With the rapid advances in digital technologies like artificial intelligence, it’s more important than ever that every young person has the opportunity to learn how computers are being used to change the world and to develop the skills and confidence to get creative with technology.
There’s no better way to develop those abilities (super powers even) than getting hands-on experience of programming, whether that’s coding an animation, designing a game, creating a website, building a robot buggy, or training an AI classification model. That’s what tens of thousands of young people do every day in Code Clubs all over the world.
Lessons at 10
We were absolutely thrilled to organise a Code Club at Number Ten Downing Street last week, hosted by the UK Prime Minister’s wife Akshata Murty as part of Lessons at 10.
Lessons at 10 is an initiative to bring school children from all over the UK into Number Ten Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Every week different schools visit to attend lessons led by education partners covering all kinds of subjects.
We ran a Code Club for 20 Year 7 students (ages 11 to 12) from schools in Coventry and Middlesex. The young people had a great time with the Silly eyes and Ghostbusters projects from our collections of Scratch projects. Both stone-cold classics in my opinion, and a great place to start if you’re new to programming.
You may have spotted in the photos that the young people were programming on Raspberry Pi computers (the incredible Raspberry Pi 400 made in Wales). We also managed to get our hands on some cool new monitors.
Mrs Murty’s father was one of the founders of Infosys, which ranks among the world’s most successful technology companies, founded in India and now operating all over the world. So it is perhaps no surprise that she spoke eloquently to the students about the importance of every young person learning about technology and seeing themselves as digital creators not consumers.
We were lucky enough to be in one of the rather fancy rooms in Number Ten, featuring a portrait by John Constable of his niece Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer. Mrs Murty reminded us that one of the lessons we learn from Ada Lovelace is that computer programming combines both the logical and artistic aspects of human intelligence. So true.
A global movement
Since Code Club’s launch in April 2012, it has grown to be the world’s largest movement of free computing clubs and has supported over 2 million young people to get creative with technology.
Code Clubs provide a free, fun, and safe environment for young people from all backgrounds to develop their digital skills. Run by teachers and volunteers, most Code Clubs take place in schools, and there are also lots in libraries and other community venues.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides a broad range of projects that young people use to build their confidence and skills with lots of different hardware and software. The ultimate goal is that they are empowered to combine their logical and artistic skills to create something original. Just like Ada Lovelace did all those years ago.
All of our projects are designed to be self-directed, so young people can learn independently or in groups. That means that you don’t need to be a tech expert to set up or run a Code Club. We provide you with all the support that you need to get started.
If you want to find out more about how to set up a Code Club, visit the website here.