Code Club celebrates International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to introduce you to some of the amazing women who work for Code Club across the world. 

They told us about the women who have inspired them, from grandmothers, to teachers, to scientists, and it’s been amazing to hear the impact that these #RealRoleModels have had on our colleagues’ lives. 

She wanted her school to be the best school for girls 

Lucia Manzitti, Head of Code Club UK and Ireland 

“My grandmother has been a huge inspiration to me. She founded a school for girls in Argentina, where we were taught to be independent, smart, and brave — all qualities she had. She was a great leader, she wanted her school to be the best school for girls in Argentina, and she was always innovating and taking inspiration from other schools around the world.

She introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) to Argentina, and her school was the first to pilot the IB Diploma in 1976. She made sure her students were able to sit their Cambridge exams during the Falklands War; she hid their completed exam papers in the back of a car, drove to Uruguay, and sent them to the UK to be marked. She was awarded an MBE for this. She had a very clear vision, tremendous vigour, and was never silenced. She knew what she wanted and she did what she had to. I miss her every day.”

Jumped in and had a go! 

Nicola Curnow, Code Club Australia Program Manager

“I’m inspired daily by other women in tech, especially the teachers and volunteers who didn’t think they could code and jumped in and had a go, women of the past like Ada Lovelace, and women I work with every day who are in the minority in so many rooms but still outshine everyone!”

Learning fab new skills

Liz Smart, Programme Coordinator, Regional Engagement 

“Lisa Brown runs both Manchester CoderDojo and Cheadle CoderDojo and inspired me to start my own. She fills her time volunteering and learning fab new skills — she even made me some awesome hand warmers in my team’s colours to keep me cosy at the football.” 

The only female school leader

Vasu Srivastava, Club Programme Coordinator, India

“I met Ms Divya Lokesh in 2016, and she was the only female school leader in the entire cohort of more than 30 leaders in Bangalore, India. She not only inspired me, but thousands of children who come to her school every day. 

She encouraged a lot of co-curricular activities in her school, despite it being the less popular choice amongst parents and management. She started Classical & Western Dance classes for the children in middle school, and hired a self-defence expert to teach the adolescent girls in her school. 

She is a pioneer in her field and is also a proud mother of two children; she manages a household and a school with more than 1700 children; she truly is inspiring!” 

Always DANCE! 

Christina Foust, Club Programs Manager, USA 

“I’m inspired daily by my mother, Emerita. She taught me that life is short, so do what makes you happy. Spend time with loved ones! Travel! Be kind! And always, DANCE!”

Totally awestruck

Kat Leadbetter, Programme Coordinator, Global Engagement

“I studied Astronomy at university and always felt hugely inspired by Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a physicist who helped discover the first pulsar. As she was a postgrad student when the discovery was made, Bell Burnell was never properly credited and therefore missed out on the Nobel Prize awarded to other scientists she had worked with. Regardless, she dealt with this gracefully and had a successful career in what is still a very male-dominated field. When she was the speaker at my graduation ceremony, I was totally awestruck!”

Share with us

Which women have inspired you in your life? Share with us on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World and use the hashtag #RealRoleModels.

Jacob shares his top tips to running a fun and engaging Code Club

In February we met educator Jacob from Penpol School in Cornwall. He volunteered to join the Code Club panel as part of the Raspberry Pi educator sessions hosted in London. 

After the event, we caught up with Jacob and asked if he would contribute to our blog and share his experiences of running a fun and engaging Code Club.

Say hello to Jacob

Jacob has been running his Code Club at Penpol School in Cornwall for over three years.  He has a wealth of knowledge on running a Code Club. Let’s find out what his three tips are to running a fun and engaging club! 

Image shows teacher Jacob in his  class room
Jacob from Penpol School in Cornwall

1. Have fun! 

Have fun with it. Running a Code Club is a fantastic chance to engage with students and children in a different way, everyone has come together to have fun and explore ideas with each other. The children have chosen to attend Code Club so they are already excited about the idea — take this energy and run with it! 

2. It isn’t a lesson 

Remember, it isn’t a ‘lesson’. This isn’t like a computing lesson in school, there is no set goal, no endpoint, no ‘finished!’ moment. Instead, children are encouraged to explore projects, take them in any direction they wish and discover new ideas and issues along the way. 

These moments provide excellent learning opportunities for both the children and yourself as they are real-world issues that they have encountered and want to explore, not scenarios you have planned in advance.

Young boy working at a computer
Code Club projects in action!

3. Embrace the dancing ice creams! 

Let the children lead the way. If they want to explore a certain set of resources, let them. If they want to change a project halfway through to incorporate a set of dancing ice creams, let them. They are learning, exploring, and problem-solving — whether in a structured or unstructured way. 

Don’t be afraid to let them take the lead and follow where they want to go.

Three girls sat in a line behind computers, smiling.
Learning to code with friends

You can follow Jacob’s adventures with code on Twitter, start a conversation, and share your Code Club experiences! 

What are your tips? 

What are your tips to running a fun and engaging Code Club? Let us know by tweeting us at Code Club UK & Code Club world using the hashtag #MyCodeClub 

The best thing about Code Club is you!

Roses are red, violets are blue, we really love Code Club, and we hope you do too!

Read on and find out why kids love attending Code Club and try our heart-themed projects this Valentine’s Day!  

The best thing about Code Club is you!

Young members from Star Clubs at RGS the Grange in Worcestershire, Cully Coders in Devon, Meriden Code Club in Coventry, and Wormit Primary school in Scotland, wrote to us to say why they love attending Code Club — it made us blush and warmed our hearts!

“You can take on fun and challenging projects which get your mind thinking”

“I love coding because you can make whatever is in your mind”

“The leaders help us if we are stuck and they are there for us if we need them!”

“I love coding and it is really fun”

 “The best thing about Tuesday”

“I can learn to create my own projects and it’s great fun to learn!”

“You can be creative and add lots of your own ideas to the challenges”

Your code brightens our day

Send a secret Valentine’s Day letter to a loved one with our mystery letter project. 

In this project, children will learn how to use multiple CSS classes to style text and find out how to use background images and free Google Fonts.

Here are messages from Regional Coordinator Liz, and International Programme Coordinator Kat.

Alternatively, you might like to test your skills by remixing our Happy Birthday project! Design a Valentine’s Day card for your pet, grandparent, or your secret crush.

Express your love with Scratch 

Everyone needs a little inspiration when writing a poem for a loved one. Our Scratch poetry generator can help, along with teaching you about variables, lists, and repeat blocks. 

Have a look at Regional Coordinator Rohima’s poem, it will make you laugh! 

If you would prefer to draw your love, try using Paint Box to draw your favourite things — this could include cake, your pet, or your sibling’s face! 

Show me more projects

If these projects have inspired you, take a look at Code Club and Raspberry Pi projects pages where you can find even more projects featuring Scratch, Python, and micro:bit!

Don’t forget to share your awesome creations on Twitter at Code Club UK or Code Club World and use the hashtag #MyCodeClub