Winter Coding 2020

Monday 28th December – Friday 1st January  – 11am-12.30pm

We’ll be running some family coding activities after Christmas at 11am and the regular girls only and Coding Meetups.

You should sign up for a Scratch account and click the confirmation email here:

Sunday 27th December 2pm-4pm Essex Steamettes
Girls only 11yrs+ (9yrs+ if confident in Scratch/started Python)

Join us on our regular girls only meetings for women in tech talks, Python coding, electronics with Microbits, hackathons throughout 2021.
Details and booking here.

Monday 28th December 11am-12.30pm
Dance Party: Hour of Code – Beginners 7yrs+

Code a Dance Party to share with your friends.
Featuring Katy Perry, Madonna, J. Balvin, Sia, Keith Urban, Ciara, and 25 more!
Join on Zoom here.

Monday 28th December 7pm-10pm
Weekly Coding Meetup, advanced 14yrs+

Casual discussions about coding with occasional screen sharing and help.
Details here.

Tuesday 29th December 11am-12.30pm
Scratch coding – Beginners 7yrs+

Create games, animations, apps for social good, code the Essex 2020 “3 word challenge”(See below).
Join on Zoom here.
Sign up for a Scratch account

Tuesday 5pm-7pm Essex Steamettes
Girls only Scratch coding for Chelmsford Light Parade 9yrs+

Join us on our regular girls only meetings. Details and booking here.

Wednesday 30th December 11am-12.30pm
Space Science – 9yrs+

Learn about the Raspberry Pi computers on the International Space Station, how cameras in space (satellites) can take photos to help monitor climate change, how you can run your own science experiments in space using the Raspberry Pi computers on the ISS and how you can send a message and animation to astronauts.
Join Zoom here.

Thursday 31st December 11am-12.30pm
Hackathons – Using technology to create solutions to global problems – 9yrs+.

How can we design, test and develop world changing ideas and solutions using technology to live better, live longer, live greener and live together?
Themes include the UN Global Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being, and Global Goal 13 – Climate Action develop world changing ideas and solutions using technology.
Join Zoom here.

Thursday 31st December 7pm-12pm
New Years Social including Among Us
By private invite only.

Friday 1st January 2021 11am-12.30pm
Essex 2020 Celebration showcase / help

Show us what you’ve achieved over the year and get some help if needed.
Join on Zoom here. Maybe your project or “3 words” will feature in the wider Essex 2020 final event on Jan 21st 5pm.

Sunday 3rd January 2021 2pm-4pm Essex Steamettes
Girls only 11yrs+ (9yrs+ if confident in Scratch/started Python)

Join us on our regular girls only meetings for women in tech talks, Python coding, electronics with Microbits, hackathons Sunday afternoons throughout 2021.
Details and booking here.


Essex 2020 Three Word Scratch Coding Challenge

Essex 2020 has been a year long celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Inspiring schools, business and communities.

Create a Scratch project to tell us about your #Essex2020 story and add it to the studio.

Your words should describe the programme and what it meant to you.

Essex 2020 are planning a finale event in January and would love you to contribute three words about your experience, join us after Christmas for coding and the final Essex 2020 showcase event 21st January here.



Essex 2020 Raspberry Jam STEAM Festival

Saturday 24th October – Monday 2nd November
ALL ONLINE: Book individual activities to get Zoom link if not listed

As part of Essex 2020 and Chelmsford’s Future City, Southend Tech and the Essex Steamettes (girls who like being creative with science and technology) are organising an online Raspberry Jam STEAM Festival over half term.
There are no girls only events at the Festival.
See below for activities/times/dates/direct Zoom links or event booking, if needed.

Activities open to all (with a few age restrictions):

Saturday 24th October 1pm – 2pm
Introduction to Zoom, setting up coding accounts and using
Scratch and Microbit editors
Get up to speed to get the best out of the coding activities.
Zoom link

The following times are GMT/UTC + 0:00

Sunday 25th October 2pm – 4pm
Essex Steamettes present: Introduction to Scratch
Book here.

Monday 26th October 10:30am-12pm
Code Digital Art
Use simple Scratch blocks to create digital art
Zoom Link

Monday 26th October 7pm -10pm, 7.30pm talks
Southend Coding Meetup
*Talk/demo: Raspberry Pi powered Alexa
*Talk/demo: BlackJack Game coded with Python and PyGame
*Talk: An introduction into browser automation using WebdriverIO by Thomas Chaplin This talk will explain the basics of browser test automation and show you how you can save time and money as well as reduce regression bugs in your mission critical applications.
*Talk/demo: Lissajous figures – musical, mathematical, beautiful using x, y oscilloscopes and virtual modular synths
Zoom link
More details on the weekly meetings here.

Tuesday 27th October 10:30am – 12pm
Introduction to Microbit and “build a pacemaker”
Zoom link

Tuesday 27th October 5pm – 7pm
Essex Steamettes presents
Build your own Alexa Style Chatbot in Scratch
Book here.

Tuesday 27th October 8pm – 10pm
Raspberry Pint
Talk: Solar powered, autonomous, Raspberry Pi powered boat
Talk: How RGB LEDs (eg, NeoPixels work and interact with the biology of your eyes, some ways to model colour and light in Python code.
Details and booking here.
Zoom link.

Wednesday 28th October 10.30am – 12pm
Lockdown Loss and Future Hope
Create stories and animations using Scratch
Zoom link

Wednesday 28th October 7pm-9pm
STEAM Education Meetup. Over 18s only.
Discussing educational aspects of STEAM in Essex.
All welcome, aimed at teachers, STEM Ambassadors, Raspberry Jam and Code Club mentors and those looking to help with activities in the future including parents.
Zoom link

Thursday 29th October 1pm->
Essex Steamettes present
1pm Talks about the Essex Steamettes
1.10pm WomeninSTEM Talk: Basildon Street Science
1.20pm Talk: Cosplay and a wearable tech glove
1.30pm WomeninSTEM Talk: Flooding / Environment – by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Manifesto for Essex coded Earth Poems
Talk/projects/videos on interactive musical glove
Talk: Morse Code project
Talk: Bridge building
Coolest Projects
2pm WomeninSTEM Talk: Building a physical, participatory remote artwork – Raspberry Pi, servo, Twitter api.
2.10pm Talk: Hospital Radio
Project/video: Bridge building
2.20pm Talk: Neopixel LED Light Saber project
2.30pm Talk/Workshop Coding Star Wars stories activity
Any other girls/women who would like to show their projects
Star Wars coded animation activity
Zoom link.

Friday 30th October 10.30am-12pm
Creating Virtual Reality stories and animations
Using Scratch like interface. Under 18s.
Zoom link

Saturday 31st October 12pm->
Raspberry Jam STEAM talks

12pm European Space Agency Education programmes – what’s on offer for school age students and how you can participate?
AstroPi – Code Raspberry Pis in Space
Climate Detectives – Earth Observation of climate change using satellite photos over time
ARISS – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
Moon Camp / CADSat / CanSat

5-10 minute talks
1.15pm Medical electrical stimulation through the ages
1.30pm Protecting the Ocean-Marine Protection areas and Mapping
1.40pm MotionEye OS on Raspberry Pi

Introduction to Cyber Security
LED animation library talk / Conway’s Game of Life talk
2pm Raspberry Pi electronics with ExplorerHAT
Learn how to build smart projects fast with the Explorer HAT
——–You’ll often want to connect and control electronics with your Raspberry Pi. We’ll see how the Pimoroni Explorer HAT makes that easy even if you’re a beginner.
Semaphore clock with servo motor control
Pi Fighter – Boxing trainer with a Pi
2.30pm AI detection of bees using sound by SimulSystems Ltd
Pi Wars – Raspberry Pi robot competition
Climate Change Ambassador – flooding project
Coolest Projects – scratch Projects
Flooding – Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
Building a first person 3d platformer with unity 3D
Amateur radio talk
Broadcast radio talk / Essex Radio jingles
Anyone else who would like to show their projects.
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 867 5700 8619
Passcode: 578855
Book here.

Sunday 1st November 2pm – 4pm
Essex Steamettes presents: Your Code in Space
Send messages and animations to Astronauts on the International Space Station. Change it according to humidity and receive a certificate from the European Space Agency. 14yrs and under. Easy beginner Python.
2pm Silencing the Virus / She Heals – 10 min talk on virus simulations on large LED arrays.
Book here.

Monday 2nd November 7pm-9.30pm
Raspberry Jam mini hackathon
Collaborate online with others in groups to develop a solution to a problem using affordable technologies.; social chat (in collaboration with our friends at Preston Raspberry Jam)
Book here by 3pm.

Monday 2nd November 7pm -10pm
Southend Coding Meetup
And future Mondays
details here.

Thursday 5th November 7pm -10pm
Southend Tech Meetup
Over 18s – and future first Thursdays of the month
details here.

Thanks to the Essex Steamettes and guests without whom we couldn’t have run the activities this week.

Sundays 2-4pm and Tuesdays 5-7pm continue with girls only coding. See here.

Can you help ?

Calling all technologists, coders, STEM ambassadors, graduates and hobbyists!

Southend Tech are looking for volunteers that can deliver talks or presentations (5, 15 or 50mins), run workshops, show interesting tech or coding projects and to take part in or shout about the festival in general.

Perhaps you are from industry and have some cutting edge tech to show off, maybe you’re a hardcore hobbyist with an innovative home project or skills to share.

The festival aims to cater for a range of audiences so your activity could be pitched at beginners, children/families, girls only, those with advanced skills or adult only.

All talks and workshops will be delivered online between Oct 24th and Nov 1st via Zoom. Sessions can take place morning, afternoon or evening.

Register your interest in helping out and let us know what you can offer by booking a ticket and answering the questions Eventbrite will ask you.

Thanks in advance.

More details:

  • Essex Steamettes talks about their projects and coding hackathons :
    Learn to create digital art, animations, stories and games using simple coding including Star Wars theme. (open to all)
  • Build your own Alexa style chatbot, robotics and artificial intelligence
  • Send messages/animations to astronauts on the International Space Station using a Raspberry Pi computer. Easy coding for 6-14 year olds
  • 3D designing for 3D printing, Virtual Reality and more.
  • Learn to code Pepper the Robot using simple blocks.
  • Researching satellite photos for evidence of environmental / climate change – easy, for all.
  • Silencing the virus / She Heals – digital art project about bees and computer simulations of viruses by Lily Hunter Green
  • AI detection of bees by SimulSystems Ltd
  • Beginner Microbit coding
  • Lots more presentations, digital skills workshops and discussions being organised – let us know if you can help.


MiniMu Glove Camp

We’re running a 6 week online Summer Camp Tuesdays 10am on gesture based wearable tech for all ages after the success of our girl group the Essex Steamettes.

*** Fill the form out here to get the free MiniMu kit ***.

You will need a Microbit.  Kitronik sells the Microbit kit for £15 or libraries lend Microbits for free. This link has details on how to buy one from Pimoroni.

The camp will deliver 10 lessons with accompanying ezines using the MiniMu glove kit designed by MiMu and Pimoroni.

It is free to attend for all but you will require a MiniMu glove and Micro:bit to take part.

We’re also running some Raspberry Jam activities and are looking for people to give talks, show their projects and run tech workshops. Contact us if you would like to participate.

Book each week here to get the video link:

Coolest Projects 2020

4 of the Essex Steamettes, girls from the Southend and Chelmsford Raspberry Jams and new recruits, entered the Coolest Projects 2020 online showcase.

Here are their entries. There is a Scratch link and the rest of the videos can be viewed on the Essex Steamettes playlist with their other videos :

Black Jack card game

GCSE Computer Science Revision Game

Save Mr Orange

Steady Hand Game


Take part

Girls aged 11yrs+ are invited to take part in online meetings Thursdays 11am to learn about coding and technology, be inspired by women in tech and collaborate on projects together. More details on how to join the Essex Steamettes are here.

We’re also running a wearable tech course using a glove and Microbit for girls aged 10yrs+ on Sundays 2pm and Tuesdays 5pm.

More details on how to join the Essex Steamettes are here.


We’re also looking to run the glove course for all, run a space science experiment on the International Space Station and also do an online Raspberry Jam Tech Festival with lots of activities for all ages and abilities. Details coming soon.



Essex Steamettes

Online activities for girls aged 11-19yrs old (9yrs+ with previous coding experience) who want to learn creative coding, engineering, digital art and the application of technology to solve problems associated with climate change, pollution, ageing. See below for photos and videos.

Join us for coding digital art / animation, drones / LED displays, social care robotics, environment / space science and more. We’ll have occasional visits by women in tech and we take part in other activities as audience, speakers and workshop organisers or to get help and network.
No need to live in Essex to take part online and we’ll continue online meetings after restrictions end.

Sundays 2pm-4pm

Learn Python, code drones, meet women in tech and more.
11yrs+ (10yrs with experience in Scratch, Microbit or Python coding)
Sunday 2pm booking here.
(Because of an Eventbrite bug, you may get reminders for MiniMu glove competition)

Create an account on and and you can use a Raspberry Pi for your Python coding as well.

Tuesdays 5pm-7pm
Simpler Scratch coding for the Chelmsford Light Parade.
Tuesday 5pm booking here.
(Because of an Eventbrite bug, you may get reminders for MiniMu glove competition)

Book on Eventbrite to get the Zoom joining details.
Parents to supervise and maybe help with punctuation on keyboards.
Please allow microphone and camera on entering.
Newcomers can arrive 10 mins early to get acquainted.



An online meetup for girls who love being creative with science, technology and engineering.

Make friends, learn new things, work on projects together, find out about tech careers, help others learn, show your projects to others, get feedback and help.

The application form asks about ability and interests and if you’d like to talk or show your project (screen sharing and/or webcam) and we’ll flesh out the activities based on that feedback.

We’ll look at an easy way to start learning Python with Edu Blocks, creating animations and using sensors on the Raspberry Pi computers on the International Space Station, pollution sensing, longer term collaboration and more. Tuesdays 5pm and Sundays 2pm will be doing the wearable tech glove course with 4 EssexSteamettes taking part in the competition by making video diaries of their progress.

Click here to watch one of the Essex Steamettes Youtube videos and see the their playlist: with turtle patterns during today’s @SouthendRPiJams meetup, using @edu_blocks 🙂


Lowena wrote the code to turn the Astro Pi into an mp3 player which played the Sonic Pi tune created in Southend which Tim Peake tweeted when he was on the International Space Station. Details here.

Please help to publicise on Facebook and Twitter :

You can see more photos on Facebook (don’t forget to like the page and posts):


Mercury Digital Festival

Friday 21st August 11.30pm, Saturday 22nd August 11.30pm, Sunday 2pm
The Essex Steamettes will be showing people how to create digital stories using Scratch on Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday, they will be showcasing what they have been doing during lockdown and inviting other young people to show their projects as well.
More details here.

Meeting ID: 835 3479 9339
Passcode: 067538

Microbit interactive glove course

The Essex Steamettes took part in an interactive wearable tech course and helped run a camp over the summer. More details here (password: essexsteamettes)

Shared document:
MiniMu glove questions :

Southend Culture Network

Southend Culture Network

The Southend Culture Network (SCN) works collectively towards the production, presentation and promotion of arts and culture in Southend with the ambition of maximising the creative potential of Southend and enriching our offer. SCN is self-governing and self-organising, with each member organisation having equal responsibility for agreeing shared objectives and delivering these for the benefit of local communities and wider audiences.

The core aims of SCN is to enable;

1. Effective communication of the cultural offer in Southend on Sea, including
a) Ensuring clear and up to date internal communication of activities between network members
b) Seeking opportunities for more effective means to communicate the cultural offer in Southend more widely and more effectively.
c) Working together to collect data and evaluation, to ensure the impact of the cultural offer can be measured and communicated to stakeholders.

2. Working together to create new opportunities for collaborative projects, programmes, enhanced resources, and facilities for the cultural offer in Southend.

SCN comprises professional organisations and individuals located in Southend-on-Sea who work for public benefit to deliver culture and the arts for creative practitioners, communities and wider audiences.


Please help by taking part in this survey to help to identify priorities and shape the future of art and cultural activity in our community as Southend’s new Cultural Vision is developed.


Southend Tech is a member of the Southend Culture Network and the Digital Southend Working Group.

You may be interested in the Raspberry Pi air pollution art project in Chelmsford which we took part in, the use of Microbit controlled LED lights at the Chelmsford Light Parade, the Essex Steamettes (our girls only group who like being creative coding, science and technology) and our Raspberry Jam Tech Festivals.






Moonhack 2020

Saturday 30th May 11am-4pm
Online hackathon

Join us for a world record breaking event for children and young people.

Click here to join video :
Projects / certificates :
Backup service:

Shared document:

Moon Hack is a fun way to learn coding skills and you don’t need any experience to be part of it. Suggested ages 9-18yrs for online activities but can be done from ~5yrs with parental help or if familiar with Scratch.

Code Club Australia will provide 6 amazing projects with step-by-step instructions for a range of levels of abilities from absolute beginners to confident Python coders.

We’ll run this online with participants invited to other virtual events and physical events once lockdown lifts. Book here :

Online girls meetups and interactive wearable tech course here.



Basildon Raspberry Jam

Sat 25th January 2020 10.30am-3.30pm
Basildon Library

A girls only STEAM based Raspberry Jam to celebrate Essex Libraries’ launch of #Essex2020 Year of Science and Creativity.
Suggested age 9yrs+.

Create interactive works of art 10.30am-11.30am – Intermediate to Advanced

Create interactive works of art inspired by famous artists using Processing / Javascript coding.

Astro Pi 11.30am-12.30pm – Beginners to advanced

Code messages and animations to be played to astronauts on the International Space Station on the Raspberry Pi computers which Tim Peake took there.

CreatorSpace 12.30pm onwards Beginners to advanced

Ad hoc 3D printing, Raspberry Pi, Microbit, robotics, general hacking and digital making in the CreatorSpace. Bring your own tech to show.

Frozen with Anna and Elsa 1.30pm-2.30pm Beginners

Code with Anna and Elsa as they explore the magic and beauty of ice. You will create snowflakes and patterns as you ice-skate and make a winter wonderland that you can then share with your friends !

Code a Dance Party 2.30pm-3.30pm Beginners

Choreograph dance moves and light effects to your favourite pop tunes.


Drop in activities 10.30am-3.30pm unstructured activities for people to drop in or work on for longer as they wish with less supervision or bring their own.

Code the OhBot robot to talk, move and change eye colours using simple Scratch like block. Can you work out how to use the Python interface ?

Bit:Bot robot – code the robot car to move and flash coloured lights

3D printing – learn to design and print using a 3D printer

GH Scientific – Biology activities

Ozobots: Start coding screen-free, by drawing Color Codes that tell your Ozobot what to do. Color Codes teach basic coding concepts like cause/effect, critical thinking, and debugging. Can you work out how to use the Scratch programming interface ?

Electrical Circuit bending – play with batteries, motors, wires, LEDs

Chemical Reactions in the home eg. testing acidity with cabbage juice

Bring your own tech – Feel free to bring laptop, tablet, phone, lego robotics, Sphero, Snap circuits, Harry Potter Wand, Kano, Rasperry Pi/Microbit/Ardiuno, projects, Cosmo/ Vector robots, VR headsets, 3D printers etc. to work on, show others, teach others and collaborate with, discover more advanced things it can do, get help from others.

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

You can attend all or part of the day.

Raspberry Jam Safeguarding


Basildon Library is located in Basildon Town Centre

No food or drink to be consumed in the library but there are lots of shops in the town centre.


Chelmsford Raspberry Jam 5

Chelmsford Raspberry Jam 5

Saturday, 15th February 2020 10am-4pm
Chelmsford Library, first floor

We’re looking for people to give tech talks, show projects, run and/or help with coding/electronic workshops on a variety of tech topics (any cool tech not just Raspberry Pi) at the next Southend Raspberry Jam Sunday 8th March.

Family activities from 10.30am with more technical professional activities later on. See below for timetable.






9am Library open for setup
10am-10.30am Preview and meetup for those doing talks,  showing projects or helping/running workshops
10.30am Welcome talk/group photo


Please bring a charged laptop/tablet and leads if you can, as there are only a few library computers which people will need to share.

* 11am Dance Party workshop – Beginners
Choreograph dance moves and light effects to your favourite pop tunes.

* 12pm “Smart Classroom” – Beginners
Create a smart assistant (Alexa) that lets you control virtual devices. Teach a computer to recognise the meaning of your commands

* 1pm Lunch

* 1.30pm “Interactive Storyteller” – Intermediate to Advanced, 9yrs+
Create a story and make the story change each time it runs.
Then, remix the code to write your own story. Storyteller was created by New York Times bestselling author Miriam Peskowitz, based on her book Code Like a Girl. Awesome for people who like to write.

* 2.30pm CyberSecurity – Advanced, 12yrs+
In Yr 8 and want to enter CyberFirst Girls Competition, let us know ?

Projects being demoed – show / tell

10.30am-12pm or all day
Snap circuits
Oh Bot Talking head robot
Bit:Bot – Microbit robot car and lights
The above were run by the Essex Steamettes – the girls group
RC model planes
Amateur Radio
Dementia button / light game by Remap – engineering / hacking equipment for people with disabilities.
Raspberry Pi Face tracking

Drop in workshops – general hacking

A number of different projects to work on at your own leisure including some of the projects above being demoed, or bring your own to work on with people / get help.


10.30am Getting involved with Amateur Radio
11am Coding Virtual Reality
2.30pm RC Model flying – how to get involved and technology involved in the sport.

12pm Microbit – learn to code and interact with the real world

Publicity / Social Media



Jam run by @SouthendTech (DMs are open to all)



Southend Tech

Southend Tech Group

Essex Science and Creativity Group

Essex Steamettes
(our girls only STEAM group)



Southend Tech
(no private messages)


Location / Transport

The library is located in the centre of Chelmsford near to the train station.

Chelmer Valley and Sandon Park and Ride buses drop you off outside the Library and are convenient and low cost.,0.4675881,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x47d8e962855a2df3:0x6b7b8f48f655c033!8m2!3d51.7343792!4d0.4697768


There are lots of shops in the town centre.
Feel free to come and go as you please, but we’ll have a 30 min lunch break at 1pm.

Raspberry Pi Safeguarding Policy


Workshop Links!/worksheets