A lot can be learnt from listening,
but sometimes it’s the taking part that counts.

Thinking Digital Workshops are an optional, free of charge, addition to your pass, giving you the chance to get involved and learn on a more intimate level. These 90 minute workshops take place on Tuesday 1 November from 9.00am. Places are limited and on a first come, first served basis. Register for a workshop when buying your pass.

SOLD OUT: Learning with Little Robots

You wouldn’t believe the things your children are doing in school. The new generation is growing in a world of amazing technology and affordable robotics. But why should they have all the fun? 

This workshop will give adults a glimpse of a few of the programmable sensors, motors and robots that are being introduced to primary age children across the country, from Picoboard sensors that react to external stimuli such as sounds and shadows, and the inexpensive but versatile CrumbleBot robot. 

It’s an education, with a twist. 

Facilitator: Laura Heels

Laura is a staff member at Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science. As well as teaching on Stage 1 undergraduate modules, she helps students to make the transition from school to university. She is also studying a part-time PhD on gender bias in the design of programming languages.

Can Bioinformatics Save your Life?

It’s October 2016. An elderly patient is in hospital with a cough and fever, symptoms consistent with pneumonia. This time, antibiotics aren’t working. So what now?

In this workshop you’ll learn about the promise of bioinformatics; in which computers store and analyse biological information. You’ll discover how information coded into our DNA sequence could help with the development of life-saving drugs.

Together we’ll solve the puzzling mystery: What’s making our patient sick, and how can we treat it?

Facilitator: Elisa Anastasi

Elisa combines her love of bioinformatics and genetics at Newcastle University. Her current project involves identifying unique protein signatures in different bacterial groups, a study which could help to develop valuable diagnostic and therapeutic tools. She left sunny Malta a decade ago to go to university in Scotland, and is now supported by Newcastle’s School of Computing Science and the Centre for Health and Bioinformatics.

SOLD OUT: Drawing Digital: Getting Crafty with Electronics

Does the idea of tackling circuits fill you with dread? Why not learn the same way we do with crafts: By playing, experimenting and enjoying ourselves?

In this 90-minute session, you’ll get to grips with the basics of electronic circuits by getting stuck in with a range of unusual materials. We’ll be using conductive paints to build our own circuits, and before you know it you’ll adding components such as LED lights or small sound devices. Later, we’ll add an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to the mix, connecting up our individual circuits into something even more exciting. 

Introduce yourself to coding and electronics in a fun and intriguing way.  

Facilitators: Angelika Strohmayer & Janis Lena Meissner

Angelika and Janis are doctoral trainees in digital civics. 

Angelika often works with charities that support people with complex needs, both on a national and local level. Many of her projects focus on sex working and the sex worker rights movement, and how to deal with the complexities that arise out of them. She is interested in the design, development and evaluation of digital technologies to help charities and their beneficiaries.

Janis’ PhD research focuses on how making and smart materials can empower different groups. As part of her MSc thesis, she developed an augmented interactive “yarnbombing” installation as part of a collaboration with urban knitters. She has also run workshops enabling people with physical impairments to create their own designs with maker tech.

SOLD OUT: What Your Sensors Say About You

Mobile sensors are everywhere. They’re in our smartphones, our tablets and our wearables. They help our devices to detect movement, sense changes in pressure, and notice when other devices are nearby. The data they provide help us to enjoy richer and more personalised apps.

But what are the risks to our phones, and the information that lies within them? 

Discover how these sensors may introduce new security risks to phone users, and make it more complicated to manage them.

Facilitator: Maryam Mehrnezhad

Maryam Mehrnezhad’s research interests include mobile security, NFC payment, usable security and applied soft computing. She is a final-year PhD student at Newcastle University’s School of Computing Science, and has contributed to W3C specifications as part of her work on mobile sensor security.
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