Putting a Code Club in every community

Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club join forces

I am delighted to announce that Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club are joining forces in a merger that will give many more young people the opportunity to learn how to make things with computers.

Raspberry Pi Foundation and Code Club were both created as responses to the collective failure to prepare young people for life and work in a world that is shaped by digital technologies.

We’re part of a growing worldwide movement that is trying to solve that problem by equipping people with the knowledge and confidence to be digital makers, not just consumers.

Children at a Code Club

We’ve made a good start.

Since launching our first product in 2012, we have sold 7 million Raspberry Pi computers and reached hundreds of thousands of young people through our educational programmes, resources, open source software, and teacher training.

Since its launch in 2012, Code Club has helped establish over 3,800 clubs in the UK and over 1,000 clubs in 70 other countries. Run by volunteers, Code Clubs focus on giving 9-11 year olds the opportunity to make things with computers. Right now over 44,000 young people regularly attend Code Clubs in the UK alone, around 40% of whom are girls.

But we’ve got much more to do.

Research by Nesta shows that in the UK, many young people who want to get involved in digital making lack the opportunity to do so. We want to solve that problem, ensuring that there is a Code Club in every community in the UK and, ultimately, across the world.

A child absorbed in a task at a Code Club

In many ways, the decision to join forces was an obvious step. We share a common mission and values, we hugely respect each other’s work, and there are clear benefits from combining our capabilities, particularly if we want to have impact at a serious scale.

Code Club and Raspberry Pi share one other important characteristic: we’re both, at heart, community efforts, only possible thanks to the huge numbers of volunteers and educators who share our passion to get kids involved in digital making. One of our main goals is to support that community to grow.

Code Club – volunteer with us!

Code Club is building a network of coding clubs for children aged 9-11 across the UK. Can you help us inspire the next generation to get excited about digital making? Find out more about how to get involved at www.codeclub.org.uk

The other critical part of Code Club’s success has been the generous philanthropic partners who have provided the resources and practical support that have enabled it to grow quickly, while being free for kids. ARM, Google, Cabinet Office, Nesta, Samsung and many other organisations have been brilliant partners already, and they will be just as important to the next stage of Code Club’s growth.

So what does this all mean in practice?

Technically, Code Club will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Importantly, its brand and approach will continue unchanged. It’s a proven model that works incredibly well and we don’t want to change it.

For the teachers and volunteers who run Code Clubs, nothing will change. Code Club HQ will continue to create awesome projects that you can use in your clubs. You will still use whatever hardware and software works best for your kids. We’ll still be working hard to match volunteers and schools to set up new clubs across the country, and developing partnerships that launch Code Clubs in other countries around the world.

For Raspberry Pi Foundation, this is an important step in diversifying our educational programmes. Of course, a lot of our work focuses on the Raspberry Pi computer as a tool for education (and it always will), but our mission and activities are much broader than that, and many of our programmes, like Code Club, are designed to be platform-neutral.

Code Club robot and Raspberry Pi robot: high five!

Personally, I’m really excited about working more closely with Code Club and helping them grow. I’ve been a big fan of their work for a long time, and over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to visit Code Clubs across the country. I’ve been blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of the teachers, volunteers and young people involved.

If you don’t know them already, check them out at www.codeclub.org.uk and, if you can, get involved. I know that many people in the Raspberry Pi community already volunteer at their local Code Club. I’d love to see that number grow!

26 comments

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What a marvellous idea. Perfectly aligned to the aims of the Foundation. Congratulations to all involved!

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This is very welcome news and will prove a strong move towards enabling children to seize every opportunity.
Good luck!

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This really is fantastic news. What’s more I’ve been getting involved in the past couple of weeks with helping get Code Club established in France (the bilingual helper for the Fabien who’s already running things in Troyes). So very exciting =o)

Congrats to the Foundation and to Clare and compagnie!

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Brilliant.
Getting ready to run January Code Club inspired after school club.

It’s as if 2012 was the tipping point for getting kids excited about technology and making.

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I run 5 code clubs in the Torfaen and Newport area and have just completed a level 4 course in applying Raspberry Pi’s, which I hope to introduce into clubs soon. The problem I have is that in rural and deprived areas it is hard to recruit volunteers. So I am coordinating clubs and recruiting from organisations e.g ONS and USW plus individuals from small tech firms. If I don’t do this, clubs won’t open in our part of the world!

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I found Raspberry Pi and coding late last year and have enjoyed it immensely. The use of GPIO’s to control say a robot vehicle or CNC is unbelievable. I have one CodeClub about 10 miles away but after working in education for the last 10 yrs of my working life fully appreciate what the aims of you all. What is my best way forward to promote this in and around Pembroke, Pembrokeshire? I am aware of teacher needs. I am qualified to teach 16+. I was a Senior Teaching Assistant for 7 yrs in a senior school (cover supervisor) and wrote a training manual for that role. I am now retired and enjoying learning through play.

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Really exciting news for the growth of both organisations and the field as a whole. Look forward to learning more and finding ways for Apps for Good to collaborate with you.

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This is great news.

Code Club and the Raspberry Pi foundation have so much in common, both are clear in their aims of teaching and getting children excited about computing. Together I see this as an opportunity to provide more opportunities to teachers and pupils so that all those that want to learn computing can do so.

It will be good to see how this partnership can be leveraged in future as I think the Raspberry Pi computer is a great resource that can be used in Code Clubs.

Whilst a Raspberry Pi is not needed for Code Club it’s one way to run it (it’s how I ran my first term of Code Club) and there is so much extra stuff that can be done once you add a Raspberry Pi and a few add-ons.

Philip Colligan

Thanks Stewart. We need many more volunteers like you if we’re going to put a Code Club in every community.

Find out how to volunteer here: https://www.codeclub.org.uk/

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A marriage made in Heaven: I feel like my two best friends have just announced their engagement. x

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Too bad this is the UK. It needs to be made as a global community, especially here in the USA.

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Code Club is a global initiative: https://www.codeclubworld.org/ – scroll down to see the map!

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I think a Nintendo 3DS, with SmileBasic is a great way to get started. It’s fun. It’s portable. It’s easy to use. The only problem is that people keep asking me how to connect a keyboard to it. I don’t know. There may be a way a Raspberry Pi can connect to it via audio port, either GPIO or audio jack, but my electronic skill isn’t good enough. Think old style modem or audio tapes.

I see on the map that there is at least one Code Club nearby, but I can’t find the address just yet.

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SmileBASIC isn’t out in europe yet though :/

Nevertheless, if you already have a 3DS, then I totally agree. Even if you don’t, you can get one second-hand for only 60 quid or so, which gets you a fully portable unit with 2 screens – one autostereoscopic(!) and one touchscreen.

It’s ultimately more limited/restricted than the pi, but much more user-friendly, IMO.

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Very exciting news! I’m looking forward to Eoin being old enough to join the Code Club in our local library…

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Oh wow! I had sort of hoped something like this would happen even before I joined a club. Great news! I’ve been looking for excuses to sneak Pis into the club for ages and I may just have the angle now…

Philip Colligan

Priceless!

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Does or will code club teach clubs for children over 11?

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There’s nothing stopping someone using the Code Club and Raspberry Pi resources for a club for over 11s.

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Will be watching the spread of this to Australia with intense interest :-)

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Code Club is already quite active in Australia with some 300 clubs running.

Why not get in touch with them (http://www.codeclubau.org/ @CodeClubAus) to participate, volunteer or help create one in your local area {…what I’m currently doing here in the South of France} ? ;o)

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I’m an active mentor in a CoderDojo. CoderDojos seem much more common than Code Clubs. We have three Raspberry Pi 1 B:s and one Raspberry Pi 2 B, but we have only two screens. The participants bring their own devices and can connect to the Raspberry Pi:s using SSH, RDP or VNC. What are the advantages of Code Club compared to CoderDojo?

Philip Colligan

Thanks MOB. CoderDojo is a great initiative and such an important part of the movement. Raspberry Pi Foundation has partnered with CoderDojo several times in the past and we’re keen to continue to support the work of mentors like you.

You can find out more details about Code Club here: https://www.codeclub.org.uk/

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This is great. I just registered my club with CodeClub.

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Hi I’m having trouble contacting the guys at CodeClub via their events (at) codeclub.co.uk address.

Apparently the domain isn’t being recognised. I don’t suppose there is another address I could use?

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I think I know what your problem is – they’re codeclub.org.uk, not .co.uk. Good luck!

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