Everything you need to know about Little Sandbox

Meet the Staff

10 years experience as a web designer followed 2 years experience as a play worker. Helen wanted the tech club to follow similar values to a play environment: allowing children to participate, have free choice and be allowed to take risk.

Helen Stephens

Little Sandbox Manager

Fluent in several programming languages, an active member of DoES Liverpool, and a physics degree to boot – Chris puts the Tech into Tech Club.

Chris Huffee

Little Sandbox Manager

3 years experience as a Graphic Designer, Ash designs and prints merchandise (and our uniforms) through her company, The Nerdy Gift Company. She brings the digital creativity to the sessions.

Ash Moore

Sessional Worker

“Anything that you can think of in your mind, you can do it at Little Sandbox”

 

Little Sandbox was first thought up, during a conversation between Helen Stephens and Chris Huffee in the summer of 2014.

After 18 months of funding applications, Little Sandbox finally opened its doors in September 2015 thanks to a grant from BBC Children in Need.

The club started with a few iPads and some chromebooks and concentrated on coding using Scratch and Tynker. But soon, thanks to additional funding from the Liverpool One Foundation we added 3D printing and Electronics.

“Anything that you can think of in your mind, you can do it at Little Sandbox”

 

Little Sandbox was first thought up, during a conversation between Helen Stephens and Chris Huffee in the summer of 2014.

 

It took 18 months of funding applications, before Little Sandbox finally opened its doors in September 2015 thanks to a grant from BBC Children in Need.

The club started with a few iPads and some chromebooks and concentrated on coding using Scratch and Tynker. But soon, thanks to additional funding from the Liverpool One Foundation we added 3D printing and Electronics.

“Children have limitless imaginations. Who knows what kind of technology we might have in future if we give children the support and tools to bring their ideas to life.”

 

Little Sandbox is a fun environment. All the activities at the club are tech related but it’s informal and members make their own choices and work on their own projects.

Sometimes we plan group activities such as designing and coding a video game, other times they work on their own ideas at their own pace.

We sometimes set research challenges and ask them to present information back to the whole group. This might be in small groups or individually so they get to work as a team, and develop their communication skills.

“Children have limitless imaginations. Who knows what kind of technology we might have in future if we give children the support and tools to bring their ideas to life.”

 

Little Sandbox is a fun environment. All the activities at the club are tech related but it’s informal and members make their own choices and work on their own projects.

 

Sometimes we plan group activities such as designing and coding a video game, other times they work on their own ideas at their own pace.

 

We sometimes set research challenges and ask them to present information back to the whole group. This might be in small groups or individually so they get to work as a team, and develop their communication skills.

“We’ve seen friendships grow over a piece of Raspberry Pi”

 

The equipment we currently have available at the club includes:

  • 6 x All in one PCs (kindly donated by Bioclinics Limited)
  • 8 x Chromebooks
  • 7 x windows 10 laptops
  • 6 x iPads
  • 5 x Raspberry Pi
  • 5 x Arduino boards
  • 20 x BBC Micro:Bits
  • Boxes full of electronics components
  • 6 x Word Pads (kindly donated by Draw and Code)

We also have use of a 3d Printer and a Laser cutter

“We’ve seen friendships grow over a piece of Raspberry Pi”

 

The equipment we currently have available at the club includes:

 

  • 6 x All in one PCs (kindly donated by Bioclinics Limited)
  • 8 x Chromebooks
  • 6 x iPads
  • 5 x Raspberry Pi
  • 5 x Arduino boards
  • Boxes full of electronics components
  • 6 x Word Pads (kindly donated by Draw and Code)

We also have use of a 3d Printer and a Laser cutter

“It’s not all serious. We have fun too.”

 

We try to maintain a happy learn/play balance. For half of the session we learn, and for the other half we play. We have a PS2, Wii and PS3 available for games tournaments (and a quick lesson in sharing and taking turns)! We also have other games that happen to contribute to our understanding of things like algorithms and circuits (but don’t tell the kids).

We also have our very own top score board. Each week our kids earn points for doing good things like completing a project, giving a presentation or helping others. The member with the most points at the end of each month is presented with a medal.

“It’s not all serious. We have fun too.”

 

We try to maintain a happy learn/play balance. For half of the session we learn, and for the other half we play. We have a PS2, Wii and PS3 available for games tournaments (and a quick lesson in sharing and taking turns)! We also have other games that happen to contribute to our understanding of things like algorithms and circuits (but don’t tell the kids).

 

We also have our very own top score board. Each week our kids earn points for doing good things like completing a project, giving a presentation or helping others. The top scorer each week is presented with a certificate at the end of the session.