Back in August, the Code Club team went to visit a Code Club in Belfast run by some fabulous volunteers from PwC as part of their Hive Hackers project, which engages with 6- to 11-year-olds and teachers at primary schools across the region to teach coding and technology. PwC was also collaborating with the Time to Code programme run by Business in the Community Northern Ireland to set up the sessions.
Ciara Mulgrew, Programme Executive at Business in the Community, came along to the session too. She said: “In today’s digital age, IT literacy is so important. Young people are growing up surrounded by technology, but many still lack the basic IT skills that future jobs will demand.”
At this Code Club, the children had been using Code Club Scratch projects to build up their programming skills, and the volunteers had begun each of their sessions with a presentation explaining the learning objectives of the project the club members were going to work on.
“The increase in knowledge that the children displayed was testament to the amount they had learned over the duration of the course. They all gave 100% in every session and weren’t afraid to dive into the deep end.”
— Mark, volunteer from PwC
Our visit took place during the club’s final session, and the volunteers had arranged some special activities. To celebrate the projects that they had created, the children had the opportunity to present and explain their animations on-screen.
The volunteers had created something special of their own: they finished the session with a quiz, asking questions based on computational thinking concepts and recording the young people’s answers on a live scoreboard. Children viewed the questions on-screen and voted for the correct answer. The scoreboard generated lots of excitement!
“It was great to see that the kids were getting loads of correct answers, reflective of how much they had learned.”
— Niall, volunteer from PwC
We’re thankful for the support of Business in the Community Northern Ireland’s Time to Code programme, whose team connected us with these committed volunteers to get more kids coding.
If you’d like to get involved in running Code Club sessions in your local community, you can find out more about volunteering here.