Code Club’s Big Day Out!


Westminster trip on PhotoPeach

We went to Westminster today to receive our Appathon certificates. It was so exciting (adults maybe more then children at first?!). Our App is Dig-i-Spy, which is a digital version of the i-spy game. Players can choose categories eg London Landmarks, and they take a photo of one, say Nelson’s Column, with their phone camera. Using object and image recognition software, the App will give the user lots of educational information about the photo and will also allocate a score based on the rarity of the object captured. This score will rank on a worldwide scoreboard. Packs might include various city’s landmarks, nature etc, and can be translated into any language. We would use a Fremium model and give 2 packs for free, with in-app purchasing option for extra packs.

Here’s what happened at Westminster:

  • We were met by Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon. He was lovely!
  • He gave us a tour of Westminster including Big Ben from inside Westminster, Westminster Hall, the Central Lobby and the Members’ Terrace (this last was very special as not many people get out there!). The House of Commons was in session so we didn’t get to go in.
  • Each child also has a personal congratulations letter from Stephen. That was so kind of his office to organise. The children were particularly thrilled by the embossed portcullis on the back of the envelope flap!
  • Stephen delivered us to the Speaker’s Rooms just as Big Ben struck 5 o’clock, which was fabulous timing!
  • The Speaker’s Rooms are incredibly grand and the children had free run of the place, including (unusual) access to the Queen’s bedroom (I believe the bed was made for Henry VIII and the monarch sleeps there the night before the State Opening of Parliament)
  • They had canapés, sandwiches and drinks served by waiters, who ensured they had plenty of food.
  • The Speaker made a speech and prizes were awarded and photos taken. These will be made available to school at a later date.
  • The children met a few very important people, the most important of whom was the Chief Technology Officer of the US, Megan J Smith, who reports directly to President Obama! She gave our children her business card and asked them to email her.  I was particularly impressed by the way some of our children introduced themselves to her and told her, very eloquently, all about our App. Meeting Megan Jones

Prizes – we won loads!

  • 30 Raspberry Pis
  • 30 sets of 4 Python programming books
  • Each child will get a “DIY Technology Kit” in due course. These are cool!
  • They won a Codecademy workshop for a whole class
  • They won a tour of the BBC HQ at the W1 complex (allegedly this is amazing)
  • They each received a certificate

In addition, William & Alex (for their prototype development) have been invited to the DIY Technology HQ.

Such a great day and I’m so proud of you all, and grateful to Tim & Jon for 2 amazing years of Code club volunteering. Couldn’t do it without you guys! 🙂

I’ll add some more photos next week. Let me know if you enjoyed it below!

Well done to the winning prototype development from Cambridge University, you can see it here. Its based on an idea from Inverclyde High School. They are all off to Silicon Valley!!


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About nic schofield

I’m a primary schools computing technician, interested in teaching children, their teachers & their parents, about IoT, computational thinking and implications of technology on their lives and encouraging children to think critically about technology to influence change in the world.

13 thoughts on “Code Club’s Big Day Out!

    • sshhh, nor would I! I learned more in that session than I have in a long, long time, and it occurred to me, that if you break down such a big thing as facial recognition, and start to solve it, then you can solve any world problem. Let’s start doing just that?


  1. Thank you for taking your time to write such a lovely comment! It was great experience and I definitely hope Mr Obama does contact us.


  2. Thankyou so much for commenting on our blog we absolutely love it when we hear what other people think about our projects!


  3. A big well done on winning the competition. I hope you all enjoyed your visit to the House of Commons and enjoy your well deserved prizes. Congratulations! 🙂


    Yvette Stanley
    Director of Children, Schools and Familes
    London Borough of Merton


    • @Yvette Stanley: Thank you! We really enjoyed our trip, and it was particularly inspiring to see how many women are currently in top jobs in technology.


  4. A Big well done to you all for winning the competition. Your day out at Westminister sounds like a wonderful adventure. I look forward to hearing about your visits to the BBC HQ and DIY Technology Centre. Do you think you might get an invite to visit Mr Obama at the White House?

    Jan Martin Head of Education Merton Council.


    • Thank you! We really appreciate you reading and commenting on our blog. We had a fabulous time – the children deserved it all, they worked so hard.


  5. Big Kid from the back of the class feels left out, but a very big congratulations to everyone !!! Sounds amazing


  6. Thank you Merton Park Code Club: by the age of 11 I had not been to the House of Commons, nor did I go for the next 50 years, but I did go last night!Thank you again, for the visit and the excitement of the competition and the ceremony.


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