Our Code Club global tour — find out what we learned!

Over the last year, our global Code Club team has missed being able to make in-person club visits. Seeing our clubs’ creativity, enthusiasm, and love of coding first-hand is a massive inspiration to us.

This year, the team decided to take a tour of the world to visit clubs online, and in some countries in person, to see how everyone is getting on. Here are a few highlights!

First stop…the USA!

Kevin, our Club Program Coordinator for North America, joined educator David Slavin at his online club session at Pajaro Valley Virtual Academy, in California.  

The club members he met were enthusiastic, polite, and keen to share their ideas. They were also excited to learn more about how they could share their coding creations as part of Coolest Projects.

Kevin reflected on his visit:  

“I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for educators and learners to have had to transition to online learning so abruptly, but to see these students bursting with curiosity was inspiring!” 

Let’s head Down Under!

Nicola Curnow, Program Manager for Code Club Australia, has been able to resume in-person club visits and joined Ferntree Gully Club in Melbourne. This club thought about what they have learnt at Code Club and decided to build a school newsletter using their HTML knowledge! 

“When I visited they were working on formatting and editing the newsletter. The teachers and volunteers did an amazing job working together to build the newsletter for their community.”

Approximately 4800 miles away in India…

Vasu, our Club Programme Coordinator in India, had the exciting opportunity to go online to see a hybrid club at Core Programmers Academy in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. In the session, some children took part in the classroom, while others joined online from their homes.

Vasu enjoyed seeing the club in action and the leader had planned the session perfectly to help the young coders interact and learn alongside each other.

Vasu said:  

 “It’s great to see that the Code Club India community is working so hard to continuously stay updated with different models of learning in this ever-changing new world!” 

Vasu joining the Core Programmers Academy from her home

Meanwhile, in the UK

Zoe, Programme Coordinator for Code Club UK & Ireland, popped online to visit Rugby Library in Warwickshire, where their creative coders were enjoying launching into space with Astro Pi Mission Zero and racing to the finish line of Scratch module one with Boat race!

“It was wonderful to see the kids working independently through the projects and feeling confident to ask for help. I had so much fun and loved when Hazq showed me his super cool Boat race project!”  

The Scratch game Boat race

What we learned 

What shone brightly throughout these visits, is how well everyone has adapted during these challenging times. The resilience of the Code Club community has been nothing short of inspirational.

There may be less noise in an online session, but the fun learning environment where coders can continue to explore and be creative, is still very much alive! 

Visit my club

You can get in touch to invite us to visit your online club. We would love to see and celebrate your amazing achievements, so please share them with us on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World using the hashtag #MyCodeClub! 

Club leaders’ quick-fire guide to Coolest Projects!

Coolest Projects online is just around the corner and there’s still time for your Code Club members to go on an adventure with code and share their COOL ideas with the world! 

We want to make sure you have all the support you need to help your coders make their ideas a reality! To help, we called in our friends to share their advice, from getting started with an idea, to testing and reviewing a finished creation. 

Let’s break it down  

Members in your Code Club have developed a super COOL idea, and now they’re ready to start to bring them to life. Raspberry Pi Senior Learning Manager, Allen Heard, shares his advice to help coders break down their idea and get started! 

Test and test again 

Testing your project is a vital step in the coding process. Rohima Crook, Programme Manager for Code Club, talks through ideas to support your curious-coders to test their projects. She encourages members to collaborate with friends and family and to gather feedback on their project. 

There’s a bug in my code! 

During your coders’ testing phase, they may come across a bug! Mark Calleja, Youth Programmes Manager, is here to help your coders use their problem-solving skills to find and fix bugs in their programs.  

Code Club has a helpful debugging poster to guide coders through the different steps. If you’re based in the UK, the USA, or Ireland, head to your dashboard to download. For the rest of the world, you can access the resource via our Code Club international website

Time to review 

Stepping back and reviewing your projects is an important detail in taking part in Coolest Projects. Kevin Johnson, North America Program Coordinator, shares his helpful suggestions on the different ways you can support coders to review their project and ensure it meets their initial design brief.

Alongside these bitesize tips, the Coolest Projects team have a host of FREE resources you can use to help your club members take part in this global showcase

Join the global showcase

We’ve seen 39 countries register their COOL ideas for this year’s Coolest Projects online showcase. Young creators have until 3 May to submit their creations and if you need further support, check out the FAQs or send an email to hello@coolestprojects.org

Young coder Kayla ‘Zooms’ around the world to meet the women of Code Club!

Meet Kayla! A young coder and our roving reporter for International Women’s Day! 

During Kayla’s half term, she ‘Zoomed’ around the world meeting the women of Code Club to learn more about the programme and the #RealRoleModels who have inspired them. 

Young coder Kayla, wearing a grey beanie hat in front of a bookcase
Young coder Kayla

From Manchester to Sydney

I loved attending Code Club, it allowed me to be logical and creative. When I moved to secondary school, I continued to volunteer to help inspire other young girls to study computing. 

I was so excited to meet with Nicola, Program Manager for Code Club Australia and learn more about the importance of women in tech. 

She said this interesting thing:

“We can’t underestimate the value of a woman teaching a girl coding — it’s so powerful. Just like I was told when I first started out in this industry, there are still girls being told that STEM is not for them. To have a woman work in tech and say “I love tech and this is why you should love tech” that’s the best —  so good!” 

Everyday #RealRoleModels 

Next, I caught up with Zoë Kinstone, Director of Clubs at the Raspberry Pi Foundation which means she is responsible for Code Clubs. I wanted to learn about her every day #RealRoleModels.

Zoë has had many different real role models, including her mum who encouraged her “to have a go and try new things” and “to learn and be curious”.  

I really liked this, as my mum is very similar. My mum volunteers at a Code Club and she inspired me and everyone else who came along to be brave, have fun, and learn to code.

Next stop India! 

My next stop was really exciting. I got to travel to India (okay, only via Zoom, but still exciting)!  

I met with Vasu, Programme Coordinator for Code Club India. I got to hear all about what it’s like to be part of a Code Club in India, which is very different from my experience in the UK. 

This was my favourite bit of our chat: 

Kayla: What is it like being involved in Code Club and how does it inspire you? 

Vasu: Code Club rekindled my love of making and creating. As a child, I wasn’t exposed to computing, but now I get to inspire other young girls, often in very rural communities, to gain access to these essential life skills.

Kayla: What access do these girls have to computers?  

Vasu: Often these girls will have never touched a digital device, but Code Club has opened the door and given them access to Raspberry Pi [computers] and other digital devices to learn how to code and make games in Scratch. 

Identical real role models 

Finally, I got to meet Caitlyn Merry, who is a Learning Manager for the Raspberry Foundation which means she gets to create all the cool Code Club projects

She also had some very inspiring role models which made me think about my #RealRoleModels, one who is my geography teacher, Miss Connolly, who I think is fair, kind, thoughtful, and positive.

 And then something unexpected happened…

Caitlyn really showed me the importance of #RealRoleModels and teachers in our lives. 

Final words from Kayla 

I loved ‘Zooming’ around the world meeting the fantastic women at Code Club. The stories they shared were very different from my experiences, but it showed me that real role models have similar qualities, wherever you are in the world.

Real role models exist everywhere. They can be family, friends, educators, work colleagues, young people, or even people you only know through social media. I’m now even more determined to be one of the #RealRoleModels too. 

I’d love to know who the #RealRoleModels are in your life. Share with me on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World