I just got an EPSRC dissemination grant! Hooray! The word "hooray" does not sum up the immense relief that I feel at this point. :-) This is a resubmission of the grant which was rejected last time. Previously it was ranked 12th, and they funded the first 11. This time it was ranked 3rd out of 22. The moral of the story? If at first you don't succeed, try again. (Or "use the knee and then the heid", as my dad would say). Now I feel like a respectable citizen of my department and can (possibly) stop writing so many grant proposals.
The funding is to carry on my previous EPSRC funded Adventure Author project but this time to do a lot of teacher training. The idea is to train teachers how to help their pupils make their own computer games. My good friend Cathrin will be working on the project with me because she knows all abou training teachers. Briefly, our argument was as follows: we think little children should learn how to make computer games because it is fun and it will make them want to learn computer science.( And everyone knows that the world needs more computer scientists. Because if it doesn't get them the ICT infrastructure of the world will stagnate and collapse. Then you'll be sorry you called us nerds and stole our dinner money.) The way to get kids making games is to get teachers involved because teachers can keep teaching classes long after individual bits of funding run out, thus ensuring a steady stream of happy baby computer scientists. A cunning argument, yes? Well it worked for the EPSRC reviewers...
We will train 32 teachers over 18 months (starting May 1st), and also train a bunch of computer science students to give them hands on help in the classroom. Thus ensuring that the almost grown up computer scientists inspire the baby ones.If you're a teacher within a 100 mile radius of Heriot-Watt, or a student who might want to be paid to work on such a project, let me know.