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Eastleigh Tec Hub welcomes young coders as a regional venue for 2015’s national Festival of Code.

YRS Ruby MascotEvery year voluntary organisation Young Rewired State runs the largest annual hack event in the world, and this year Eastleigh’s Tec Hub is one of the regional venues. The ‘Festival of Code’ started life in 2009 as a weekend hack event for 50 young, self-taught coders. Every year since then, the flagship summer event has grown in size and scale. In 2014 over 1,200 young people from the UK, USA, Germany and Kosovo came together for a full week of digital making fun.

During the Festival the community of young people gather from Monday 27th July to Thursday 30th at volunteer local centres to build stuff together, combining their amazing technical skills with the power of open data to solve real world problems and improve their communities. They then come together for the final Festival weekend where they showcase what they have built to parents, mentors, press, industry and expert judges in between taking part in fun activities and inspirational sessions with leading technologists.

Over the past six years, Young Rewired State have worked with over 2,000 young people in the UK, with lots of their alumni returning to mentor the next generation of young coders. The community of young people say that participating in the Festival is not just a fun experience, it’s also one which grows their confidence, develops their skills, and generates lots of opportunities that can improve and inform their future. By working together and sharing knowledge, YRSers validate their digital skills, learn about teamwork and communication, and make lifelong friends.

Between the first event in 2009 and 2014, Young Rewired State have worked endlessly to ensure that there is a more diverse community of young people interested and engaged in computer science, and from a 2% female attendance in 2009, at the latest Festival this had risen to 30%. Young Rewired State are committed to continue to work towards gender parity, and outreach to harder-to-reach groups.

This year the Festival of Code will culminate over the weekend of 1st and 2nd August in Birmingham and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! As well as competition heats, Festival Saturday is being transformed into a Makerspace extravaganza, featuring sponsored Challenges. After the huge success of Young Rewired State Kosovo, this year the Festival is going continental, opening to European centres to take part remotely, twinning them with centres in the UK to help the Festival reach and inspire even more people.

So, whether you’re a young digital maker, a prospective mentor or an intrigued volunteer, you’d be mad to miss out on the Festival of Code 2015!

The Festival of Code is open to young people aged 18 and under.

For further information please contact Elbrie De Kock elbrie.dekock@yrs.io or to book your place go to the Festival home page.

Digital Media Network: Internet of Things

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 6pm registration for a 6.30pm start.

The Internet of Things (IoT), where a network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity, becomes part of a bigger service exchanging data with operators and other connected devices, is no doubt revolutionising our lives, for better or worse. Embraced by health care providers, it is shaping entire cities, becoming the future of fashion, nullifying traffic jams, underlying the UK’s Digital Future according to George Osborn’s 2015 Budget, and even offering the potential for us to connect our bodies to the Net.

The Digital Media Network will share experiences from practitioners working with and embracing IoT and the changes it is bringing.

Tom Metcalfe, designer and a co-founder of Rain Cloud, will focus on creating experiences in IoT. He will present an alternative to the IoT vision that has focussed on increased efficiency, performance and productivity. Tom will show a number of existing examples from academic research to products that are mass-manufactured. Through these he’ll discuss the importance of considering and focussing on the experiences individuals have with the product, from a very early stage in the design process.

With an increasing number of internet connected devices infiltrating our daily lives, Hacksoton’s Adam Burt will look at how IoT is opening up new possibilities for experimentation, and how a playful approach to these new technologies could shape the world around us in the near future. Using real world examples of people starting to make this leap themselves with DIY ideas and pet projects that are bridging some of the gaps in the IoT space, Adam wants to convey these opportunities, leaving people wanting to go home and try their own idea.

Nick Thorne from Winchester Innovation Ltd will talk about recent projects utilising the Bluetooth Low Energy standard to allow clothing and other items to respond to notifications received on smartphones, or to find lost objects around the house. Nick will discuss the advantages and ‘bear traps’ of BLE, ranging from the versatility arising from the extreme low power and relatively good range, through to the intricacies of iOS and Android BLE tooling and diagnostics. Nick will also delve into the wonders of the Apple Notification Centre Service (the relatively new interface for BLE devices into your smartphone’s notifications). Expect to learn about the hardware, mobile app programming and what Winchester Innovation Ltd have been busy with in the Internet of Things.

Places are free but booking is essential. To Book your place please see our Eventbrite page.

Our speakers:

Tom Metcalfe is a design consultant and Co-Founder of Rain Cloud. His work is focused on building quality experiences and products within the Internet of Things. Tom recently produced REACT Objects Sandbox – Supporting six multi-disciplinary collaborations of academics and creatives to look at potential experiences in the Internet of Things. The six working prototypes were showcased at Christie’s and the V&A during London Design Festival. Tom delivers workshops and talks internationally on both design and emerging technologies.

Adam Burt is a Web Developer with Etch and one of the organisers of Hacksoton, a hackday for everyone where coders of all levels and skills can share knowledge, collaborate on cool stuff and make friends. Adam crafts HTML, CSS and JavaScript, bringing the ideas of the talented Etch designers to life by day, and fights crime (against web development) by night.

Founded by Brian Griffiths and Nick Thorne BEng (Hons.) CEng MSc, whose combined engineering experience spans many decades, Winchester Innovation Ltd’s PRM™ product for patient relationship management serves the healthcare industry, in particular secondary care NHS trusts. PRM is rapidly becoming the number one choice for UK hospital apps. Winchester Innovation provide a range of data visualization & logging solutions to industrial clients with applications in transport, civil engineering, marine and the energy sectors.