Code Club Iraq is helping learners dream big with code!

Dr Nadia Al-Aboody is the driving force behind Code Club Iraq, she’s been empowering Code Club children and educators since 2016. 

Educator Zahraa and young coders Alaa, Haneen, and Yusuf tell us about the positive impact that Nadia and Code Club has had on their lives.

Dr Nadia Al-Aboody

Dr Nadia Al-Aboody is a lecturer of computer science in Maysan, Iraq, a dedicated Code Club leader, a Raspberry Pi National Partner for Iraq, and an advocate for women and girls in STEM. She tells us:

“When I was a little girl I didn’t find a mentor to help me with electronics, I only heard voices saying I won’t make it. This is why I now mentor girls and female trainers in our Code Club. I want to give them a chance to grow.”

Nadia has been involved with Code Club for five years and is a real role model for many girls and women in Iraq. 

Alaa is dreaming big through code! 

Meet Alaa, aged 10! Alaa joined Nadia’s Code Club in 2020 when she started to dream big with code!

“I want to be famous when I grow up, the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from being a Code Club member will help me achieve my dreams!” 

Code Club is a great space to spark the imagination of young people, to encourage them to explore ideas that interest them, whilst developing their skills. This was one reason why Alaa wanted to join Code Club: 

“At the end of the project, I will see something I have made and it will help me make other projects with new ideas!”

If Alaa was to offer any advice to new club members, she says that you should give it a go as you are guaranteed to have a “really fun time there” — thank you, Alaa! 

Alaa at Code Club

Developing transferable skills 

Zahraa is an electrical engineer and is currently studying for a Master’s in computer engineering; she is affectionately called Nadia’s ‘right-hand woman’! She has been a Code Club volunteer for two years. Zahraa tells us: 

“What attracted me to Code Club is that the team supports children of different ages, and teaches them how to rely on themselves, as well as the basics for programming and logical thinking. 

The training from Nadia has helped me a lot, even outside of club-based activities, and I have been able to use the skills I developed from volunteering at Code Club in other areas of my life too, like public speaking, delivering training, communications and public relations, logical thinking, and of course, coding! 

I would really advise anyone who is thinking about getting involved with us at Code Club to absolutely do it. It’s one of the most rewarding things I have done.” 

Code Club educator, Zahraa

Code Club is supporting future career paths 

Nadia and the team have created safe spaces where children are able to explore coding and discuss future career paths. 

Haneen (14) and Yusuf (10) are siblings who attend Code Club. Haneen has always been excited by programming, but since coming to Code Club, she is now thinking about choosing it as her field of study at university. 

Yusuf wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up, but his Code Club experience has made him sure that he wants to become a games programmer. 

Haneen shares her coding skills in this Code Club Scratch project; have a go and see how you get on! 

Code Club Iraq

To find out how to start your own Code Club, head to www.codeclub.org if you are based in the UK, India or the USA or to www.international.codeclub.org if you are based outside the UK. 

3…2…1… Blast off with Code Club for World Space Week!

Fuel your coders’ imagination and take part in World Space Week (4–10 October) — the largest annual space event in the world! 

Explore our space-themed projects, celebrate the women who have paved the way for space exploration, and learn how your club can send a message into space with the European Astro Pi Challenge Mission Zero.

Women in space 

From Margaret Hamilton’s code for NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969, to Wally Funk joining Blue Origin Crew on board the New Shepard rocket in July, women have been an integral part of space exploration for centuries. 

Here are three real roles models you can talk about in your classroom who have made an impact on space exploration: 

  1. Katherine Johnson, born in 1918, developed calculations that synched Apollo’s Lunar Lander with the moon orbiting Command and Service Module.
  2. Mary Jackson, born in 1921, was the first black female engineer for NASA. She worked to impact the hiring of the next generation of women at NASA. 
  3. Jessica Ulrika Meir, born in 1977, joined Christina Koch on 18 October 2019 for the first all-female spacewalk!

Let the exploration begin 

Our space-themed project collection includes eight projects to appeal to the space-loving coders in your club.

The collection features a brand-new beginner’s Scratch project called ‘Space talk’, where children learn how to add sprites and backdrops and are introduced to ‘look’ and ‘sound’ code blocks to make their sprite emote! 

Space talk

For your more confident coders, explore our Python project called ‘Where is the Space Station?‘. Learners use a web service to find out the current location of the International Space Station (ISS) and plot its location on a map.

If you’re based in the UK, the USA, India, or Ireland, head to your dashboard, ‘Resources’ and scroll down to the ‘Learning resources’ section to download your copy of our space-themed collection. 

If you’re based outside of the UK, the USA, India, or Ireland, head to our Code Club international website.

Space-themed project collection

Send a message to the International Space Station

Bring space exploration to your classroom by taking part in the European Astro Pi Challenge Mission Zero, an ESA Education project run by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. To enter, young people just need to write a simple Python program that will display a message on the International Space Station (ISS)! 

There’s something extra special about this year’s challenge! All Mission Zero participants will have the opportunity to vote for the names of the two new Astro Pi computers that are being sent to the International Space Station in December — how cool is that?

Find out if your club is eligible to take part in Mission Zero and how you can include a name choice in your submission with this handy project guide.

Our new project paths and European Astro Pi Challenge Mission Zero have easy to follow step-by-step instructions, allowing both young coders and educators to reach for the stars, learn together, and succeed!

Share your successes with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MyCodeClub

Young coders take the trophy in the Summer of Sport!

Back in June we asked young people around the world to code a fun Scratch project in the spirit of the 2021 sporting calendar!

In this blog post, the Code Club team shares a few projects from the amazing young coders who reached the Summer of Sport finish line.

Coding in the spirit of the Olympics

With the Euro 2020, Tour de France, Olympics, Paralympics, and many more pandemic-delayed events taking place this summer, sporting fever was everywhere. Physical exercise and being active are essential aspects of wellbeing — an important part of recovering from the impact of the pandemic. 

The Summer of Sport was shared as a fun holiday activity and a way to link coding with getting active, helping young people to connect code with their real-life hobbies and interests. All young coders were invited to participate, either coding from our list of suggested projects, or making something totally new in Scratch. The only requirement was that their final creation combined coding and being active.

Amazing projects 

Lots of clubs and young people coding from home accepted the challenge and we saw Summer of Sport entries fly in from Libya, to Iraq and Scotland. Here are just a few projects that we enjoyed! 

Darren, Code Club Programme Coordinator in Ireland, really loved this fun take on the ‘Beat the goalie’ project from Scratch user cottoncan.

“I really like the way you have made the goalkeeper’s arms move — they seem to mesmerise you and make you want to shoot at the goalie all the time!” 

Learning Coordinator Liz loved this project which shows two people riding unicorns through the countryside.  

“I love the costume editing and animation that Scratch user khtsb has used in this project. The scrolling ‘الكائن’ object makes the unicorns seem to move really quickly. Well done!” 

USA Club Program Coordinator Kevin had a great time playing this fun and creative game from Scratch coder wps-ALT. 

This is a super addictive baseball catching game that plays just like a quick reaction game, and I LOVE quick reaction games! This was a really smart idea!”  

What next?

You can check out all the amazing Summer of Sport entries and get inspired to make your own sporty projects by visiting our Scratch studio.

We’ll be sharing more exciting project collections that link real-world learning to coding soon! Stay tuned for our space-themed collection to support National Space Week (4–10 October), where we will share all sorts of out-of-this-world ideas for the space-mad coders at your club. We’ll be posting all the details here on our blog! 

Got a cool project from your Code Club to share with us? Share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.