Learning Through Computing


The aim of the Creative Computer Lab is to engage young people in the activity of creating computer programs. Life Skills of creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and goal setting are cultivated through computing. Animation and gaming projects are taught in a fun and entertaining atmosphere which will reveal the computer's potential as an instrument of creativity.

Why Teach With Scratch?


Scratch lowers the barrier of difficulty in computer programming so that anyone can participate. The hurdles of software compatibility, operating system specific considerations, syntax, compilation, typing, etc, etc, have all been removed. There are no "computer issues" when working with Scratch. This allows the students to focus directly on creating their projects. The skills developed while creating Scratch projects are "keepers". They will not go obsolete. These skills will be valid in any advanced computer environment. In fact, they are transferable to other creative endeavors such as art, science, and engineering.

Calling All Kids

With the barriers removed, all kids can now have a go at computer programming. This is extremely important for kids who don't know whether or not they would like computer programming. Now they can have a pleasant introductory experience and find their comfort level. Not all kids will thrive on coding. However, many of these kids will find an interest in multimedia, graphics and game/story design.

Low Floor - High Ceiling

This phrase means that even though Scratch is easy to start with, it still has the potential to create quite sophisticated programs. Scratch has most of the features found in advanced languages - they just are easier to use.

After Scratch

Once the students get comfortable with Scratch, they are ready to tackle the harder languages. The environment will become more complex, but the concepts will still remain the same.

Physical Computing

Connecting Scratch to the Outside World


Mantis Open Stem Sensors


Connect real time sensor data to Scratch. Plot data, write programs to respond to real world events.

ScratchME


Launch Scratchx, software drivers, and load extensions with one click. Works offline!

Steve Holmes


Steve Holmes strives to combine his scientific background with ordinary everyday concepts to create fun lessons which teach the fundamentals of computing, mathematics, science, and problem solving.

Steve started the Creative Computer Lab in 2009 to teach kids about the computing machines and their methods which are taking a pominent place in today's world.

He focuses on helping beginners take their first steps, therefore, uses the Scratch programming environmemnt. He has developed his own curriculum for beginners using Scratch.

Steve's students are regular finalists at the Irish National Scratch competition, having won top awards in 2011, 2012, 2015.

For older students Steve has developed an introductory web design course in which he instills good coding habits. This is in preparation to succeed at building phone/tablet apps in more complex coding environments.

Always looking for new ways to teach, Steve has developed the following hardware extensions which connect devices to Scratch:

  • Mantis Open STEM Sensors
  • Wii Balance Board and Wiimote
  • MakeSense Analog Sensor Board

Steve believes the learning process in computer programming also develops the following life skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Grit and perserverence
  • Project ownership

These skills are equally as important as technical knowledge. Not all kids will become computer programmers, however, they will most likely use these skills in many of their endeavors.

Quick Facts About Steve:

  • Has been teaching young people to code for 7 years.
  • Has 25 years industrial software development experience.
  • Teaches Maths and IT Skills at National Univerisity Ireland Galway.
  • Is a Co-founder of CoderDojo Galway.
  • Is a regular attendee and presenter at the yearly Scratch conferences.
  • Is running a web design company (he built this site).

Let's Get In Touch!


Give me a call or send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

Creative Computer Lab

Educating Gort Ireland Europe The World

Bridge St. Gort Co. Galway Ireland

Contact: Steve Holmes