This pioneering weeklong summer programme 'Digital Leap' aims to inspire female identifying students to take the jump into a creative digital world. Combining Pell Ensembles unique teaching style of movement, programming and physical computing participants will work together to build an interactive digital dance performance based on the theme 'Future Worlds', inspired by the United Nations Global Goals for 2030. Aimed at students ages 12-14, this programme will generate excitement, build confidence and introduce skills, encouraging students to move forwards with a career in computing and or the creative digital industries.
In Summer 2022, we will piloted this programme as 2 x one week programmes with students from East London as part of the East Summer School for week one and Waltham Forest Council/East Bank for week 2 with support Foundation for Future London’s Connecting People & Places Grant Scheme. Student places on the programme was free and lunches provided. Each day included at least 60 minutes each of dance, computing and design. Alongside this female identifying speakers with careers in creative technologies spoke about their experience in the field.
DIGITAL L E A P
SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE
DIGITAL L E A P is about building the creative and practical skills for a digital future
Collaborating and working towards an end goal with movement teaches resilience, teamwork and creativity. Applying Design Thinking to their choreography support participants to develop storytelling skills, creating a performance with purpose and meaning that communicates their ideas in a compelling way.
Dance also provides mental and physical wellbeing benefits, including release of hormones such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin which positively affect focus and attention. We work with participants to reflect on the benefits physical activity has for them throughout the week.
Regardless of the career students choose to pursue later in life, all students can benefit from understanding how technology works and how to harness it to create something original. By repositioning computer science as a tool for students to express themselves, more students will be able to see themselves as computer scientists and align coding with creating. Giving students the freedom and support to develop projects that fit their diverse passions, while incorporating CS fundamentals, can lead to increased self-confidence, independence, problem-solving, and other 21st century skills. Students are also more engaged when they can incorporate their unique interests and make choices about how to apply computer science concepts.
In understanding Design Thinking students learn to have creative confidence in their abilities to adapt and respond to new and difficult challenges. They are able to then identify and develop innovative and creative solutions to problems as and when they face them. It has the ability transforms participants into optimistic, empathetic, and smart working members of the society who can solve complex challenges of the coming future.