5 December 2018

IT students have been introduced to the world of coding with a trip to the Apple Store to learn with the aid of robots.

Coding is what makes it possible to create computer software, apps and website, and as such is one of the most sought-after skills in the technology sector.

Second year students studying the IT BTEC Diploma, which is the equivalent of two A Level options, travelled to the Liverpool Apple Store for an introduction to the coding art, getting to put their knowledge from the classroom into practice with the latest gadgets.

Leading the trip was IT teacher Paul Moore, who explained: “The session with the Apple Trainers covered why we should code, an introduction to the ‘Swift’ programming language and an opportunity to work through some coding activities using iPads and the Swift Playgrounds app."

“Once students were warmed up, the robots came out. In pairs, the students created programs for the robots and the robots followed their instructions exactly. Mazes were taped to the floor to add a bit of challenge, with the aim being to program the robots to reach the X. The fun and challenging session ended with some robot racing: five students racing their robots from one end of the store to the other and back.

Paul continued: “The session will be really useful to all of the students as they prepare to design and make their own games later in this academic year. The coding on the trip will help them with the skills they need when writing their own programs to control the games they design.”

Student reactions included:

“Great trip for an introduction to coding.” – Josh W

“Swift Playgrounds was a good app for introducing coding and the actual concepts of programming.” – Scott

“The Sphero robots were fun to play with and challenging to program.” – Josh D

The trip was really good and relevant. I’m sure it’ll be useful for my coursework.” - Lewis