ARK Kings' Computer Programmers Make Headlines

University of Birmingham STEM ambassador Scott Johnson in front of a class of students at ARK Kings Academy

Last week, the Birmingham Mail ran a story on how are equipping our students not simply to use computers but to understand and write programs for them.

Birmingham Mail news story on ARK Kings Academy's computer programming project

Since January, Scott Johnson (pictured), an undergraduate Computer Science student, has been teaching students the basics of Python, a computer programming language used to create everything from the visual effects seen in blockbuster movies to smart phone apps.

Scott aims to help students achieve a sound foundation in computer programming. By the end of the course, he hopes students will able to create their own simple games such naughts and crosses.

The project came about as a product of collaboration between the University of Birmingham’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centre and the local academy. The STEM centre pairs ‘student ambassadors’ with partner schools. Students and staff at the academy benefit from the ambassadors’ expertise while the students themselves gain valuable real-world experience of teaching.

Since September, children have been taught not just how to use computer programs but how computers work and how they can write their own programs. Projects such as the computer programming being delivered by Scott will help ensure our young people have the skills and confidence they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Scott Johnson, Computer Science student and ‘student ambassador, said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching computer programming at ARK Kings Academy and I hope that I have inspired some of the students to take up further education in computer science.

Computer Science was an area that was not available to me when I was at school so I am really pleased to be able to offer it to the current students”

Amanda Busby, Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) at ARK Kings Academy, said: