A Teesside University computer games expert is taking part in a live BBC, Doctor Who-themed, lesson designed to teach students about the importance of computer programming.

Doctor Who and the micro:bit is part of the BBC’s Live Lessons and will be broadcast online on Tuesday 28 March.

Gabrielle Kent, a Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Development in the University’s School of Computing, features as an industry expert talking about programming and how it is used in computer games.

She also takes part in a demonstration with four young people showing how the ‘repelling the shockwave’ program on their micro-bit works – using components they have learnt about such as inputs, variables and conditional statements.

The live lesson is aimed at 11 to 13-year-olds and has been produced by BBC Learning in collaboration with the team behind Doctor Who. Using the BBC micro:bit students will be challenged to solve a fictional disaster scenario while coming face to face with one of the Doctor’s deadliest foes.

They will develop their computational thinking, exploring search algorithms, different types of errors and the components that go into an algorithm.

Gabrielle has worked in or around the games industry for over 20 years and has been listed as one of the top 100 most influential women in the games industry.  She also heads up the University’s annual Animex festival, which attracts hundreds of people from across the globe and has been named as one of the best events in the world by the influential Animation Magazine.

Gabrielle said: “Programming is very much a core part of computer games development. Although you don’t need to program to be a games artist, it’s very useful for game designers to have an understanding of scripting so that they can implement aspects of their game designs. I’m very much looking forward to discussing the importance of programming in game development during this exciting Live Lesson.”

Doctor Who and the micro:bit Live Lesson takes place on Tuesday 28 March, at 11.00am. You can register for advance lesson guides and submit questions to experts in advance. More information is available from the BBC website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3ydvd6mvhl89cHVJ7F2nmzf/doctor-who-and-the-micro-bit-live-lesson