Destination UK

At a day out with the kids at the BFX Festival Family Weekend

Posted on
October 11, 2018

The BFX Festival is a week-long event designed to celebrate visual effects, animation and games to inspire the next generation of talent and share the latest knowledge.
We first experienced the BFX Festival back in 2013 when it first launched and I firmly believe it contributed to Kian’s journey to study Games Design at university. Since then it has grown and moved locations and this year, the Family Weekend was held at the B.I.C.
BFX Family weekend is a two-day drop in event aimed at visual effects and games enthusiasts between the ages of 8-18 years, although there are things for all ages to enjoy, including talks and presentations, animation and coding workshops, the chance to try out the latest technology and even act against a green screen.
We pre-booked a couple of sessions and headed into Bournemouth on Sunday for our first workshop at 10.30 – Minecraft with Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi Workshop
Although aimed at children aged 8+, the age limit is very much dependant on the child’s ability and Eliza (7) got to join in too, with a little bit of help from me.
Eliza Raspberry Pi
The kids started playing Minecraft and then got to try their hand at Python programming the game using a Raspberry Pi – a tiny and affordable computer used to learn programming.
Isaac Raspberry Pi
The session was perfectly aimed at kids and they were soon adding extra’s to the game and the finale was getting to fly through it like Ice Man and receiving a certificate for completing the workshop.
Certificates
Our next pre-booked workshop was not booked until lunchtime, so we had plenty of time to explore and see what else was happening around the site, including trying our hand at using some old computers, and games consoles.
BFX Festival Games
The majority of the drop-in workshops were in Tregonwell Hall and the kids all had a blast trying everything out, with the green screens being a big hit, as they got to fly through the skies like Harry Potter on his broomstick…..
Harry Potter
and a more technological version of hide and seek.
Hide and Seek
We also got to meet BUD, Bournemouth University’s very own droid!

I lost Eliza and Sebby to the stop animation workshop, where they created their own characters using plasticine and made their very own video using the equipment provided.
Stop Animation
They worked on it for over an hour!!

Isaac on the other hand was waiting patiently for his turn on the VR Headset, which would give him a virtual reality tour of Avebury, a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles in Salisbury.
VR Headset
For younger children there were Simbrix, Stickbots and Bloxels tables to play at, as well as Bee-Bot robots, which introduce the idea of coding to younger children.
Bloxels
Our second booked workshop was the Micro:bit in Wonderland coding and craft workshop, which mixed coding with Alice in Wonderland crafts.
BBC BIT
We had to use block-based coding with the BBC Micro:bit to make our own Mad Hatter’s top hat, a heart playing card and a little door with a lock and key, just like in the story of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’.
Sebastian BFX
As the workshop was aimed at age 8+, Sebby and Eliza took charge of the crafting, whilst Isaac got to work on the computer.
Micro BBC BIT
We successfully managed to do all three coding tasks and the kids made a fabulous, if a bit wonky, Mad Hatters Hat!
Micro Bit Door
They all came out very proud of what they had achieved.

Also at the BFX Festival was an AFC Bournemouth e-sports station, where you could play football on the big screen against your friends, 3D printing and Sebby’s favourite Paleo Go, Augmented Reality dinosaurs which he chased Isaac around the room with!
Paleo Go
The BFX Festival is a fun day out for all the family and we are already looking forward to next years event. Keep an eye on bfxfestival.com for news and dates for next years event.

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15 Comments
  1. Reply

    Micaela Levachyov

    October 11, 2018

    It’s great to see children learning the basics of programming with the Raspberry PI!

  2. Reply

    Kelsey

    October 11, 2018

    As someone who works in the videogame industry, seeing this post has seriously put a smile on my face. I’ve come across quite a few parents who think of gaming as a waste of time so it’s brilliant to see a festival like this that is educational and children interested in it! You should definitely check out the BAFTA Young Game Designer competition, I think it is closed for this year but it has two age categories and the children design their own videogame.

    • Reply

      Kara

      October 11, 2018

      My older son is at UWE studying Games Design and although I was worried when he did Games Design at A-Level I can see what goes into it all now, plus he is passionate about it too so I know will do his best at his studies

  3. Reply

    Talya

    October 11, 2018

    What a fantastic event and a super way to inspire the next generation of coders!

  4. Reply

    Rebecca | AAUBlog

    October 11, 2018

    what a fab event to get creative and learn all about the tech – looks really educational 🙂

  5. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    October 11, 2018

    What an interesting sounding event and so many fun things to get to check out – I would have loved something like this when I was younger and fun + educational! Great!

  6. Reply

    Jess Howliston

    October 12, 2018

    WOW this sounds fantastic! My son is 9 and would absolutely love this especially the Minecraft workshop you mentioned.

  7. Reply

    Cath - Passports and Adventures

    October 12, 2018

    That sounds like a brilliant day out. I think my hubby would really enjoy it with his IT background. I do think we’re a few years off our son being ready for an event like this but if he’s anything like his dad he’ll love it!

  8. Reply

    michelle twin mum

    October 12, 2018

    This looks awesome, so you think it suits the older ones? JJ is my computer enthusiast and gamer btu if we went next year he’d be 16, woudl he still be interested do you think? Mich x

  9. Reply

    Anosa

    October 13, 2018

    Though my nephew is a little young, I do think this is such a great way to engage the future generations.

  10. Reply

    Kerry Norris

    October 14, 2018

    I’ve never heard of the festival before. I think it’s something my husband would enjoy never mind the kids. Your children looked like they loved it

  11. Reply

    Louise

    October 14, 2018

    Oh, wow! What a great event. My eldest would love to do something like this. Her teachers have been saying for the past 4 years she should be working in the tech industry!
    Louise x

  12. Reply

    Lucy Dorrington

    October 14, 2018

    My son would love this, I will have to take him. We did something similar at our local science museum and I had to drag him away at the end!

  13. Reply

    Katrina

    October 15, 2018

    Looks fab I love a good family day out that’s fun and educational and something for everyone

  14. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    October 25, 2018

    This is a VERY cool workshop to have gone too. I love things like this and it is also something I think all kids should be having a go at.

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk