Author Archives: Brenda

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2017 WA Video Game Challenge

2017 WA Video Game Challenge

Category : Australia , Future , Game Design

Welcome to the 2nd WA Video Game Challenge.  Last year was an Epic success with winners walking away with some awesome software over $200.00.  Some winners went on to make more games and sell them.

This year’s WA Video Game Challenge is supported by Lolly Potz, SAE Creative Institute and Guildford Grammar School.  There will be prizes, certificates and door prizes for those that attend.

So let’s go over a couple of questions we are asked frequently.

Who can enter this event?
Anyone age 6 to 17.  This means that if you are turning 6 in 2017 or are 17 in 2017 – you qualify.

How do I enter?
All entrants must register to compete in this event.  There is a small fee which covers a range of awesome things for entrants.  REGISTER HERE

Do I need to be present on the day?
No. While we have created an social environment where like minded kids can see what others have created, you do not have to be present at the event.  However, you will need to ensure we receive a copy of your game, either a link or a download from dropbox, so that we can display it on the computer for the judges.  If you choose a link, we must either be able to access it or download it for free!

What is the Theme for this Year?
In alignment with the Stem Video Games Australia, this years theme is called REACTION.  Read more about REACTION?

Will our game qualify for the Australia Stem Video  Game Challenge?
Teachers and Parents can register kids in the Stem Video Game Challenge.  TechCamps4Kids has registered 4 spots (1 to 4 participants) for kids would like to enter their game into the Australian Event.
If parents would like to register their child through TechCamps4Kids, you need to contact the headoffice (admin@techcamps4kids.com.au) to obtain a Registration Code.
TechCamps4Kids have limited spots for this event.

Can I apply for a Pay It Forward Ticket?
Yes.

Our Pay it Forward opportunity is open to businesses, parents or individuals that would like to purchase a ticket on behalf of someone else.  This does not have to be someone they nominate, however in the payment process please let us know this is a Pay It Forward Ticket.  If you choose, we will add your business or other details, on our Facebook Page and our Video Game Page as a supporter. We will also link your details to your website (which must comply with our age appropriate content for young viewers)

Otherwise, we will list the Pay It Forward Tickets as Anonymous for those who prefer to gift a ticket without wanting to be recognized for it.

Pay It Forward Tickets will be listed on our page which kids can apply for. Some Pay It Forward Tickets may have conditions.    Please visit our Pay It Forward Page for more details.

 


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Short 1 Min Film Competition for School Kids

Category : Australia , Camps , YouTube

Here is a perfect opportunity to use your skills learnt in our Video Editing YouTube Camp to create a 1 minute short film.

The competition closes on 01 July 2017 and is open to school kids.  With only one week to make your movie we know it does not leave much time HOWEVER …you completed a video in a day so technically that is PLENTY of time!  YOU CAN do this! And as we say in our camps….you can’t win it if you are not in it!

Theme is:  TOMORROW

If you want to know more and enter —–> READ MORE


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Introducing ToonGirl

ToonGirl is one of our Peer Lead Coaches.  From the moment she held a pen, she wanted to draw and over the years has had the amazing opportunity to work with well known cartoonist and animators to improve her skills.

Her goal is to work with Disney/Pixar and has competed in a number of animation competitions as one of the youngest competitors in the field.  Further, as a freelance agent, she has been contracted by a couple of companies to create original work.

These holidays, ToonGirl’s goal is to share some skills she learnt with hopes to inspires more kids to continue to draw and to create amazing art work.

One of ToonGirl’s original entries to the Disney Animation Competition

To join a FUTURE DISNEY ANIMATOR these holidays….BOOK HERE


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Does My Child Need a Fidget Spinner?

Let’s face it – Fidget Spinners have hit the market with a tornado effect that has left parents dizzy from the demands of their child.

Ironically, Fidget Spinners are the ‘spin off’ from the Fidget Cube.  The latter was a solution offered to people (adults and kids) to help with ‘fidgeting’ which is a tactile response to an stimulated environment.

Tactile Learners require touch in order to deal with an environment – normally associated with learning!  Tactile Learners are often confused with Kinesthetic Learners, with the latter needing physical movement such as skipping, running or jumping to help them concentrate on difficult learning tasks.

Because of the confusion between the two, parents have been caught in the middle of a marketing & sales wind storm.  And because fidget spinners/cubes are under $20.00 the investment to purchase one versus a ‘demanding’ child is well worth the peace at home!

Does My Child Need a Fidget Spinner!

The answer is quite simple.  Unless you have completed an authorized Learning Style Analysis, it is challenging to determine if you child is a Tactile Learner.  However, little tell-tale signs might help you decide.

One give-away to a Tactile Learner is the clicking of a pen when given a challenging task.  At TechCamps4Kids camps we often can pick out tactile learners when given a challenge task during a tech workshop.  And as a result, we are equipped with some tools to help them through this learning process.  These learning tools do not include a Fidget Spinner, as we often find tools that make a noise are disruptive in a classroom environment.  And, because we want all kids to enjoy the program, we make sure we keep the class environment inclusive not exclusive!

How do I find out if my child is a Tactile Learner?

TechCamps4Kids offers Learning Style Analysis for Kids/Parents.  The analysis comes with 3 reports that help children understand their learning style (empowerment), helps parents understand their child’s learning style (knowledge) and helps the teacher understand your child’s learning style (solutions)

Are Fidget Spinners a Bad Thing?

This depends on a number of things!  Was the Fidget Spinner purchased to help in a learning environment or was it bought because everyone else has one?  The latter is not a problem, however it would be classed more as a toy than as a learning tool.

Secondly, one needs to question where you bought the Fidget Spinner?  Currently, there are a number of Fidget Spinners that have been found to have high amounts of Lead and Mercury (Read More Here)

And lastly, is the Fidget Spinner disturbing other children’s learning experience? Many schools are stepping in and banning Fidget Spinners from the classroom because it is disrupting the class.  As a result, everyone’s learning experience is being exploited which means your child may be the one who is missing out on some amazing new skills they can use now and in the future! (Read More Here)

 


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Cyber Security Like Iron Man

When it comes to security, Iron Man heads the pack.  After all, it is his duty to protect his home and his country!

While most households are not out to save the world, there is one environment that is of the utmost importance and that is HOME! However, like many marvel comics there is always a villain that seems to weasel their way into a happy domain.

Google understands parents fears about cyber safety.  As a result, they have created a safe search setting.  This means that you can set you google search on your computer to safe search and reduce the risk of your child seeing inappropriate images.  Click on the link below to take you to the Google Safe Search Page!

GOOGLE SEARCH


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TechCamps4Kids Wins Judges Award

Category : Awards

TechCamps4Kids won the Stirling Small Business Judges Award for 2017.  This award is given to businesses that are driven by passion, determination and their contribution to the community!

Co-Founder Brenda van Rensburg receiving the Judges Awards from Charlie Gunningham

Everyone at TechCamps4Kids are ‘over the moon’.  Many have given many hours to help build TechCamps4Kids to a position where we offer camps that are more than just coding.

Thanks to all our supporters, volunteers and staff members.  Our win is shared with all of you!


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Understanding Code

Category : Coding , Computers

TechCamps4Kids embarked on a mission this term to show kids the wonders of coding and at the same time teach kids to understand code.

The first 3 weeks had kids play with BASIC, Python and Scratch.

I love Python.  I can create some many cool things with it. (R – Year 2)

The best part is witnessing kids transform in confidence and take on coding challenges with skills learnt during each class.

Kids are introduced to different coding languages throughout the term.  Apart from creating amazing things with code, kids are 100% empowered through an Epic coding adventure!

Coming to this camp is the best part of my week! (J – Year 5)

If you missed out on this term’s coding adventure then make sure you are on our mailing list to be kept in the ‘loop’ of our next camps.  Newsletter Subscription form is to the right of this article!


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TechCamps4Kids at the Ellenbrook Community Expo

Kids and Parents had the amazing opportunity to see what kids create in our camps.

Apart from watching some videos created for Mother’s Day, kids had the opportunity to play games other kids made while parents walked through the Ellenbrook Community Expo.

Co-Founder, Brenda van Rensburg, having a little fun prior to big event!

techcamps4kids

Kids Play Zone!

Thanks to Gracelife Women for arranging an spectacular event.  Also a special thanks to everyone that visited the Expo on the day!  And lastly, thanks to all other stalls that volunteered their time to make this event a success.


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Protect your Child Online

Category : Australia , Coding , Cyber Safety

At TechCamps4Kids, we are constantly monitoring online behavior to ensure kids experience a safe and positive experience online.  Cyber Safety is one of our main topics we cover in a number of our camps where we teach kids about safety online and how to report any suspicious behavior.

Lately, however, we have found a number of search parameters which can not be filtered for young eyes.  The results concerned me as a parent and as a leading educator within the technology environment.

As a result, we have been working with Forensic Cyber specialists and Parental Software companies to ensure parents have opportunities to equip themselves with skills and tools to help their kids have a safe experience online.

One of the companies we work closely with, and one that has already received a nod of approval with a number of parents that have invested in their products, is QUSTODIO.

I downloaded this app to monitor my kids online experience.  Qustodio has excellent customer service and I can monitor my child’s online experience from any of my devices!  (Amanda – City Beach)

Currently, this company is offering all parents a special discount so that they can monitor, block and turn off computers from one click on their phone.  To find out more, please visit their website QUSTODIO. For only $49.00 for the year, this is an investment that cannot be overlooked.


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The antikythera mechanism

A 2000 Year Old Computer

Two thousands years ago, the Greeks had an analogue computer called the Antikythera Mechanism.  It was used to predict the eclipses, work positions of the 5 planets you can see by the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and used to calculate the 4 year cycle of the Olympic Games.

For decades, the Antikythera Mechanism lay silently in the ocean off Greece. Divers retrieved it in 1901 from the Antikythera shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, which in antiquity was known as Aigila.

The Anitikythera is the same size of a clock that would stand on a mantle piece.  It has a number of gears that worked together to show celestial time.

Parts of the Anitikythera can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum, in Athen which also has some reconstructions to give an impression of how the ‘computer’ worked 2000 years ago.


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