UK attendees at Ireland’s 2nd National Scratch Conference in Navan in June, were so impressed with SCRATCH +RSC that they invited Seamus to run the conference in South Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a SCRATCH-Maths Conference. They would invite local Primary and Secondary teachers to attend. It took place on 20th November 2018. It was the first time for English primary and secondary teachers to experience the magic of SCRATCH +ReadySteadyCode as a means of seemlessly enhancing the teaching and learning of Maths, Problem Solving and Computational Thinking. It was the first and very successful UK SCRATCH +RSC event took place since the vector grids were embedded into Scratch by MIT Boston in 2017. Overall it received great feedback and the organisers intend to develop it into a greater event, perhaps with a tie-in with one of the universities in NE England. It was organised chiefly by Mike Hamilton, Director OpenZone @the WOrd, South Shields.

The North East SCRATCH Maths Conference is likely to have follow up even as far away as India. One of the NE Maths Conference organisers is in communication with government officials in the Gujarat Education Department in NE India.

The OpenZone @ the Word, houses the HQ of the Library Service in South Shields. This gave rise to an interesting link with Scratch. On his return home to Ireland, Seamus gave 2-Days in-house Training to Co Meath librarians (beginning 28 November). The librarians have been given the task of promoting and implementing the Arts and Coding pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme (2017 – 2022). Library branches throughout Co Meath are setting up Library Dojos to bring Scratch coding to parents and children in their local communities.

Find out more about OPEN ZONE @ the Word at https://theworduk.org/explore/openzone/