Who We Are
Lambda Jam is an organisation developing computer science resources for children in Scotland. It is a registered company (No. 463152) operating on a not for profit basis.
Why the Name?
As for the name … why are we called Lambda Jam? In computer science, “lambda expressions” allow functions (actions) to be passed around in the same way as variables (things). At Lambda Jam, we’re passing children not just solutions (things) but the underlying functions needed to create new solutions for whatever problems they choose to tackle.
Our mission is to foster passion and skills for analytical problem solving
relevant to our technological era.
Coding is fun. Solving problems is fun. Creating is fun. At Lambda Jam, we are dedicated to spreading this fun among the next generation. The reason is simple: the wider and deeper that this spreads among today’s children, the better equipped they are to be tomorrow’s digital innovators, and the more they will enjoy and seek out new challenges.
We are focussed on nurturing creativity, logic, and perseverance, for we believe these skills feed success and joy, which in turn feed these skills, ad infinitum. We are focussed on technology because it has unparalleled potential to engage each child at their own level in rich and varied ways, and it can give the motivation and reward that comes from surmounting a fun challenge or creating something exciting. We recognise that many children don’t have the opportunity to experience this joy, particularly in the realm of computer science, and we know that more can be done to support learners, teachers, and parents in achieving this virtuous cycle.
To this end, we are working with our partner organisations to develop and support projects for children in Scotland, ranging from competitions to workshops, on-line resources, and curricular aids for computer science and mathematical problem solving. Our efforts are aimed to include all, from the young expert hackers to those who would otherwise be discouraged or disadvantaged, and we place emphasis on people working together.
Laura Meikle is the driving force establishing Lambda Jam, after lamenting the fact that the FLL contest stopped in Scotland many years ago. While completing her PhD at the University of Edinburgh (Informatics), she became active in science enrichment, including mathematical tours of the Royal Mile for the Edinburgh Science Festival and Informatics Open Days for schools, and saw a need for more such programmes.
Laura has run Lambda Jam since 2013. Previously, she worked in positions including university-level CS course development and teaching and as a market researcher. She lives in the country with her partner, two children, nine computers, and approximately six thousand lego bricks.