On the 4th March, Kent Jams held a short Jam at the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury. This was the first event of what may be a regular jam to co-inside with the school’s Public Viewing of the Observatory which occurs once a month from September to March (when it’s dark enough in the evening to view stars with the telescopes).

As this was the first Jam we only carried out two activities to ensure that we knew what was going on and to trial run the possibility of continuing the partnership.

Hacking Minecraft with Python

As this activity was a great success as the Gravesend Jam back in January (read about that event here), we thought it would be a good idea to start teaching kids how to program with python and Minecraft. We used the worksheets from the Raspberry Pi website, which can be found here

Unfortunately the majority of participants who attended our Jam were under the age of 10 and had done little or no programming, meaning that the worksheets didn’t work very well with that age group, however it gave the kids a chance to unwind and play Minecraft after a long week at school. This benefited some of the kids as they’d never played Minecraft before.

DOTs Boards

We again used the DOTs boards as they enable a wider range of participants as there’s no previous programming knowledge required. For more information about the DOTs Boards check out our post about the Dreamland Makers Fair.

After seeing hints of Twitter from Andrew (@gbaman1) about there being an Easter egg in the code, we spend the evening trying to find the Easter egg for ourselves. After a look at the source code and some splodges of paint we finally found the Easter egg for ourselves. Needless to say the rest of the night was spend watching the rocket blast off into space.

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All in all I think the evening was a great success with many parents asking whether we’re be holding another event soon, inquiring about the price of purchasing a Pi and complementing us on the activities available to them and their kids. Gathering by the response from the staff at Simon Langton, I’m assuming we will be holding another Langton Jam in September alongside the next Public Viewing of the Observatory. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys and all the staff which helped to put on the event, along with all the external volunteers who helped make the event such a success.

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