Computer whiz off to camp

Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013
Gian Reid, 14, is attending a Code Camp at Waikato University
PETER DRURY/Waikato Times
WHIZ KID: Gian Reid, 14, is attending a Code Camp at Waikato University, which is aimed at introducing year 9 and 10 students to computer programming.

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Gian Reid has been working on computers since he was seven years old.

But the 14-year-old St John's College student can't learn the new digital technologies curriculum when he starts NCEA level 1 this year as the school doesn't offer it until level 2.

"It's just really disappointing that you're going to learn a little bit in year 9 and then you're just going to have to jump to it in year 12," he said.

"If you see the amount of students who actually take up ICT in year 9 in comparison to all the people who take it up in year 12 it's quite low, because it's a two-year gap you can't really keep [people] interested."

However, the young animator who is also dabbling in computer programming spends most of his spare time - including intervals at school - working on computers.

"I dedicate most of my time to the computing stuff because it's what I want to end up doing and I find it fun.

"This has just been something that I've loved doing since I was seven."

Next week Gian will attend a Code Camp hosted by the University of Waikato, aimed at teaching year 9 and 10 students the basics of computer programming and web design.

The 40 students will work to create a Seven Wonders of the Waikato app for the Hamilton City Council website.

Gian said he realised the potential in ICT and computer science when he discovered the lead engineer of one his favourite Xbox games, Halo 2, was New Zealander Chris Butcher.

"You can go anywhere with ICT really, there's so many possibilities and I just think it's really cool that these guys are trying to get us into it because it's true, there is a lot of potential for New Zealanders in information technology."

Gian plans to take the digital technologies courses at school next year.

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- Waikato Times


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