Acting as a playground for creative computing, the 2-hour Tech Yard session is run by Jazmin Morris, who has been running accessible, fun virtual programmes in creative computing throughout the pandemic for young people based in Southwark.
Whether you’re new to computing or have written code before, Tech Yard is open to all young people aged 10-16.
The session at Peckham Digital is the first in-person version of Tech Yard. The drop-in, casual format means young people can come and experiment across 2 stations featuring different elements of creative computing - 3D modelling and creative coding - in this accessible and playful environment. Attendees can join for the whole session or come and go as they please.
Tech Yard inspires young people to have agency over how they interact with computers. “We empower young people to think: ‘I can make this’ rather than ‘this has been made for me’,” says UAL lecturer Jazmin Morris, the founder of Tech Yard and a creative computing artist and educator based in London. Her practise and research explore representation and inclusivity within technology. “I hope this has a knock-on effect for future generations, building more accessible and diverse platforms.”
The in-person element of the session at Peckham Digital means that young people who may not have access to a computer are able to experiment with creative computing and gives them the chance to interact with others.
From the beginning, Tech Yard has been for all young people – whether they have an existing interest in tech or not. It helps to provide a genuine sense of community and confidence, along with building up skills through accessible, enjoyable training in creative computing.
“For someone that's already engaging with it, if it's at home on your own, that's not the same as using your skills and getting involved in a community and speaking to other people that are doing the same thing,” Jazmin says. “And seeing someone that wasn't interested in it, and isn't a gamer at home, and has never coded before… reaching those young people is really meaningful.”