Saffron Walden County High School and Partner Primary Schools at Ultralab

Today 30 young people from Saffron Walden County High School and their partner feeder Primary Schools attended a training day at Ultralab to learn how to animate, make music and film for their 2006 Summer Challenge. Every year the Ultralab team set a tough challenge to these schools to complete over the summer months. Patrick Gordon from SWCHS will be running the Summer School, which has been funded for the second year running by Essex County Council. Between the year 2000 and 2004 SWCHS’s Summer School was part of the Ultralab/SEEVEAZ (South East of England Virtual Education Action Zone) Summer School and the good work has continued after SEEVEAZ came to the end of its natural life.
The young people were mixed up into groups and challenged to make clay ball animations, then edit some music together and then create a final piece which was exhibited to the rest of the group. During the day we looked at what makes a good film, and concentrated on sound as a critical success factor.
The young people then left Ultralab clasping four pieces of paper each from three different hats. Each young person had to select one ‘Start’, two ‘Middles’ and one ‘End’. Their first job (in groups back at school) is to negotiate from the sentences which ’start’, ‘middles’ and ‘end’ they will use from their groups collection, to make a film. Complicated, we hope so. The challenge was simple, to encourage the young people (who don’t know each other very well) to negotiate from the sentences they have which of them they would make a film about, and simply throw the rest away.
Jamie Harris, one of our work experience team was on hand to support the day. Another Ultralab Work Experience team member Ben Millwood has since made an excellent automated sentence generator:
Click to generate your own random sentence.
The Ultralab team enjoyed making the sentences, using SubEthaEdit on their Apple Mac computers to collaborate their writings together.
Throughout the project the young people will be keeping blogging diaries, along with podcast output.
We’re really looking forward to seeing the completed summer projects.
The young people created their first animations today, here they are:

Blobs Adventure: Play Now | Play in Popup
Crazy Frog Man Gone Crazy: Play Now | Play in Popup
Green Blob of Doom: Play Now | Play in Popup
Our Great Movie: Play Now | Play in Popup
The Orange Guy Movie: Play Now | Play in Popup

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