WaveMaker project to boost Stoke-on-Trent digital skills

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Children and young people are being encouraged to create, design and explore by building apps and coding at a special event this weekend.

The WaveMaker Test the Waters event at the Mitchell Arts Centre is set to boost creativity and make young people in Stoke-on-Trent the most tech-savvy in the UK.

The weekend is a trial run for a new open source technology space in the city centre.

The space, opening later this year, will offer 3D printers, laser cutters and other state-of-the-art technology.

Test the Waters is led by internet and digital technology company, bITjAM, Staffordshire University, youth-centred organisation Unity and tech enthusiasts Potteries Hackspace to make technology fun for younger people.

The project, funded by Comic Relief and the Nominet Trust, comes just two months after Staffordshire University announced a £12m overhaul to its computing and games design facilities, in an attempt to make digital technology and coding attractive to more people.

Ben McManus, coordinator of the WaveMaker project and managing director of bITjAM, said: “WaveMaker was born out of Comic Relief’s desire to leave a lasting legacy in the area.

“Our idea was to set up a space where creative people can meet up and share knowledge – a space where the makers, coders and creatives of Stoke-on-Trent can turn their brilliant ideas into reality.”

Activities will be held for local schools from 10am-4pm on Friday, February 6, including science and engineering workshops with other science presentations like Keele University inflatable planetarium.

The first WaveMaker session will see young people design an ideal Stoke-on-Trent using the popular game, Minecraft.

The workshops are all available from 10am on Saturday, February 7, for people to learn about Minecraft worlds, robotics and virtual reality.

For more information on the available workshops, click here

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