the children mainly enjoy sitting and working through the instructions and seeing the game develop without any help, others are constantly asking questions such as “why does increasing x make it move right?” and “how can I make my game sillier?”.

I can happily say that all of the children managed to make a working space adventure game and some of them even coded animations and sound effects too. Others focused on creativity and really making the game their own.

The thing I enjoyed most about this session was the variety and creativity shown by the children. They are now at the stage where they are not only capable of working through a pretty complicated project, but many also feel confident enough to put their own spin on the game and really make it unique to their interests.

They have all managed to grasp the programming language Scratch and I’m excited to see what else they can learn over the coming months.

Interested to hear about what else we’ve got planned for our community? Read about our time leading a discussion at the Cambridge Python Meetup which aims to connect the programming community in Cambridge.

Tom Wordsworth, Speechmatics