The objective of the event is described as follow:
To make an introduction on Software Engineering courses.
To emphasize on the benefits of being involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
To promote STEM education to lower secondary students.
To promote Scratch as a block-based visual programming language.
To help in conducting the Programme Hour of Code (HOC) in SMK Bako, Kuching.
The event is conducted on 30 October 2019 at the local secondary school of SMK Bako, Kuching. The time for the event to be conducted is from 8:00am to 12:00am.
As the team arrived at SMK Bako, the breakfast is served to the team while waiting for the venue setup at the computer laboratory of the school. The teacher-in-charge also joined the team for breakfast and a small sharing session is taken place among the educators from the tertiary institution and the secondary school.
At 8:00am, the team was directed to the computer lab and the motivation talk by Dr. Chua Hong Siang from Swinburne University of Technology (Sarawak Campus) begins. The motivation talk involved the brief introduction of Engineering courses offered at the tertiary institutions and its importance to the society. An introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is also made to the lower secondary students. The IET Faraday Workshop is introduces at the same time with the importance to have STEM education at the secondary schools.
The opening ceremony is conducted by the teacher-in-charge of SMK Bako and the team was invited as well. The opening ceremony of Programme Hour of Code (HOC) at SMK Bako was carried out successfully. A short break is given to the students participated and it takes 30 minutes, at the same time the team is preparing for the Scratch workshop to be conducted.
At 10:30am, the introduction to Scratch workshop is conducted by Chua Wei Long. The introduction to Scratch as a block-based visual programming language is introduced. Several blocks to be applied during the creation of programs are introduced to the lower secondary students. Besides, a series of basic application of the command blocks are taught to the participants, such as animation creation and logarithm behind the animations. At the end of the workshop, the participants are given 20 minutes to familiarize themselves about the Scratch software before the Programme HOC is being conducted.
The Programme Hour of Code (HOC) is conducted right after the introduction to Scratch workshop. The team is instructed to guide or lend a hand to the participants whenever there is a request. As the programme comes to an end, a group photo is taken before the team are leaving.
Feedback from participants
The overall feedback from the students shows a positive feedback to both the motivation talk and the Introduction to Scratch workshop conducted. The motivation talk by Dr. Chua Hong Siang gives a clear illustration of Engineering courses and also gives a huge impact to the lower secondary students to have more determined choice of subjects as they are going to have their upper secondary studies next year. The Introduction to Scratch workshop illustrates a clear and huge diagram of software programming although none of the proper written programming language is introduced. The students get to understand simple programming structures and algorithms with the aid of Scratch software.
Chua Wei Long