"We are not just focused on the technologies of the future, we are obsessive about the people that will create them."
Professor Tim Whitley, Managing Director Applied Research and Managing Director Adastral Park
Due to the current coronavirus pandemic we are unable to hold any face to face activities at the moment, when the situation changes we will publish our programme on these pages. In the meantime please look at our Virtual Learning pages where you can access short videos that help bring the school curriculum to life.
Developing skills for the future
It's predicted that by 2030 a vast number of new technology jobs will be created, many that don't even exist today. And it's the reason behind Adastral Park playing a leading role in encouraging youngsters to study the core STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and maths. On offer is a wide and diverse range of computing events, all of which have been designed, developed and tested with teachers across Suffolk to make sure the learning is joined up with the curriculum.
Technologists from across the park volunteer to deliver these free events and guide school children through exploring the showcases and workshops. Students leave having experienced an interactive look at science and technology in the real world. It's events like these that can really bring it all together for the next generation. And with technology underpinning everything that we do today, the skills needed are critical to the future digital economy.
Workshops at Adastral Park
Due to the current coronavirus situation we are unable to offer face-to-face student or teacher workshops, however, listed below are examples of the types of events we offer in our annual programme. All our events are free and open to any school to attend and the activities are designed to support the curriculum and provide important work-based experiences.
Crumble Robots Taster Days for Years 5-7 and 7-9
Robots can be used across the curriculum to encourage creativity, team work, problem solving, and reasoning and develop learning powers. Are you looking for ways to extend whole class teaching of coding beyond scratch? This workshop uses a relatively inexpensive robot that can be programmed using a scratch style interface. This interactive day will give students a taste of programming robots to undertake a variety of tasks including flashing its lights and following a fixed line path. There will also be a fun mini-challenge to take part in. Once you've attended this Taster Day you can sign up for a Line Tracking Finals Event
Rescue Simulation Taster Day (formerly CoSpace) for Years 5-6 and 7-13
Would you like your more able students to extend their knowledge of coding into the virtual world? This interactive day enables students to develop the skills to program a virtual robot in a virtual environment. Taster days assume no previous knowledge from the students as they are designed to take them step by step through creating a program, moving the robot around the screen, picking up and depositing the tokens as well as avoiding the traps. Teams will compete in a fun mini challenge at the end of the day. Once you've done this Taster Day you can sign -up for the RoboCup Junior Rescue Simulation National Finals
The competition side of it is good because it makes you interact with each other a lot more rather than just in a class working on your own computer you go to other trams you collect ideas, you share ideas and then when it comes to actually coming into the battles you have a competitive side to you where you want to makes yours better and then being judged it also just adds to that you want to make it the best you can, you want to learn the most you can from this.
Student feedback - CoSpace
Computational Thinking for Year 3 / Year 4 / Year 5
Computational Thinking gives students access to a set of tools to improve reasoning, perseverance and problem solving which can be applied across the curriculum. This interactive session will use a variety of activities, both unplugged and programming environments, e.g. Crumble, ScratchJr, WeDo, BeeBots, Micro:bit
Activities were varied and pacey, well-resourced and plenty of staff to help – thank you!
Teacher feedback - Computational Thinking
RoboCup Junior Rescue Simulation National Finals (formerly CoSpace)
If you're signed up for one of our Rescue Simulation Taster Days then come along and test your skills at the National Finals. RoboCup Junior offers several challenges, each emphasizing both cooperative and competitive aspects. Teams can be between 2-4 students and they will be set a series challenges for which they will be expected to create programme for without the input from a teacher. The Winning Teams from Finals will have the chance to compete in the Major International Event which will be held in Bordeaux or the Super Regional Event which will be held in Portugal.
RoboCup in general gives the students the opportunity to get involved with the hardware and software ... we've got robots, we've got sensors, we've got actuators, and then the software is like the glue, it's the clever part that puts all those parts together. And increasingly in a world with artificial intelligence that's where we need the skills for our young people particularly in the UK today.
Teacher feedback - RoboCup
Line Tracking Finals
If you're signed up for one of our Crumble Taster Days then come along and test your skills at the Line Tracking Finals. In this fun competition day you will race around several different tracks and compete in a knockout pursuit challenge. The Winners will receive amazing trophies!
British Science week
Ever wondered what goes on at Adastral Park? Want to see the latest innovations linked to STEM subjects? In support of British Science Week Adastral Park will be hosting a series of half day events to give young people the chance to find out more about the exciting things that goes on here and gain hands-on experience with activities relating to the STEM subjects.
If your aim was to inspire the younger generation, then I would say you have achieved your mission. We have already had a couple of our 'drifting' pupils find us outside of lessons and ask for extra maths/science work to do over weekends 'so they can get a job doing the cool stuff we saw!' As a maths and DT [Design Technology] teacher myself, being able to show them what their lessons can lead to makes their learning so much worthwhile, and my teaching so much easier!
Teacher feedback - British Science week
We run an outreach programme with the aim of bringing workshops into the local community across the region. These events are hosted at various venues across the county including West Suffolk College, Woodbridge School, Lowestoft Sixth Form.
We have established a network of teachers and teaching assistants that have a passion for developing Computational Thinking Skills in Primary school students. Inspired by and working alongside West Suffolk College's approach to science we make teaching materials to support computational thinking and computing available for schools to borrow and teach in their own classrooms. Also find out about the new National Centre of Computing Education and how STEM Ambassadors can help schools. Regular meetings are held throughout the year so get in touch if you would like to sign up.
Adastral Park volunteers needed - Schools events
We're always looking for Adastral volunteers to help run schools event days at Adastral Park - please see the volunteering page for more information.
If you'd like to find out more about educational opportunities at Adastral Park, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.