In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In the Know – Tools for Tech Success!

In The Know What's new?

This week’s activities offer some fun ways for your child to delve into the world of technology. With young people being the most active users of information and communication technology, having the right skills and being able to utilise technology is increasingly important. These activities offer ideal opportunities for your child to gain and improve their tech skills.

Calling all girls into coding!
Girls Into Coding is hosting this exciting event for girls aged 11 – 14 to inspire and encourage girls to get involved in tech. This free event will take place on Sunday 28th April at the Microsoft Reactor in London. It will include 3 interactive workshops that your girls can choose from such as building their own Robot or Micro Pet! Find out more here.

Tech with a twist!
Taking place at Somerset House on Sunday 28th April, this workshop will explore the application of coding to the natural world. This participatory workshop, run by artists Kasia Molga and Scanner, will allow young people to discover how digital technology connects to the soil and learn about natural living technology such as earthworms. This tech event with a twist is free and ideal for young people aged 14-18. Find out more here.

Khan Academy!
Khan Academy is an interactive online tool that teaches coding fundamentals using JavaScript and ProcessingJS. Your child can learn how to create animation, games, and drawings through programming. They’ll also learn how to make web pages using HTML and CSS. This website with its simple to use interface is ideal for 14 – 18 year olds. Go here to get started on your coding journey.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Create your world with STEM!

In the Know – Create your world with STEM!

In The Know What's new?

The creative side of science, technology, engineering and maths is a fascinating topic for young people to explore. This week’s activities will allow them to interact with the creative side of STEM while also learning useful skills that they apply to their own creations. Don’t miss out!

Engineer your future
This week the Science Museum wants your child to be inspired to imagine and create their own world with their interactive engineering exhibitions. This event is aimed at developing your child’s problem-solving skills and giving your 11-15-year-olds an insight into what engineers do. This free interactive gallery will also let your child design, build and create! Find out more here.

Making Mang
This weekend’s digital workshop taking place at the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre is an ideal treat for young people that love comics and animation. Artistic young people will be able to improve their animation and digital skills and create their own manga comic at this free event. Find out more about this event ideal for 11-14-year-olds and book your child’s place here.

Virtual Playground
The Virtual Playground exhibition will be hosting an exciting day for young coders with their Kids Coding workshop. The workshop will include teaching your child how to make their own video game and learning the fundamentals of video game coding. This free event is ideal for young coders aged between 11-13 years old. It will be taking place at the Anise Gallery on Saturday 13th April – register your interest and find out more here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

Are young people growing addicted to technology?

What's new?

We live in the information age. Every answer you need is a click away and most children know this by age five. In fact, most children have handled a smartphone by the age of two. It is often thought of as cute, as an indication of how smart they are that they can navigate technology so young; but is this leading to a generation of technology addicts?

Oxford University reported in 2017 that the perception that kids are becoming addicted to technology is untrue. Their study found that despite increased screen time, children are spending their other time doing a variety of other activities. Whether this is true for all children though is unknown.

Education Technology reported on a national pupil survey conducted by education technology association, Naace and Catshills Learning Partnerships, which revealed that 60% of four to five-year-olds are using tablets to get online. They may be using it to access their favourite shows online, but, that is a large percentage of young kids with access to unfiltered content. However, with the current trend of using technology in schools every day in the form of interactive boards, learning videos and online teaching; how do we gauge the effects technology has on our children?

Listed below are the potentially harmful effects of children being addicted to technology and some practical points to help parents avoid possible addiction.

Lack of social interaction
Being constantly exposed to technology can lead to children losing their social skills. They are so used to interacting via gaming platforms or social media that speaking face to face becomes an unusual situation. Younger kids may even seek technology as an escape from physically playing outdoors with other kids. Later on in life, this may lead to them having difficulty with communicating well with others. This will increase the risk of problems at school, in university and ultimately hinder their progress into the working world where interaction is often key.

Decreased emotional intelligence
With a decrease in physical interaction from excessive technology use, children’s ability to navigate emotions is also affected. They do not understand how to gauge emotional changes in others and often lack empathy. This is largely due to the fact that they are often so engrossed in a device that they fail to observe changes in people and their surroundings.

Impatience
Constantly having the power of the internet at your fingertips often results in children not understanding the concept of patience. As they are used to everything being a Google search away, they cannot grasp the concept of research and summarising. Also, parents of toddlers often struggle with their kids not being able to watch their cartoons on television due to advertisement breaks.  A smart TV can stream endless videos on YouTube. This leads to an “I can’t wait, I want it now” mentality.

Online personas and insecurity
According to Public Health England, extended screen use correlates to emotional distress, anxiety and depression in young people. Teens in particular, struggle with insecurity due to social media. At this age, they are extremely sensitive to what others think of them. With it being so easy for others to comment on a picture or status, teenagers also suffer greatly when it comes to cyber-bullying. On the flip side to insecurity, social media also sometimes leads to vanity and the upkeep of an online persona. The pressures of this can endanger a sensitive young person’s mental health.

Security risk
Young people are very impressionable and naïve. It is how they are meant to be before life experiences shape their character and opinions. However, with the introduction of technology, they can be easily manipulated by negative peer groups or online predators unknowingly. Privacy of accounts and devices are often ignored. In fact, most children can easily be traced via their social accounts or a mobile device when the location is enabled.

Decreased physical activity and obesity
With more time being spent on technology, there is less time being spent on physical and outdoor activities. Young people would often prefer spending time indoors on their phones or playing video games than going outside or playing sport. This leads to an increased risk of childhood obesity, even more so when paired with the high-sugar diet most young people have these days.

So, what can you as a parent do to avoid technology addiction if you notice any of these behaviours in your child?

“Become one with the matrix”
Make sure that you know how to handle the devices you have and your child is exposed to and that you know how your child is utilising technology. If you keep up with technology, it will be easier to navigate your child’s experience of it. Devices used at school are often restricted with regards to which sites are accessible so you can do the same at home.

“Moderation is key”
Technology cannot be avoided, so instead of fearing technology, introduce your child to it in small quantities. Do not allow them to become dependent on it, but rather encourage its usage to build skills. It can also be used for fun, but only for an allocated time period.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”
As parents, you need to teach your child from an early age to use technology responsibly. From being responsible with how much time is spent using technology to how to be safe online, it is important for you to discuss the best methods for managing technology use with your child. It is also important for you to be the example in your household and to also manage your own time spent on technology so that they can see how technology is used responsibly.

Technology is not to be feared, it just needs to be understood. The sooner that we realise this and are able to identify the pros and cons involved, the sooner we can use it to the best of our ability. We at GT Scholars promote the responsible use of technology in our tutoring sessions. In addition to this, we also teach young people these pros and cons so that they are able to identify and rectify their technology usage if needed. Contact us to find out more.

In the Know – The Future is Now!

In the Know – The Future is Now!

In The Know What's new? Young people

Have you noticed how technology has become a part of our everyday lives? What was once thought to be futuristic is now a possibility. This opens a whole new door of exciting opportunities that young people can explore. This week we have three events which give young people a chance to explore technology at its best!

V&A Create! Video game Design
Especially for the gamers, the V&A brings you a workshop for young people aged 13-15 interested in video game design. Young people will get to work with the V&A’s Videogames Artist in Residency, Matteo Menapace, and create and capture new ideas for a videogame. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to gain insight into all the aspects of game design. To find out more, click here.

Rolls Royce and The Institute of Imagination
Bookings are now open for Lab Life: Pioneering the Power That Matters. This family event will give everyone the opportunity to explore invention, prototyping, electrification and power. The day aims to inspire new generations about the challenges and possibilities presented by our future energy demands, as well as introduce the role that electrification can play. To book tickets, click here.

3D Printing Workshop
S.T.E.A.M POWER is an organisation that facilitates workshops in STEM to children aged 8 to 16. This particular workshop teaches young people how to use the computer program which controls the 3D printer. Young people will be able to design and print their very own unique pen with the help of skilled volunteers. Best of all, they get to keep their specially designed pen! To find out more, click here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Exciting STEM opportunities!

In the Know – Exciting STEM opportunities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics offer fascinating learning experiences and rewarding career opportunities. In fact, STEM jobs are expected to grow at double the rate of other occupations creating 142,000 jobs between now and 2023, according to a report published by the Social Market Foundation and EDF. Here are three exciting opportunities for young people interested in learning more about STEM.

Routes into STEM
These innovative 3-day non-residential courses are focused on helping young people in Years 9 and 10 know more about the rewarding and challenging careers Maths and Science subjects can lead to. You will also get to engage with a college, a university and a company to compare routes into STEM careers and visualise your dream career and how to make it happen. Applications are currently open and there are bursaries available. Find out more here.

She Does Biomaths Competition
To celebrate the Year of Mathematical Biology, the University of Cambridge Newnham College and Lucy Cavendish College are inviting female GCSE students and to explore some of the intriguing connections between mathematics and the biological sciences. The competition is open to girls studying at a standard age UK state school who are starting Year 11 or Year 12 in September 2018, and there are two projects that they can choose from. Applications are open now and you can find out more here.

Inspire Courses
The Engineering Development Trust offers courses for young people in Year 11 who have a passion for STEM to be inspired at a leading UK university. During the course, you will be introduced to engineering or science through project work and workshops to give you a flavour of what to expect at university, and you will get to meet engineers, scientists, researchers and professionals. There are non-residential and residential options available, with bursaries also available. Applications are still open and you can find out more here.

GT Scholars offers after-school programmes that focus on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Engineering and tech events this month!

In the Know – Engineering and tech events this month!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Several years ago, most promising graduates from top universities used to flock to rewarding careers in finance. Today, on the other hand, young people are increasingly pursuing jobs in tech and engineering because these careers, dominated by tech companies like Google and Apple, are more innovative in nature, give employees a deeper sense of motivation and offer wider flexibility. Here are three upcoming events for young people interested in these fields.

Coolest Projects UK
Coolest Projects is a world-leading annual showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. At this free event, young people can explore the infinite possibilities of interacting with digital technology, try out amazing software and augmented reality experiences, learn about using programming to help people all over the globe, and much more. The event will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 28th April 2018. Find out more here.

The Bright Ideas Challenge
Students aged 11 to 14 can enter The Bright Ideas Challenge by Shell which invites young people to use their creativity, problem-solving, teamwork and STEM skills to devise innovative solutions that could power healthy and clean cities of the future. Students will need to talk to their science teacher about entering the competition and the deadline is on Friday 27th April 2018 at 5pm. There are great prizes available including cash prizes for students and schools, access to workshops, and a funded VIP experience at the Make the Future Live event in London. Find out more on how to enter here.

To Mars and Beyond: Engineering Our Future in Space
Organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering, this event offers students interested in engineering and space exploration to hear from well-established professionals about the growing space industry, the latest technologies including the ExoMars Rover and satellite engineering projects, and future opportunities as space becomes more commercial. The event is free for students and £10 for adults and is taking place on the 23rd of April 2018 from 6pm to 8.30pm. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

With the season of Spring officially beginning, we are sure that your child is eager to put their winter jackets away and step into the warm sunshine (when it does eventually return). While they wait for the sun to show up, here are some upcoming events and fun activities for them to learn more about the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Imperial Festival 2018
The annual Imperial Festival returns on the 28th-29th April at the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London. This free event is open to all ages and offers a showcase of technological marvels to celebrate the Year of Engineering, a hands-on zone for families, and talks from world-leading thinkers and innovators. There will also be a chance to go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research and innovations from Imperial College London through interactive demonstrations, workshops and live experiments. Find out more here.

Young Astronomers Workshop
The Planetarium & Astronomy Centre of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich offers free weekend workshops for young aspiring astronomers. Running from the 1st of April to the 30th of June, these workshops will allow your child to learn about space science and exploration, and also learn more about careers in astronomy from the team of Observatory Explainers. Find out more here.

The Deep Time Walk
The Deep Time Walk is a ground-breaking new project, which enables anyone, anywhere to experience a walking audio history of the living Earth. As you walk across 4.6km of deep time (representing 4.6bn years of Earth’s big history), you witness the formation of our planet and its self-sustaining nature and you experience long geological processes and self-regulating patterns that have produced our current conditions. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. You can also find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Activities for British Science Week 2018!

In the Know – Activities for British Science Week 2018!

In The Know Parents What's new?

British Science Week is an annual ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for young people and adults. Below are some of these activities to get your child excited about science this week.

British Science Week Poster Competition
Creative students can immerse themselves in science by taking part in this poster competition. The theme for this year is exploration and discovery, and there is an array of great prizes up for grabs. Students can enter individually or as a team, with help from their school. In the senior category, entrants must be in Year 7 to 9. There is still time to submit your poster as the closing date for entries is Friday the 6th of April 2018. Find out more here.

App Design Workshop
This free workshop is for young aspirational app designers between the ages of 10 and 14. At this event, they will learn more about designing digital products and software, and by the end of the workshop, they would have produced their first app prototype to present to the group. Additionally, they will also learn about presentation skills and practice. The event is taking place tomorrow, Saturday the 17th of March 2018 from 9.30am to 5pm at the Woolwich Centre Library. Find out more here.

Zoom In: A Closer Look at Science
Part of the Science Week programme at the British Museum, this free event promises to be interesting. You will get a chance to meet the Museum’s scientists and conservators, and take a closer look at work that goes on behind the scenes. You will also discover how science unlocks objects’ secrets, learn about techniques used to preserve objects for future generations, and see the latest technology in action. The event is taking place tomorrow, Saturday the 17th of March 2018 from 10am to 4pm at the Great Court in the British Museum. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

7 Ways to Use Technology for Good

7 Ways to Use Technology for Good

Growth mindset Post 16 What's new? Young people

Parenting can be challenging at times as it is, but parenting in the 21st century certainly brings on board a whole lot of different concerns. Especially when it comes to monitoring children’s exposure to technology. What is the daily limit of allowing your child to watch TV or play computer games?  What precautions can parents take to ensure children’s safety online? At what age are they allowed a smartphone?

Living in the information age where knowledge is freely available at the click of a button, means that children are learning at a much faster pace than before. Years of information and research are now contained within pages of compressed knowledge which has been simplified. There are also images and videos available to easily illustrate complexed concepts allowing children to take in information and knowledge without a long-term commitment.

A study conducted by Info Central in 2016 concluded that the average age for children to own an electronic device with access to the internet is 10, with over 64% of children favouring the tablet as a form of entertainment during car rides or while at home.

Children are very much aware of the World Wide Web and they want in. Trying to deny children access to the internet and technology may not be the best approach and you may end up doing the opposite of what you’ve hoped to achieve.  Parents need to strive towards guiding their children so that they are confident in using the internet and most importantly, be able to identify potential online danger.

The advance in technology is neither a good or bad thing. It is innovative and it simplifies a lot of once complex processes. It is neither helpful nor detrimental in itself, the latter is dependent on how you use it. Technology has revolutionised every sector and industry ranging from the corporate workplace, beauty, art as well as education.

Parents can utilise educational technology to empower their children and contribute to their growth and knowledge. Children should be taught how to use the internet and guiding them through this is the first step to empowering them with the right knowledge.

Here are seven ways to use technology for good:

E-Classrooms
The internet is home to various platforms where children can get the extra help that they need.  From online exercises and courses to online tutoring. E-classrooms often provide a supportive environment for learners and reward systems that encourage a learner’s strengths. Some courses are designed for particular grades and levels of knowledge and may be accompanied by virtual assistants who guide children through exercises and others encourage parent participation which can be a great way to spend quality time together.

Free Podcasts and Videos
Free podcasts and videos are more accessible as most platforms do not require the creation of an account before the information becomes available to the end user. The information obtained from free podcasts and videos may be a little less reliable than official e-classrooms that use curriculum materials pertaining to the country. Be that as it may, platforms like Youtube and scholarly articles shared online still remains a good source of information for young people to learn and improve their knowledge. Since the content of free podcasts and videos have not been certified and approved by scholarly boards, further research on topics might be needed to avoid being misinformed.

Mentoring Websites
One of the biggest advantages of the internet is that it connects people. Mentoring websites connects experienced people who are willing to shed light on industries with parents and their children looking for first-hand information. This can be extremely helpful when children start to consider different career options.  A mentoring website can provide children with answers pertaining to their prospective careers and what they will need to increase their chances of success.

Self Care Websites
The downside of free-flowing information is that it is not censored. Children can sometimes come across content that can negatively affect their confidence and perception of self.  It’s important that children think of the internet as a resource to build good self-confidence and a healthy self-image. There are several websites that offer health tips as well as emotional and psychological care guidelines. Positive affirmation is particularly strong and when coupled with love, support and guidance children receive from home,  these websites can help them distinguish between positive and empowering information and also help them identify and prepare them to deal with negative content.

Technology as an outlet for creativity
Another great way technology can enrich children’s lives is by providing an outlet for the creative and talented. There are great apps available, from online videos to singing apps likes Musical.ly.  Another great app is Soundcloud which allows the user to share audio files, and let’s not forget to mention Apple’s GarageBand! These are all healthy ways for children to stay focused on school and be expressive at the same time.

Calendars
It is beneficial for children to learn how to manage their time appropriately and how to organise their day. Over time they will be able to balance school and their social lives independently. Calendars are now integrated into electronic devices like phones and tablets. Google Calendar allows users to synchronise calendars between family members, friends and even schools. This is a great way for parents to keep a watchful eye on their children’s schedule without seeming too overwhelming and allow children to learn how to manage and organise their time.

Educational Chat Rooms
Apps like Whatsapp are a favourite among preteens and adolescents. Instead of just being used for passing time, they can also be used to network and discuss ideas and help clarify questions for group assignments. This free app is a useful tool because it can be used by children from all financial backgrounds. Parents can create these chat groups for their children within the app and children can exchange images, audio and links to information over the app.

GT Scholars is a non-profit organisation that focuses on social mobility and growth mindset. They also run an afterschool tutoring programme that includes online tutoring, mentoring as well as skill building and enrichment activities for young people aged 11-16. For more information on how to join the GT Scholars programme please feel free send an email to contactus@gtscholars.org

 

In the Know – STEM activities for girls!

In the Know – STEM activities for girls!

In The Know Parents What's new?

In the UK, only 25% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics graduates are female, and only 21% of the STEM workforce is made up of women. This lack of women in STEM means we are lacking the perspectives of half the world’s population! More girls and young women should be encouraged to study and work in fascinating and lucrative STEM fields, and these three engaging programmes aim to do just that.

Step into STEM 2018
Step into STEM is a 7-month mentoring programme funded and supported by O2, BT, Vodafone and Ericsson to give female students in Year 12 or college access to professionals in the Technology Sector. Delivered and managed by Girls Talk London, this programme will provide structured support and guidance on careers, employability skills and future educational plans in STEM. They also host a two-day careers technology summit in July. To apply for a place please complete the application form before Thursday the 1st of March at 5pm.

TeenTech Awards
The TeenTech Awards are for UK students from 11-16 (Years 7 to 11) and 16-19 (Years 12 to 13) working in teams of up to three to look at problems large and small to see if they can find a better way of doing things. They encourage students to develop their own ideas for making life better, simpler, safer or more fun. There are several categories to choose from for each age group. Projects need to be submitted online by 31st March and you can find out more here.

Stemettes Hack Cambridge @ Microsoft Research
Microsoft Research and Stemettes invite girls aged 5 all the way up to 22 to a weekend of creativity and fun with women in STEM. The event will be all about coding and will be the perfect opportunity to explore and play about in the creative, exciting world of technology. The event also promises to provide a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with STEM professionals. The event takes place on Saturday the 17th of March and on Sunday the 18th of March. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.