Computing students and Public Engagement Skills

Ed Drewitt, know for his involvement with the Bristol Dinosaur Project, University of Bristol ( and +Nicholas Garrick  from Director of Lighting up Learning Limited ( ) facilitated a lively, interactive and very fun CPD session on Public Engagement with Primary schools at the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK on 8th February 2013.

The audience was made of staff and undergraduate students. The majority (around 90%) of the undergraduate students  were on the BSc and HND Computing programmes coming from all three years. Some who are already doing outreach work; some who have ideas that they would liked to do; others who were interested in finding out more about. Feedback from talking to participants was very positive; with a great number of student-lead potential activities being discussed in groups.

What is especially pleasing about Computing students taken an active interest in outreach activities is this coincides with Computing added to the National Curriculum for England and Wales for Key Stage 1 to 3. The draft Curriculum (see on page 152-156 has Computer Science at its core with less ICT. This welcome change, matches directly with the nature of outreach activities the students were proposing.

Last year The University of Northampton (TUoN) took part in Ed and Nick's Enhancing STEM Academics' Public Engagement Skills adopter programme sponsored by HE STEM South West Spoke to take concepts from their earlier work and for these to be applied in the outreach activity of other Universities.  This involvement lead to Ed and Nick offering this half day session to the The University of Northampton and other Universities involved with the earlier adopter programme.  Details of TUoN's outputs from the adopter programme and links to activities can be found at

BSc and HND Computing Provision (click on the links below for more details of the courses)