Five out-of-this-world Code Club activities for World Space Week!

World Space Week (3–10 October) is the largest annual space event celebrating science and technology. The UN declared it an annual celebration in 1999 and it provides the perfect opportunity for young Code Club members to have some space-worthy fun whilst developing their coding skills. 

You don’t need to go into orbit to take part in World Space Week, we’ve put together five activities that you can use in your Code Club and beyond.

Four children gathered around a table looking at a laptop.

Moonhack is set for lift off

Moonhack is run by the amazing team at Code Club Australia. This yearly online coding challenge brings children aged 8–15 from around the world, together for a fun week of coding. 

This year, six brand-new projects have been created, providing coders with the opportunity to learn about how satellites, both natural and man-made, are used to help us live more sustainably. Clubs also have the opportunity to learn more about an indigenous Australian community, the Torres Strait Islanders, and how they use the Tagai constellation for navigation. 

Taking part is a fun way to learn coding skills, and participants don’t need any coding experience to get involved, as step-by-step project instructions are provided. 

Projects are also translated into many different languages, thanks to the help of amazing translators from around the world.

Moonhack Oct 10-23 2022.

Join our space-themed codealong 

If you’re looking for a stellar experience for your Code Club this World Space Week, join Code Club and CoderDojo on Thursday 6 October for our online global codealong.  

For your club to participate, all you need is access to laptops or tablets and an internet connection. Together, we will code a Scratch Weightlessness space game.  No Scratch experience is required, as our expert facilitators, Nuala and Sarah, will guide coders through each step.

This codealong will provide a brilliant opportunity to learn about the block-based programming language, Scratch, and create a game to simulate the effects of weightlessness in space. 

Join our World Space Week codealong. 13:30 BST, Thursday 6 October.

Get ready to send your code to space with Astro Pi Mission Zero

From Thursday 22 September your Code Club can blast their code into space with Astro Pi Mission Zero. This activity offers young people aged 19 and under from an ESA member state, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, or Malta, the chance to have their Python computer program run onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

You can complete Mission Zero in around an hour without any prior programming knowledge, so the project is perfect for first-time Python coders.

Keep an eye on the Astro Pi website on Thursday 22 September to see the exciting changes to this year’s Mission Zero challenge!

Astro Pi.

Confidence-boosting session pack with stellar resources 

Our first session pack is themed around the Introduction to Scratch project Space talk. If you’re new to Code Club or are restarting your club after a break, this is our go-to resource to help you feel confident. 

Along with a session plan with simple and practical advice, we have also provided three new space-themed unplugged activities to ‘crater’ for your every space whim: Create and colour, I spy, and Memory game. 

For a bit of extraterrestrial activity, why not hand these out towards the end of your Code Club session for World Space Week?

Download this resource from your club’s dashboard.

Front pages from the first session pack; running your first Code Club session, Create and colour, I spy and Space memory game.

Gravitate towards our space-themed project collection 

This collection is bound to spark the imagination of coders! Featuring eight space-themed projects that are suitable for both beginners and more advanced coders, learners will have the opportunity to explore weightlessness in space, astronaut reaction times, and use a web service to find the location of the International Space Station. 

Head to your club’s resource page to download our Code Club space project collection and launch your coders’ skills to a whole new level. 

Whatever you get up to this World Space Week, make sure you share with us on social media using the hashtag #MyCodeClub and if you’re lucky, we might send you a Code Club sticker sheet!

Top three resources for running a vibrant Code Club 

Launching your new Code Club or resuming a club that has been paused for an extended time might make you feel a little apprehensive. That’s OK! Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club, shares three resources that will help you run your Code Club with confidence.

A child and adult looking at a laptop screen.

Picking my top three resources is quite a challenge as we have so many to choose from! There is something to meet your every need. Please check them out on our resource page — it’s full of helpful materials like crib sheets to guide you through our projects, certificates, sample letters, and so much more.

Log in to your account, head to your dashboard, and scroll down to the resources section. 

Resource one: Club organisers’ guide

If you’re new to Code Club or are starting back after a break, the go-to document is our club organisers’ guide

This guide walks you through the important first steps you’ll need to plan and set up your Code Club with ease. It also acts as a brilliant refresher if you’re starting your Code Club after a break. 

Pages from the club organiser pack.

Resource two: First session guide

From your feedback, we understand that running your first session can sometimes feel a bit daunting, as well as being an extra task at the beginning of a busy term! To help with this, we’ve created a new step-by-step first session guide to give you everything you need in one place.

Based on the beginners ‘Space talk‘ Scratch project, you’ll find in the guide:

  • A session plan
  • Simple and practical advice to help your prepare for the session
  • All your preparation for the session has been broken down into small chunks
  • New activities to support your coders’ learning 

The NEW unplugged activities link to ‘Space talk’ and are great to hand out to coders who finish the project towards the end of a session, or as activities to try at home.

This guide makes the first session so easy to run. I know I will be using it to give me confidence that my first Code Club session back will be fun and have a positive impact on the learners. 

Front pages from the first session pack; running your first Code Club session, Create and colour, I spy and Space memory game.

Resource three: 250+ coding projects

Where to start? Well, that is easy, I promise! Our ‘3, 2, 1, Make!’ project paths are carefully designed so that as young people progress, they develop their coding skills as well as their independence to create projects that matter to them.

We have paths about Scratch, Python, Unity, physical computing, and how to get started with a Raspberry Pi Pico. Each path contains six projects that are guaranteed by our young testers to be great fun!

You can learn more about ‘3,2,1, Make!’ and the pedagogy behind these projects in this blog.

Bonus resource: Certificates!

I know this is my top three, but I couldn’t write this blog post without mentioning our certificates! 

Recognising success and achievements, however big or small, is such a vital part of Code Club. We’ve got a huge selection of certificates to celebrate everything from superstar coders to completing a whole project path. 

A selection of Code Club certificates.

We can’t wait to get back to Code Club and see all the creative projects from your Code Club members. Share how you’re getting on using the hashtag #MyCodeClub or by tagging us on Facebook or Twitter. If we see your posts, we might even send you some stickers!

Let’s get coding! 

If there is a resource that you’d like to see in our library, share it with the team and write to us at support@codeclub.org

Code Club: fun, fantastic, and humbling!

Enthusiasm has been in abundance since Code Clubs across the world have reunited with in-person sessions. With the UK and Ireland heading into their summer breaks, here are some of our highlights from the last academic year.

The Code Club team

Head of Code Club, Tamasin Greenough Graham, has a few words to share with you:  

“I’ve loved seeing so many clubs up and running again after pausing during the covid pandemic.

It’s been lovely to see all the inventive new projects that our young coders have created, but for me, the highlights have been hearing about how Code Club has enabled young people to grow in confidence and independence. Those skills are vital for great coding, and will help them develop in lots of other parts of their life as well.

I’m so grateful to all the volunteers and educators who have given their time and enthusiasm to facilitate Code Clubs to thrive.”

Celebrating Sophie! 

In June, we celebrated teacher Sophie Hudson and her Code Club in a small rural village in Yorkshire, England.  

Her tech journey started out small and now she is nurturing Yorkshire’s next generation of digital makers!  

Watch her inspiring video and follow their Code Club journey.

Linton-on-Ouse Primary School Code Club

Giving children new opportunities at Hythe Library Code Club

Seeing clubs get back to in-person sessions has been wonderful! You just can’t beat the excitement of seeing children get that ‘aha moment’ when their code works.

Colin Woods, from Hythe Library in Kent, England said:

“It was really good to see the youngsters in-person, everybody took returning to Code Club in their stride!

We have been wonderfully supported by parents/family that turn up for show and tell, which has overrun a couple of times (!), but the Library have been nice to us!”

We then asked Colin what he had planned for September: 

“For the autumn we’re planning our normal weekly sessions, making sure we include the last 10 mins for a show and tell which I love. We often see some of the quieter youngsters come out of their shell and it allows parents to see what all have been upto, it’s very humbling to see how well everyone supports everyone.”

Obuma improves her teamwork skills at Code Club

Young coder Obuma, from Hillside Code Club in Aberdeenshire, Scotland is moving up to secondary school in August after a great year in Code Club. She was really enthusiastic about their club experience: 

“At Code Club we learn how to code! We also improve our teamwork skills, there’s a lot of people at Code Club and most of the time you work together to create different things. 

My favourite part of Code Club is the presenting and coding, coding is fun!” 

Budding coder, Obuma

Children get ownership over their Code Club

Rich Hind has been involved with Code Club since 2016. After a brief hiatus, he is back running his Code Club at Congleton Library in Cheshire, England. 

“Getting back into the library and teaching in-person was fantastic and really is the highlight of my week. And I had forgotten how great it was to be standing in front of the class. 

Returning to the classes this time I have created my own lessons based on the children’s ideas to help them feel part of the process, and this has really given them  a sense of ownership and that the classes are for them.”

You can keep up to date on Congleton Code Club in Rich’s blog

Congleton Library Code Club

Coding together! 

We’ve had great fun coding alongside your Code Club members at our online codealongs. Seeing your club members exercising their coding skills with young people from across the world has really reminded us all what an amazing global community we have!  

We’re looking forward to running more online codealongs and getting to meet your club members in September. What themed codealongs would you like to see us run? Share your thoughts by emailing the team at support@codeclub.org.

Yasmin, running an online codealong

Keep in touch with us

We love hearing about your Code Club’s achievements and how we can assist you in running your Code Club. Please reach out to us any time on Twitter or Facebook, or by emailing us at support@codeclub.org.