If you start in London and walk 6,073 miles east, where does it take you? The answer, Delhi!

In January, members from the Code Club UK and Ireland team set themselves the challenge to walk the distance from London to Delhi to virtually meet Code Club India colleagues, Vasu and Divya. 

We have reached the halfway point, and it’s time to celebrate the amazing clubs we’ve caught up with along the way! 

The team on their walks
The virtual walking route!

First stop, London: Over half of the London Underground runs above ground 

Olivia is a Code Club leader at Peckham Library, and we asked her to share a highlight from the past year: 

“This term, we have started to experiment with allowing some of the students to teach a session. It has been incredible to see the students, who are only 10 to 12 years old, take on ownership of the class, lead the session, and take questions from their peers.”

Theo, a member from the club also registered his project Bookwriggle, a book recommendation website, in this year’s Coolest Projects showcase, and it was selected as a judge’s favourite! Go, Theo! 

Bookwiggle website designed by Theo

Second stop, Graz: The Austrian national flag is one of the oldest in the world

Whilst virtually walking through Graz, in Austria, we caught up with Günter Nimmerfall, who runs a Code Club at MS Schulzentrum Hall. 

Gunter shares why Code Club suits his school: 

“We are a secondary school with two focuses: languages (Italian) and STEM education. Code Club is perfect; it gives learners the chance to experience coding and creating (3D printing, 3D modelling).We love to show our learners how to code games.

It’s very nice to code some retro games like Flappy bird or racing games like the Boat race, which can be done at the learner’s pace.”

Third stop, Tuzla: The heart-shaped land of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Two boys, both named Haris, attend Code Clubs in the city of Tuzla, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the country is nicknamed the ‘Heart-Shaped Land’, we asked them to share why they love Code Club! 

“I love Code Club because we all have the superpower to create and shape the present, and change the future. In our Code Club, not only do we learn how to code, but we also learn to think and cooperate with our fellow students.

Each one of us has certain talents and knowledge that we can use, and together as a team we reach solutions.”

Haris, from Mejdan school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“I love Code Club because I love to code and I love challenges, and each new project is a challenge for me. I love to work on projects since then my creativity, maths, and IT skills develop.

Coding gives me opportunities to make life easier through technology for every person.”

Haris, from OŠ “Kreka” school in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Fourth stop, Bulgaria: One of the oldest European countries, established in 681 AD

Alexander, Anton, and Victor are seventh graders who attend Code Club Bulgaria; they entered this year’s Coolest Projects showcase with their creation ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

They were inspired by the arcade game Asteroids, which they said was “one of the most amazing video games in the early history of video games”. They created their remake in Scratch with a new design and functions — in their game, you can gain extra firepower by achieving different targets! 

ASTEROIDS SE (ARCADE)

Josh Hellier, Global Community Coordinator, had a go at the game:

It was so much fun. They’ve done an amazing job of recreating this classic 1979 game! It’s clear they worked brilliantly as a team and supported each other in learning new skills to realise their vision. Well done! 

Celebrate your achievements with the Code Club team by sharing them on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World using the hashtag #MyCodeClub! 

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! 

Grandparents know best! Learn what inspired Bhakti’s Coolest Projects idea.

Coolest Projects ignites curiosity and creativity amongst young coders from across the globe. 

In 2020, coding superstar Bhakti (13) from Pune, India, entered Coolest Projects. She shares with us her first-hand experience of creating her Scratch game ‘Save Animals’.

Gaining real-life skills

Bhakti (13), lives in Pune, India and regularly attends her school’s Code Club supported by the Pi Jam Foundation. Bhakti is new to coding and when she learned about Coolest Projects from her teacher, she saw it as an exciting opportunity to develop her coding skills. 

I never knew that we could do so much with computers apart from emails and playing games. I never knew that I could make my own game.

That was very powerful for me. I found programming to be so much fun and that I was gaining a real-life skill, which will help me and my family in the future.”

Grandparents inspire an idea!  

Bhakti’s grandparents regularly told her stories of the local area around Pune being densely populated with trees and animals, with the community growing and selling their own vegetables. 

During her lifetime, this was something that Bhakti had never experienced. She had witnessed the impact of hunting and how the consequences of this practice had changed the area and the animals that live there. 

The increase in hunting in her region was the inspiration for Bhakti’s 2020 Coolest Projects entry. She wanted to raise awareness of hunting and created a Scratch game called ‘Save Animals’, where players can protect animals by stopping hunters.   

Screenshot of Bhakti's Scratch project.
Blue sky, green hedges and a hunter firing a gun into the sky.

Designing a game on a mobile device

‘Save Animals’ was fully designed and coded on Bhakti’s father’s mobile. This presented several challenges, from access, to time on the phone, and not having enough ‘hunter’ themed sprites in Scratch! 

Bhakti nearly gave up, but her grandma encouraged her to continue and even helped with her idea creation. 

A GIF of a forest setting with wild animals moving across the page and hunters shooting at them.

Bhakti’s three tips on taking part in Coolest Projects

  1. Don’t overthink — plan and execute! 
  1. Share your ideas with your teacher or parent, they can help you find ways to solve the problems you encounter. 
  1. Participation is more important than asking yourself “whether I can do this or not?”.  

Proud to be part of a global showcase

Bhakti was proud to be part of Coolest Projects, along with other young creators around the globe.  

“I never imagined that I could be part of a global challenge. My school teachers were very proud of me, it did take some time to explain to my parents the importance of challenges like these, which gives global exposure to kids my age.

I am glad I convinced my dad to share his phone with me!”

Bhakti loved being involved with Coolest Projects, so much that she’s participating again this year, to develop her coding skills even further.

Good luck to Bhakti and to all other young creators working on their Coolest Projects ideas!

Join Bhakti in Coolest Projects 2021! 

Idea registration is now open for Coolest Projects! Wherever you are in the world, invite your Code Club members to get creative and take part in this global technology showcase. We can’t wait to see the amazing things they create.