Bright young­sters con­quer­ing code


Cod­ing and com­put­ing have be­come the norm at a Porirua school with bright-eyed pupils get­ting set to make their dig­i­tal mark on a Welling­ton fes­ti­val.

Corinna School is one of five pri­mary schools across the re­gion tak­ing part in the LUX Kids Project - a pi­lot pro­gramme, aimed at get­ting chil­dren to use tech­nol­ogy in new, cre­ative ways.

Me­dia arts ed­u­ca­tor Jess We­ich­ler has spear­headed the pro­gramme which will see the chil­dren’s cre­ations even­tu­ally fea­ture in the LUX Light Fes­ti­val later this year.

‘‘We only have two main rules for this project - make mis­takes, and mea­sure twice, cut once,’’ she said.

Over the next six weeks, the young par­tic­i­pants will build a minia­ture city in­stal­la­tion made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, while learn­ing about elec­tron­ics, light el­e­ments and prob­lem-solv­ing along the way.

We­ich­ler would guide them through the en­tire de­sign process, from re­mould­ing milk bot­tles to learn­ing how to code LED light­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions.

‘‘With a var­ied tool­box in their arse­nal, the stu­dents are ar­tic­u­lat­ing their sense of cre­ativ­ity us­ing ev­ery­thing from wire cut­ters, to LED light­ing strips,’’ she said.

‘‘Gone are the days where tech­ni­cal maths skills and artis­tic pro­jects are taught sep­a­rately.’’

The young­sters have been draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the noise and en­ergy typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with bustling ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments and will also in­cor­po­rate a se­lec­tion of Porirua land­marks into their de­sign.

The an­nual LUX light fes­ti­val is a cel­e­bra­tion of light, art, tech­nol­ogy and de­sign, which will trans­form Welling­ton’s wa­ter­front, laneways and pub­lic spa­ces into five themed precincts that of­fer unique, im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences to fes­ti­val goers.

Corinna School has been as­signed the ur­ban-themed precinct which will show­case cut­ting edge light and sound artists, live glow­ing street art, and a prom­e­nade of win­dow art.

Four other schools across the Tawa, Kapiti and Hutt re­gions are also in­volved in the brand-new project, each work­ing on a dif­fer­ent precinct theme which We­ich­ler said had in­spired plenty of cre­ativ­ity.

‘‘Noth­ing beats see­ing a child’s face light up with a new idea,’’ she said.

At the end of the six-week pro­gramme, the fi­nal pieces from each school will be in­stalled at yet-to-be­de­ter­mined lo­ca­tions dur­ing the LUX Fes­ti­val which runs from May 12-21.


In­dus­trial de­sign stu­dent Sam Lewis’ first ex­hi­bi­tion ‘spores’ at last year’s LUX Light Fes­ti­val.

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