Tag Archives: Code Club

Get ready for Moonhack 2023: Bringing space down to Earth

Post Syndicated from Isabel Ronaldson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/moonhack-2023/

Moonhack is a free global, online coding challenge by our partner Code Club Australia, powered by Telstra Foundation. It runs once a year for young learners worldwide. In 2022, almost 44,000 young people from 63 countries registered to take part.

A young person coding during a Moonhack event.

This year, Moonhack will happen from 10 to 26 October, to coincide with World Space Week 2023. The challenge is open to all young learners, wherever they are in the world, and features six brand-new projects that focus on space and innovation. We caught up with Kaye North, Community and Engagement Manager at Code Club Australia, to find out more.

What’s new for 2023?

Moonhack 2023 offers access to engaging new projects for Scratch, micro:bit, and Python. For the first time ever, young people will also have the option to follow a project brief to code their own solution to a space-based issue, using a programming language of their choice.

Two children code on laptops while an adult supports them.

In keeping with this year’s theme — which was inspired by the World Space Week 2023 theme of ‘Space and Entrepreneurship’ — the new Moonhack projects showcase inventions that were created for space exploration but are now used in everyday life, such as mobile phone cameras and LEDs.

Kaye shared that in Australia, inventions created for space travel and exploration are part of the science curriculum at primary school level. She hopes that this year’s Moonhack will help more young people understand how space exploration and coding are connected to their daily lives.

What will young people gain from taking part in Moonhack?

Moonhack features six unique coding projects, giving young people of all ages and experience levels the opportunity to engage and learn. The project brief introduced this year encourages participants to be creative, coding a solution on any platform they choose.

Young learners coding in a computing classroom.

Coders who respond to the project brief will also be in with a chance of having their project selected to be developed into an official Code Club Australia project, for other young people and educators around the world to enjoy.

Kaye emphasised that Moonhack is about more than just taking part in a global event; it also helps young people to better understand the real-world opportunities that coding can offer.

“The more kids we expose this to, the better, expanding coding past just coding and having purpose behind it. And I do try to link things in so that we’re connecting with real-world context, careers…”

Kaye North

How your young coders can get involved

Registration for Moonhack 2023 is open now. The challenge runs from 10 to 26 October, and projects can be submitted until 30 November. Participation is free and open to any young coder, whether they are part of a Code Club or not. The 2023 projects are already available in English, Arabic, Croatian, Dutch, Filipino, French, Greek, Hindi, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish, and will be available in more languages soon. 

To find out more and register to take part, visit the Moonhack website.

Code Club Australia is powered by Telstra Foundation as part of a strategic partnership with us at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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Bringing computing education research to a new global audience

Post Syndicated from Isabel Ronaldson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/research-global-clubs-partners-code-club-coderdojo/

A network of more than 40 partner organisations in over 30 countries works with us to grow and sustain the worldwide Code Club and CoderDojo networks of coding clubs for young people. These organisations, our Global Clubs Partners, share our mission to enable young people to realise their potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. We support them in various ways, and recently we invited them to two calls with our researchers to discuss new research findings about computing education in primary schools.

Three teenage girls at a laptop
Three girls in a Code Club session in Brazil.

Supporting Global Clubs Partners with research insights

Global Clubs Partners work to train educators and volunteers, provide access to computing equipment, run clubs and events for young people at a local or national level, and much more. Our aim is to provide support that helps the Global Clubs Partners in their work, including tailored resources and regular group calls where we discuss topics such as volunteer engagement and fundraising.

Educator training in a classroom in Benin.
Educator training in Benin, run by Global Clubs Partner organisation Impala Bridge.

Recently, we were excited to be able to highlight research from our newest seminar series to the network. This ongoing seminar series focuses on teaching and learning in primary (K-5) computing education. Many of the Global Clubs Partners work with schools or local education bodies — some partner representatives even come from a teaching background themselves. That’s why we hoped they would be able to use insights from the seminars in their work, whether with learners and educators directly, or to grow their network of Code Clubs or CoderDojos; we know this is easier for them when they can provide evidence to show why these programmes are so beneficial for young people.

Learning from Global Clubs Partners for our future research

We were also very interested to hear the Global Clubs Partners’ perspectives, as they work in a wide variety of contexts around the world. For example, would the research resonate the same way with an organisation based in Kenya as one based in Nepal? This kind of insight is useful for making decisions about our research work in future.

Each of the two calls featured a speaker from the research seminar series summarising their work and inviting attendees to share their own thoughts. We had some fascinating conversations; with partner representatives from seven countries across four continents, the discussions were a great showcase of the different experiences in our partner network. Dr Bobby Whyte, one of the speakers, noted: “Being able to share and discuss work within a global audience has been a really valuable experience.”

Young people at a Code Club session in a classroom.
A Code Club session in a classroom in Portugal.

We found the opportunity to connect our partner network with work from other areas of the Foundation really beneficial, and the Global Clubs Partners did too: their feedback from the calls was uniformly positive. Dr Jane Waite, our Senior Research Scientist, commented that “it’s really important for us to share research with people in different contexts and so exciting to hear when findings resonate and can be used in practice.”

You can find out more about our Global Clubs Partner network on the CoderDojo and Code Club websites, or contact us directly about partnerships.

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Celebrating the community: Spencer

Post Syndicated from Sophie Ashford original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-spencer/

We love hearing from members of the community and how they use their passion for computing and digital making to inspire others. Our community stories series takes you on a tour of the globe to meet educators and young tech creators from the USA, Iraq, Romania, and more.

A smiling computer science teacher stands in front of a school building.

For our latest story, we are in the UK with Spencer, a Computer Science teacher at King Edward VI Sheldon Heath Academy (KESH), Birmingham. After 24 years as a science teacher, Spencer decided to turn his personal passion for digital making into a career and transitioned to teaching Computer Science.

Meet Spencer

From the moment he printed his name on the screen of an Acorn Electron computer at age ten, Spencer was hooked on digital making. He’s remained a member of the digital making community throughout his life, continuing to push himself with his creations and learn new skills whenever possible. Wanting to spread his knowledge and make sure the students at his school had access to computer science, he began running a weekly Code Club in his science lab:

“Code Club was a really nice vehicle for me to get students into programming and digital making, before computer science was an option at the school. So Code Club originally ran in my science lab around the Bunsen burners and all the science equipment, and we do some programming on a Friday afternoon making LEDs flash and a little bit of Minecraft. And from that, the students really got an exciting sense of what programming and digital making could be.”

– Spencer

While running his Code Club, Spencer really embedded himself in the Raspberry Pi community, attending Raspberry Jams, engaging with like-minded people on Twitter, and continuing to rely on our free training to upskill.

A computer science teacher sits with students at computers in a classroom.

When leadership at KESH began to explore introducing Computer Science to the curriculum, Spencer knew he was the right person for the job, and just where to look to make sure he had the right support:

“So when I decided to change from being a science teacher to a computer science teacher, there were loads of course options you could find online, and a lot of them required some really specific prior knowledge and skills. The Foundation’s resources take you from a complete novice, complete beginner — my very first LED flashing on and off — to being able to teach computational thinking and algorithms. So it was a really clear progression from using the Foundation resources that helped take me from a Physics teacher, who could use electricity to light and LED on, to a programmer who could teach how to use this in our digital making for our students.”

– Spencer

Thanks to the support from KESH and Spencer’s compelling can-do attitude, he was soon heading up a brand-new Computer Science department. This was met with great enthusiasm from the learners at KESH, with a willing cohort eagerly signing up for the new subject.

Two smiling computer science students at a desktop computer in a classroom.

“It’s really exciting to see how students have embraced Computer Science as a brand-new subject at school. The take-up for our first year at GCSE was fantastic with 25 students, and this year I’ve really got students asking about, ‘Is there an option for next year, and how can I get on to it?’ Students are almost blown away by the resources now.”

– Spencer

Supporting all students

Spencer has a mission to make sure all of KESH’s learners can learn about computing, and making his lessons accessible to all means he’s become a firm favourite amongst the students for his collaborative teaching approach.

“Mr Organ teaches you, and then he just puts you in. If you do need help, you can ask people around you, or him, but he lets you make your own mistakes and learn from there. He will then give you help so you don’t make those mistakes the next time.”

– Muntaha, 16, GCSE Computer Science student, KESH

Computer science students at a desktop computer in a classroom.

Spencer’s work is shaped by his awareness that many of the learners at KESH come from under-resourced areas of Birmingham and backgrounds that are underrepresented in computing. He knows that many of them have previously had limited opportunities to use digital tools. This is something he is driven to change.

“I want my young students here, regardless of their background, regardless of their area they’ve been brought up in, to have the same experiences as all other students in the country. And the work I do with Raspberry Pi, and the work I do with Code Club, is a way of opening those doors for our young people.”

– Spencer

Share Spencer’s story and inspire other educators

As a passionate member of the Raspberry Pi Foundation community, Spencer has been counted on as a friendly face for many years, sharing his enthusiasm on training courses, at Foundation events, and as a part of discussions on Twitter. With the goal to introduce Computer Science at A level shortly, and an ever-growing collection of digital makes housed in his makerspace, Spencer shows no signs of slowing down.

If you are interested in changing your teaching path to focus on Computer Science, take a look at the free resources we have available to support you on your journey.

Help us celebrate Spencer and his dedication to opening doors for his learners by sharing his story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Introducing Code Clubs in eastern India: 32,000 more young digital makers

Post Syndicated from Fiona Coventry original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-club-eastern-india-computer-science-education/

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, our mission is to enable young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. One way we achieve this is through supporting a global network of school-based Code Clubs for young people, in partnership with organisations that share our mission.

For the past couple of years we have been working with Mo School Abhiyan, a citizen–government partnership that aims to help people to connect, collaborate, and contribute to revamping the government schools and government-aided schools in the Indian state of Odisha. Together with Mo School Abhiyan we have established many more Code Clubs to increase access to computer science education, which is an important priority in Odisha.

Learners in a computing classroom.

We evaluate all of our projects to understand their impact, and this was no exception. We found that our training improved teachers’ skills, and we learned some valuable lessons — read on to find out more.

Background and aims of the project

After some successful small-scale trials with 5 and then 30 schools, our main project with Mo School Abhiyan began in August 2021. In the first phase, between August 2021 and January 2022, we aimed to train 1000 teachers from 1000 schools.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

For a number of reasons, including coronavirus-related school closures, not all teachers were able to complete their training during this phase. Therefore we revised the programme, splitting the teachers in two groups depending on how far they had progressed with their initial training. We also added more teachers, so our overall aim became to support 1075 teachers to complete their training and start running clubs in 2022.

Our training and ongoing support for the teachers

We trained the teachers using a hybrid approach through online courses and in-person training by our team based in India. As we went along and learned more about what worked for the teachers, we adapted the training. This included making some of the content, such as the Prepare to run a Code Club online course, more suitable for an Indian context.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

As most of the teachers were not computing specialists but more often teachers of other STEM subjects, we decided to focus the training on the basics of using Scratch programming in a Code Club.

We continue to provide support to the teachers now that they’ve completed their training. For instance, each Friday we run ‘Coding pe Charcha’ (translating to ‘Discussion on Coding’) sessions online. In these sessions, teachers come together, get answers to their questions about Scratch, take part in codealongs, and find out on how their students can take part in our global technology showcase Coolest Projects.

Measuring the impact of the training

To understand the impact of our partnership with Mo School Abhiyan and learn lessons we can apply in future work, we evaluated the impact of the teacher training using a mixed-methods approach. This included surveys at the start and end of the main training programme, shorter feedback forms after some elements of the training, and follow-up surveys to understand teachers’ progress with establishing clubs. We used Likert-style questions to measure impact quantitatively, and free-text questions for teachers to provide qualitative feedback.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

One key lesson early on was that the teachers were using email infrequently. We adapted by setting up Whatsapp groups to keep in touch with them and send out the evaluation surveys.

Gathering feedback from teachers

Supported by our team in India, teachers progressed well through the training, with nine out of every ten teachers completing each element of the training.

Teachers’ feedback about the training was positive. The teachers who filled in the feedback survey reported increases in knowledge of coding concepts that were statistically significant. Following the training, nine out of every ten teachers agreed that they felt confident to teach children about coding. They appeared to particularly value the in-person training and the approach taken to supporting them: eight out of every ten teachers rated the trainer as “extremely engaging”.

Teachers in Code Club training in Odisha, India.

The teachers’ feedback helped us identify possible future improvements. Some teachers indicated they would have liked more training with opportunities to practise their skills. We also learned how important it is that we tailor Code Club to suit the equipment and internet connectivity available in schools, and that we take into account that Code Clubs need to fit with school timetables and teachers’ other commitments. This feedback will inform our ongoing work.

The project’s impact for young people

In our follow-up surveys, 443 teachers have confirmed they have already started running Code Club sessions, with an estimated reach to at least 32,000 young people. And this reach has the potential to be even greater, as through our partnership with Mo School Abhiyan, teachers have registered more than 950 Code Clubs to date.

An educator helps two young people at a computer.

Supported by the teachers we’ve trained, each of the young people attending these Code Clubs will get the opportunity to learn to code and create with technology through our digital making projects. The projects enable young people to be creative and to share their creations with each other. Our team in India has started visiting Code Clubs to better understand how the clubs are benefiting young people.

What’s next for our work in India

The experience we’ve gained through the partnership with Mo School Abhiyan and the findings from the evaluation are helping to inform our growing work with communities in India and around the world that lack access to computing education. 

In India we will continue to work with state governments and agencies to build on our experience with Mo School Abhiyan. We are also exploring opportunities to develop a computing education curriculum for governments and schools in India to adopt.

If you would like to know more about our work and impact in India, please reach out to us via [email protected].

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Help us understand UK students’ attitudes to coding

Post Syndicated from Hammad Kazi original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/uk-schools-attitudes-to-coding-code-club/

Non-formal learning initiatives are a popular way to engage children in computing from a young age and introduce them to the fun, creative world of coding and digital making. As part of our commitment to an evidence-based approach, we are partnering with Durham University on an exciting evaluation project to study the impact non-formal activities like Code Club have on young people in UK schools. Your school is invited to take part in the project.

A girl codes at a laptop while a woman looks on during a Code Club session.

We’re inviting UK schools to take part

The project will explore students’ attitudes to learning coding, and to learning generally. We hope to understand more about how extracurricular activities affect students’ confidence and skills. If you’re a teacher at a UK school, we would love for you to register your interest in taking part — your school doesn’t need to have a Code Club to participate. Taking part is easy: simply have some of your students fill in a few short surveys.

Two young people working together on a tech project.

As a token of our appreciation for your school’s involvement, you will receive some cool swag and an exclusive invitation to an online, educator-focused workshop where you will explore digital making with us. We’ll even provide you with all the kit you need to make something great, including a Raspberry Pi Pico. Your involvement will contribute to better computing education for UK students.

Computing in UK classrooms and in Code Clubs

In the UK, computing is taught at school, providing children with the opportunity to learn the importance of the subject and its many applications from a young age. In addition, non-formal education can play a pivotal role in fostering a positive learning experience, particularly in computing. Research on computing education indicates that non-formal settings are linked to improvement in students’ self-efficacy and interest in computing. Through participation in non-formal computing education, learners can gain valuable hands-on experience and develop problem-solving, collaboration, and presentation skills.

A child codes a Spiderman project at a laptop during a Code Club session.

That’s the thinking behind Code Clubs, which offer students a relaxed environment that encourages creativity, teamwork, and self-paced learning. By providing students with project-based learning opportunities and access to resources and mentors, Code Clubs help foster a passion for computing while also strengthening their understanding of key concepts.

A previous evaluation showed that students who participated in Code Clubs reported improvement in their coding skills and a positive perception about their coding abilities. Code Clubs have already made a significant impact on learners worldwide, with over 3500 Code Clubs around the world currently reaching tens of thousands of young people and inspiring a new generation of digital makers.

Help us with this project

Your school’s participation in this project will help increase our understanding of what works in computing education. Together we can ensure that young people are equipped with the skills and confidence to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. 

To register your interest in joining the project, simply fill out our short form and we’ll be in touch soon.

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Clubs Conference 2023: Ideas and tools for CoderDojos and Code Clubs

Post Syndicated from Sarah Roberts original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/clubs-conference-2023-talks/

On 24 and 25 March, more than 140 members of the Code Club and CoderDojo communities joined us in Cambridge for our first-ever Clubs Conference.

At the Clubs Conference, volunteers and educators came together to celebrate their achievements and explore new ways to support young people to create with technology. The event included community display tables, interactive workshops, discussions, poster sessions, and talks.

For everyone who couldn’t join us in person, we recorded all of the talks that community members gave on the main stage. Here’s what you can learn from the speakers.

Running your club

  • Jane Waite from our team offered a taste of the research we do and how you can get insights from it to help you run your own coding club. Watch Jane’s talk to learn about the research that informs our projects for your club.
  • Rhodri Smith, who runs a Code Club, shared how you can use assistive technologies to open your club experience to more young people. Watch Rhodri’s talk for some fantastic tips on how assistive technology can make Code Club accessible to children of all ages and abilities.
Participants at the Clubs Conference.
  • Dave Morley, who volunteers at the CoderDojo at Royal Museums Greenwich, presented his way of using Scratch projects to keep engaging Dojo participants. Watch Dave’s talk for tips on how to create your own coding projects for young people.
  • Tim Duffey, who is part of the West Sound CoderDojo, shared how his Dojo ran successful online sessions during the coronavirus pandemic. Watch Tim’s talk for great advice on how to run successful coding clubs for young people online.
  • Steph Burton from our team presented new resources we’re working on to help clubs recruit and train volunteers. Watch Steph’s talk for tips on how to recruit new volunteers for your coding club.

Engaging young people in your club

  • Sophie Hudson, who runs a Code Club in rural Yorkshire, told us how her school’s Code Club turned taking part in Astro Pi Mission Zero into a cross-curricular activity, and how she partnered older learners with younger ones for peer mentoring that engaged new learners in coding. Watch Sophie’s talk to learn how you can get your school involved in Astro Pi, especially if you don’t have much adult support available.
Participants at the Clubs Conference.
We brought a replica of the Astro Pi computers to the Clubs Conference.
  • Helen Gardner from our team shared how you can motivate and inspire your coders by supporting them to share their projects in the Coolest Projects showcase — even their very first Scratch animation. Watch Helen’s talk if you’re looking for something new for your club.

The benefits of Code Club and CoderDojo for your community

  • Fiona Lindsay, who leads a Code Club, presented her insights into the skills beyond coding that young people learn at Code Club, and she shared some wonderful videos of her coders talking about their experience. Watch Fiona’s talk to hear young girls talk about how to get more girls into coding, and for evidence of why every school should have a Code Club.
Hillside School's cake to celebrate ten years of Code Club.
Last year, Fiona’s Code Club held a special event to celebrate the tenth birthday of Code Club.
  • Bruce Harms, who is involved in AruCoderDojo, shared how he and his team are making the CoderDojo model part of their wider work to bring digital skills and infrastructure to Aruba. Watch Bruce’s talk to learn how his team has tailored their coding clubs for their local community.

What is volunteering for CoderDojo and Code Club like?

  • Marcus Davage, who volunteers at a Code Club, shared his journey as a volunteer translator of our resources, and how he engaged colleagues at his workplace in also supporting translations to make coding skills available to more young people across the world. Watch Marcus’s talk if you speak more than one language.
  • To end the day, we hosted a group of community members onstage to have a chat about their journeys with CoderDojo and Code Club, what they’ve learned, and how they see the future of their clubs. Watch the panel conversation if you want inspiration and advice for getting involved in helping kids create with tech.
A panel discussion on stage at the Clubs Conference.

Thank you to everyone who gave talks, ran workshops, presented posters, and had conversations to share their questions and insights. It was wonderful to meet all of you, and we came away from the Clubs Conference feeling super inspired by the amazing work Code Club and CoderDojo volunteers all over the world do to help young people learn to create with digital technologies.

We learned so much from listening to you, and we will take the lessons into our work to support you and your clubs in the best way we can.

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Celebrating the community: Nadia

Post Syndicated from Sophie Ashford original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-nadia/

We meet many young people with an astounding passion for tech, and we also meet the incredible volunteers and educators who help them find their feet in the digital world. Our series of community stories is one way we share their journeys with you.

A smiling Code Club volunteer.

Today we’re introducing you to Nadia from Maysan, Iraq. Nadia’s achievements speak for themselves, and we encourage you to watch her video to see some of the remarkable things she has accomplished.

Say hello to Nadia

Nadia’s journey with the Raspberry Pi Foundation started when she moved to England to pursue a PhD at Brunel University. As an international student, she wanted to find a way to be part of the local community and make the most of her time abroad. Through her university’s volunteer department, she was introduced to Code Club and began supporting club sessions for children in her local library. The opportunity to share her personal passion for all things computer science and coding with young people felt like the perfect fit.

“[Code Club] added to my skills. And at the same time, I was able to share my expertise with the young children and to learn from them as well.”

Nadia Al-Aboody

Soon, Nadia saw that the skills young people learned at her Code Club weren’t just technical, but included team building and communication as well. That’s when she realised she needed to take Code Club with her when she moved back home to Iraq.

A group of Code Club participants.

A Code Club in every school in Iraq

With personal awareness of just how important it is to encourage girls to engage with computing and digital technologies, Nadia set about training the Code Club network’s first female-only training team. Her group of 15 trainers now runs nine clubs — and counting— throughout Iraq, with their goal being to open a club in every single school in the country.

Reaching new areas can be a challenge, one that Nadia is addressing by using Code Club resources offline:

“Not every child has a smartphone or a device, and that was one of the biggest challenges. The [Raspberry Pi] Foundation also introduced the unplugged activities, which was amazing. It was very important to us because we can teach computer science without the need for a computer or a smart device.”

Nadia Al-Aboody

Nadia also works with a team of other volunteers to translate our free resources related to Code Club and other initiatives for young people into Arabic, making them accessible to many more young people around the world.

A smiling Code Club volunteer.

Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club here at the Foundation, shares just how important volunteers like Nadia are in actively pushing our shared mission forwards.

“Volunteers like Nadia really show us why we do the work we do. Our Code Club team exists to support volunteers who are out there on the ground, making a real difference to young people. Nadia is a true champion for Code Club, and goes out of her way to help give more children access to learning about computing. By translating resources, alongside overseeing a growing network of clubs, she helps to support more volunteers and, in turn, reach more young people. Having Nadia as a member of the community is really valuable.”

Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club

If you are interested in becoming a Code Club volunteer, visit codeclub.org for all the information you need to get started.

Help us celebrate Nadia and her commendable commitment to growing the Code Club community in Iraq by sharing her story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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What to expect from the Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2023

Post Syndicated from Philip Colligan original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-foundation-plans-2023/

Welcome to 2023.  I hope that you had a fantastic 2022 and that you’re looking forward to an even better year ahead. To help get the year off to a great start, I thought it might be fun to share a few of the things that we’ve got planned for 2023.

A teacher and learner at a laptop doing coding.

Whether you’re a teacher, a mentor, or a young person, if it’s computer science, coding, or digital skills that you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. 

Your code in space 

Through our collaboration with the European Space Agency, theAstro Pi, young people can write computer programs that are guaranteed to run on the Raspberry Pi computers on the International Space Station (terms and conditions apply).

Two Astro Pi units on board the International Space Station.
The Raspberry Pi computers on board the ISS (Image: ESA/NASA)

Astro Pi Mission Zero is open to participants until 17 March 2023 and is a perfect introduction to programming in Python for beginners. It takes about an hour to complete and we provide step-by-step guides for teachers, mentors, and young people. 

Make a cool project and share it with the world 

Kids all over the world are already working on their entries to Coolest Projects Global 2023, our international online showcase that will see thousands of young people share their brilliant tech creations with the world. Registration opens on 6 February and it’s super simple to get involved. If you’re looking for inspiration, why not explore the judges’ favourite projects from 2022?

Five young coders show off their robotic garden tech project for Coolest Projects.

While we all love the Coolest Projects online showcase, I’m also looking forward to attending more in-person Coolest Projects events in 2023. The word on the street is that members of the Raspberry Pi team have been spotted scouting venues in Ireland… Watch this space. 

Experience AI 

I am sure I wasn’t alone in disappearing down a ChatGPT rabbit hole at the end of last year after OpenAI made their latest AI chatbot available for free. The internet exploded with both incredible examples of what the chatbot can do and furious debates about the limitations and ethics of AI systems.

A group of young people investigate computer hardware together.

With the rapid advances being made in AI technology, it’s increasingly important that young people are able to understand how AI is affecting their lives now and the role that it can play in their future. This year we’ll be building on our research into the future of AI and data science education and launching Experience AI in partnership with leading AI company DeepMind. The first wave of resources and learning experiences will be available in March. 

The big Code Club and CoderDojo meetup

With pandemic restrictions now almost completely unwound, we’ve seen a huge resurgence in Code Clubs and CoderDojos meeting all over the world. To build on this momentum, we are delighted to be welcoming Code Club and CoderDojo mentors and educators to a big Clubs Conference in Churchill College in Cambridge on 24 and 25 March.

Workshop attendees at a table.

This will be the first time we’re holding a community get-together since 2019 and a great opportunity to share learning and make new connections. 

Building partnerships in India, Kenya, and South Africa 

As part of our global mission to ensure that every young person is able to learn how to create with digital technologies, we have been focused on building partnerships in India, Kenya, and South Africa, and that work will be expanding in 2023.

Two Kenyan educators work on a physical computing project.

In India we will significantly scale up our work with established partners Mo School and Pratham Education Foundation, training 2000 more teachers in government schools in Odisha, and running 2200 Code Clubs across four states. We will also be launching new partnerships with community-based organisations in Kenya and South Africa, helping them set up networks of Code Clubs and co-designing learning experiences that help them bring computing education to their communities of young people. 

Exploring computing education for 5- to 11-year-olds 

Over the past few years, our research seminar series has covered computing education topics from diversity and inclusion, to AI and data science. This year, we’re focusing on current questions and research in primary computing education for 5- to 11-year-olds.

A teacher and a learner at a laptop doing coding.

As ever, we’re providing a platform for some of the world’s leading researchers to share their insights, and convening a community of educators, researchers, and policy makers to engage in the discussion. The first seminar takes place today (Tuesday 10 January) and it’s not too late to sign up.

And much, much more… 

That’s just a few of the super cool things that we’ve got planned for 2023. I haven’t even mentioned the new online projects we’re developing with our friends at Unity, the fun we’ve got planned with our very own online text editor, or what’s next for our curriculum and professional development offer for computing teachers.

You can sign up to our monthly newsletter to always stay up to date with what we’re working on.

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Building community with our global clubs partners

Post Syndicated from Isabel Ronaldson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/building-community-global-clubs-partners-code-club-coderdojo/

As part of our mission to enable young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies, we work in partnership with organisations around the globe to grow and sustain the Code Club and CoderDojo networks of coding clubs for young people. These organisations are our global clubs partners, and they undertake activities including training educators and volunteers, providing access to equipment, and running clubs and events for young people at a local or national level.

Educator training in a classroom in Benin.
Educator training in Benin, run by our global clubs partner Impala Bridge.

Meeting in the middle

Given that many people at the Raspberry Pi Foundation are based in the UK and Ireland, and that meeting in person has been restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, our work to connect with the global clubs partners network has largely taken place via video calls these last years. We don’t only connect with partners one to one, we also link them to each other so they can share insights, approaches, and resources. Video calls offer a unique opportunity for bringing together partner organisations located all over the world, but they provide a very different experience to building community in person.

A group of educators.
Our meetup in Malaysia brought together global clubs partners from Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Vietnam, and Malaysia itself.

With a network of 41 organisations in 35 countries, meeting in person requires careful consideration so we can accommodate as many partners as possible. That’s why we decided to hold several regional meetups in 2022 to make it feasible for all partners to join at least one. In October, a meetup took place in the Netherlands, coinciding with DojoCon Netherlands run by local partners. Our most recent meetup happened in early December, the day before the Coolest Projects Malaysia 2022 event, in Penang on the west coast of Malaysia.

Workshop attendees stand around a table.
Meetups with global clubs partners are about connection and knowledge sharing.

At the December meetup, we welcomed participants from 10 partner organisations across Asia, Oceania, and Africa. This group spent a whole day building connections and sharing their work with each other. Together we covered several areas of interest, including volunteer recruitment, training, and recognition — all crucial topics for organisations that rely on volunteers to support young people. Meet-up participants shared resources, discussed how to sustainably grow networks, and planned for the future. The next day, participants had the chance to visit Coolest Projects Malaysia to find even more inspiration while seeing local young people showcase their own tech creations.

At Coolest Projects, a group of people explore a coding project.
At Coolest Projects, young people from Code Clubs, CoderDojos, and beyond showcase tech projects they’ve made.

Although it was only one day, the impact of the meetup has been clear. As we had hoped it would, feedback from the partner organisations was very positive and revolved around community and learning, with participants expressing “feeling better connected” and “interconnectedness”, as well as “learning a lot” and “sharing best practices”. One participant even volunteered to host a future meetup, saying “Next year I would like to run this in my country.”

Workshop attendees at a table.
At the meetup, we discussed topics including club volunteer recruitment, training, and recognition.

Here at the Foundation, we very much share these sentiments. Ellie Proffitt, Code Club Global Partnerships Manager, said: “It was great to see our partners sharing how they support their clubs with each other and bouncing new ideas around. I think we all left feeling very inspired.”

Looking to the future

After the success of these in-person meetups in 2022, we and our global clubs partners are looking forward to future opportunities to work together. Planning for 2023 is of course well underway, with creative, ambitious projects and new partnerships in the pipeline. We all feel renewed in our commitment to our work and mission, and excited for what’s on the horizon. In the words of Sonja Bienert, Senior Community Manager: “Through this collaboration, we’ve reached a new level of trust that will positively influence our work for a long time to come.”

You can find out more about joining our global clubs partner community on the CoderDojo and Code Club websites, or contact us directly with your questions or ideas about a partnership. 

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Take part in Moonhack 2022: Community, culture, coding

Post Syndicated from Isabel Ronaldson original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/moonhack-2022/

In 2016, Code Club Australia launched the Moonhack online coding event and broke the world record for the most children coding in one day. Then in 2017 they broke the record again. By now, more than 150,000 young learners from 70 countries have participated in Moonhack.

A girl with a laptop in a space station replica.
Moonhack inspires young people to celebrate humans’ technological achievements through fun coding projects.

Moonhack is an online coding challenge for young learners and celebrates humans’ technological achievements. The 2022 event takes place from 10 to 23 October to coincide with World Space Week, and it features six brand-new projects that show how satellites can help us live more sustainably. We caught up with Kaye North, Community and Engagement Manager at Code Club Australia, to find out more.

What will this year’s Moonhack bring? 

Kaye developed this year’s projects across Scratch, micro:bit, and Python to cater for learners with all levels of coding experience. One project was designed in collaboration with astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker from the Australian National University. Another project highlights that objects in the sky have been meaningful for humans since way before the advent of modern satellites. Kaye developed this project together with a community in the Torres Strait.

The earth seen from space, with a satellite in view.
By coding a project in this year’s Moonhack, young people will learn about satellites.

“The Torres Strait is a unique part of Australia off the tip of Queensland,” Kaye told us. “It’s this amazing group of islands. As a teacher I taught there for three years and learned a lot about the community’s culture.” When a colleague suggested a project about Tagai — a constellation central to Torres Strait Islander culture — Kaye jumped at the chance to work with the island community again.

The Tagai constellation of Torres Strait Islander culture.
One of this year’s Moonhack projects teaches about Tagai, a constellation central to Torres Strait Islander culture.

Kaye initially intended to work with a Torres Strait elder, “but that really snowballed. I had two days at a Tagai school, where the cultural teacher shared his story about the Tagai constellation. I worked with a Year 6 class, coding and putting ideas together, creating this one amazing project. And as we were pulling it together, one of the girls said ‘We need to put our language into it, we should be able to speak in it.’ And that’s where the idea of having the kids’ voices in the project came from.”

What will young learners gain from taking part in Moonhack?

Moonhack 2021 had over 25,000 participants, and Kaye wants to share the Tagai project with as many people in 2022. When we asked her what else she hopes young people take away from Moonhack this year, she said:

“I hope that people really get the connection to satellites in space and how these are going to influence us fulfilling the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. I really hope that comes through. Big picture though? That the kids have fun.”

Moonhack 2022 runs from 10 to 23 October and is free and open to any young coder, whether they are part of a Code Club or not. The projects are already available in English, French, Dutch, and Greek. Arabic and Latin American Spanish versions are in preparation.

To take part with your young people, register on the Moonhack website.

Code Club Australia is powered by Telstra Foundation as part of a strategic partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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Back to school 2022: Our support for teachers

Post Syndicated from Dan Fisher original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/back-to-school-2022-support-teachers-computing-computer-science/

The summer months are an exciting time at the Foundation: you can feel the buzz of activity as we prepare for the start of a new school year in many parts of the world. Across our range of fantastic (and free) programmes, everyone works hard to create new and improved resources that help teachers and students worldwide. 

We’ve asked some of our programme leads to tell you what’s new in their respective areas. We hope that you’ll come away with a good idea of the breadth and depth of teacher support that’s on offer. Is there something we aren’t doing yet that we should be? Tell us in the comments below.

A waving person.

Sway Grantham has been at the forefront of writing resources for our Teach Computing Curriculum over the last three years. The Curriculum is part of the wider National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) and provides hundreds of free classroom resources for teachers, from Key Stage 1 to 4. Each resource includes lesson plans, slides, activity sheets, homework, and assessments. Since we published the Curriculum in 2020, all lessons have been reviewed and updated at least once. Managing the process of continuously improving these resources is a key part of Sway’s work.

Hi Sway, what updates have you been making to the Teach Computing Curriculum to help teachers this year? 

We make changes to the Teach Computing Curriculum all the time! However, specific things we are excited about ahead of the new school year are updates to how our content is presented on the website so that it’s really easy to see which unit you should be teaching in each half term. We’ve also renamed some of the units to make it clearer what they cover. And to help Key Stage 3 teachers launch Computing in secondary school with skills that are foundational for progress through the requirements of the Key Stage 3 curriculum, we’ve updated the first Year 7 unit, now called Clear messaging in digital media.

You recently asked for teachers’ feedback as part of an annual impact survey. What did you find out?

We are still in the process of looking through the feedback in detail, but I can share some high-level insights. 96% of teachers who responded to the survey gave a score between 7 and 10 for recommending that other teachers use the Teach Computing Curriculum. Over 80% reported that the Teach Computing Curriculum has improved their confidence, subject knowledge, and the quality of their teaching ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’. Finally, over 90% of respondents said the Curriculum is effective at supporting teachers, developing teachers’ subject knowledge, and saving teachers’ time.

We are grateful to the 907 people who took part in the survey! You have all helped us to ensure the Curriculum has a positive impact on teachers and learners throughout England and beyond.

A waving person.

James Robinson dedicates his work at the Foundation to creating free pedagogical resources that underpin the classroom practice of computing teachers worldwide. He has led the creation of the Pedagogy Quick Reads and the Research Bytes newsletter for the NCCE, and the development of our 12 principles of computing pedagogy, available as a handy poster. He also works on our Hello World magazine, produces the associated Hello World podcast, and curates Hello World’s special issues, such as The Big Book of Computing Pedagogy.

James, why is it so important for teachers to underpin their classroom practice with best-practice pedagogical approaches? 

In order to teach any area of the curriculum effectively, educators need to understand both the content they are teaching and the most effective ways to deliver that content. Computing is a broad discipline made up of lots of inter-connected knowledge. Different areas of the subject benefit from different approaches, and this may vary depending on the experience of the learners and the context within which they are learning. Understanding which approaches are best suited to different content helps educators support learners effectively.

Computing education research related to school-aged learners is still in its early stages compared to other subjects, and new approaches and pedagogies are being developed, tested, and evaluated. Staying aware of these developments is important for educators and that’s why it’s something the Foundation is dedicated to supporting.

What do you have in store for teachers this year?  

This year we continue to share best practice and hear from educators applying new ideas in their classroom through Hello World magazine and podcast. Educators should also keep a look out for our second Hello World special edition exploring the breadth and depth of Computing. To get hold of a copy of this later this year, make sure you’re subscribed to Hello World.

A waving person.

Allen Heard and his team have very recently completed a huge project: creating a full curriculum of GCSE topics and associated questions for Isaac Computer Science, our free online learning platform for teachers and students. The new topics cover the entirety of the GCSE exam board specifications for AQA, Edexcel, Eduqas, OCR, and WJEC, and are integrated with our existing A level computer science resources. They are great to pick up and use for classwork, homework, and revision.  

Allen, what has gone into the making of these new GCSE resources?

I think one of the biggest and most important things that’s been evident to me while working on this project is the care and thought that our content creators have put into each and every piece they worked on. To the end user it will simply be material on a web page, but sitting behind each page are countless discussions involving the whole team around how to present certain facts, concepts, or processes. Sometimes these discussions have even caused us to reevaluate our own thinking around how we deliver computer science content. We have debated the smallest things such as glossary terms, questioning every word to make sure we are as clear and concise as possible. Hopefully the care, expertise, and dedication of the team shines through in what really is a fantastic source of information for teachers and learners.

What do you have in store for teachers and learners this year?

With 96% of teachers and 88% of students reporting that the content is of high quality and easily accessible, we still need to continue to support them to ultimately enable learners to achieve their potential. Looking ahead, there is still lots of work to do to make sure Isaac offers the best possible user experience. And we plan to add a lot more questions to really bolster the numbers of questions at varying levels of difficulty for learners. This will have the added benefit of being useful for any teachers wanting to up-skill too! A massive strength of the platform is its questions, and we are really keen to give as wide a range of them as possible.

A waving person.

Tamasin Greenough Graham leads the team at Code Club, our global network of free, in-school coding clubs for young people aged 9 to 13. In Code Clubs, participants learn to code while having fun getting creative with their new skills. Clubs can be run by anyone who wants to help young people explore digital technologies — you don’t need coding experience at all. The Code Club team offers everything you need, including coding projects with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, and lots of resources to help you support your club members. They are also on hand to answer your questions. 

Tamasin, what kind of support can teachers expect when they decide to set up a Code Club?

Running a Code Club really is simple and a lot of fun! We have free training to suit everyone, including webinars that guide you through getting started, a self-study online course you can take to prepare for running your Code Club, and drop-in online Q&A sessions where you can chat about your questions to our friendly team or to other educators who run clubs. 

Once you have registered your Code Club, you’ll get access to an online dashboard packed with useful resources: from guidance on preparing and delivering your first session, to certificates to celebrate your club members’ successes, and unplugged activities for learners to do away from the screen.

What experience do you need to run a Code Club?

You don’t need to have any coding experience to run a club, as we provide a giant range of fun coding projects and support materials that can be easily followed by educators and young people alike. You just need to support and encourage your young coders, and you can get in touch with the Code Club team if you need any help!

The project paths we offer provide a framework for young coders to develop their skills, whatever their starting point is. Each path starts with three Explore projects, where coders learn new coding concepts and skills. The next two Design projects in the path help them practise these skills through creating fun games, animations, or websites. The final Invent project of the path gives a design brief, and based on this learners have the space to use their new skills and their creativity to code something based on their own ideas. 

Our project paths start with the basics of Scratch, and work through to creating websites in HTML and CSS, and to text-based coding in Python. For more advanced or adventurous coders, we also offer project paths to make physical projects with Raspberry Pi Pico, create 3D models in Blender, or even build 3D worlds in Unity.

Why is it important to teach coding to primary-aged children?

Lots of primary-aged children use digital technology every day, whether that be a TV, a phone, playing video games, or a computer at school. But they don’t have to be just consumers of technology. Through learning to code, young people become able to create their own technology, and our projects are designed to help them see how these new skills allow them to express themselves and solve problems that matter to them.

What young people do with their new skills is up to them – that’s the exciting part! Computing skills open paths to a wide range of projects and work where digital skills are helpful. And while learning coding is fun and useful, it also helps learners develop a many other important skills to do with problem solving, teamwork, and creativity.

A waving person.

Martin O’Hanlon heads the team that produces our free online courses programme. If you’re looking for continued professional development in computer science, look no further than to our more than 35 courses. (For teachers in England, a large number of the courses count towards the NCCE’s Primary, Secondary, or GCSE certificates.) Curated in 13 curated learning pathways, all of our courses provide high-quality training that you can take at home, at a time that suits you.

Martin, what can learners expect from taking one of our online courses?

Our online computing courses are free and have something for everyone who is interested in computing. We offer pathways for learning to program in Python or Scratch, teaching computing in the classroom, getting started with physical computing, and many more. 

We vary the materials and formats used in our courses, including videos, written articles, quizzes, and discussions to help learners get the most out of the experience. You will find a lot of practical activities and opportunities to practice what you learn. There are loads of opportunities to interact with and learn from others who are doing the course at the same time as you. And educators from the Raspberry Pi Foundation join the courses during facilitation periods to give their advice, support, and encouragement.

What is the idea behind the course pathways?

We have a large catalogue of online training courses, and the pathways give learners a starting point. They group the courses into useful collections, offering a recommended path for everyone, whether that’s people who are brand-new to computing or who have identified a gap in their existing computing skills or knowledge.

Our aim is that these pathways help people find the right course at the right point in their computing journey.

Thanks, everyone.

One more thing…

We’re also very excited to work on new research projects this school year, to help deepen the computing education community’s understanding of how to teach the subject in schools. Are you a primary teacher in England who is interested in making computing culturally relevant for your pupils?

Young learners at computers in a classroom.

We’re currently looking for teachers to take part in our research project around primary school culturally adapted resources, running from October 2022 to July 2023. Find out more about what taking part involves.

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How do I start my child coding?

Post Syndicated from Marc Scott original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/how-do-i-start-my-child-coding/

You may have heard a lot about coding and how important it is for children to start learning about coding as early as possible. Computers have become part of our lives, and we’re not just talking about the laptop or desktop computer you might have in your home or on your desk at work. Your phone, your microwave, and your car are all controlled by computers, and those computers need instructions to tell them what to do. Coding, or computer programming, involves writing those instructions.

A boy types code at a CoderDojo coding club.

If children discover a love for coding, they will have an avenue to make the things they want to make; to write programs and build projects that they find useful, fun, or interesting. So how do you give your child the opportunity to learn about coding? We’ve listed some free resources and suggested activities below.

Scratch Junior 

If you have a young child under about 7 years of age, then a great place to begin is with ScratchJr. This is an app available on Android and iOS phones and tablets, that lets children learn the basics of programming, without having to worry about making mistakes.

ScratchJr programming interface.

Code Club World

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has developed a series of activities for young learners, on their journey to developing their computing skills. Code Club World provides a platform for children to play with code to design their own avatar, make it dance, and play music. Plus they can share their creations with other learners. 

“You could have a go too and discover Scratch together. The platform is designed for complete beginners and it is great fun to play with.”

Carol Thornhill, Engineering Science MA, Mathematics teacher


For 7- to 11-year-old children, Scratch is a good way to begin their journey in coding, or to progress from ScratchJr. Like ScratchJr, Scratch is a block-based language, allowing children to assemble code to produce games, animations, stories, or even use some of the add-ons to interact with electronic devices and explore physical computing.

A girl with her Scratch project
A girl with a Scratch project she has coded.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has hundreds of Scratch projects that your child can try out, but the best place to begin is with our Introduction to Scratch path, which will provide your child with the basic skills they need, and then encourage them to build projects that are relevant to them, culminating in their creation of their own interactive ebook.

Your child may never tire of Scratch, and that is absolutely fine — it is a fully functioning programming language that is surprisingly powerful, when you learn to understand everything it can do. Another advantage of Scratch is that it provides easy access to graphics, sounds, and interactivity that can be trickier to achieve in other programming languages.


If you’re looking for more traditional programming languages for your child to progress on to, especially when they reach 12 years of age or beyond, then we like to direct our young learners to the Python programming language and to the languages that the World Wide Web is built on, particularly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Animation coded in Python of an archery target disk.
An animation coded using Python.

Our Python resources cover the basics of using the language, and then progress from there. Python is one of the most widely used languages when it comes to the fields of artificial intelligence and data science, and we have resources to support your child in learning about these fascinating aspects of technology. Our projects can even introduce your child to the world of electronics and physical computing with activities that use the inexpensive Raspberry Pi Pico, and a handful of electronic components, enabling your kids to create a wide variety of art installations and useful gadgets.

“Trying Python doesn’t mean you can’t go back to Scratch or switch between Scratch and Python for different purposes. I still use Scratch for some projects myself!”

Tracy Gardner, Computer Science PhD, former IBM Software Architect and currently a project writer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

A young person codes at a Raspberry Pi computer.
Python is a great text-based programming language for young people to learn.

Coding projects

On our coding tutorials website we have many different projects to help your child learn coding and digital making. These range from beginner resources like the Introduction to Scratch path to more advanced activities such as the Introduction to Unity path, where children can learn how to make 3D worlds and games. 

“Our new project paths can be tackled by young creators on their own, without adult intervention. Paths are structured so that they build skills and confidence in the early stages, and then provide more open-ended tasks and inspirational ideas that creators can adapt or work from.”

Rik Cross, BSc (Hons), PGCE, former teacher and Director of Informal Learning at the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Web development 

The Web is integral to many of our lives, and we believe that it is important for children to have an understanding of the technology that drives it. That is why we have an Introduction to the Web path that allows children to develop their own web pages, focusing on the kinds of webpages that they want to build, be that sending a greeting card, telling a story, or creating a showcase of their projects.

A girl has fun learning to code at home on a tablet sitting on a sofa.
It’s empowering for children to learn to how the websites they visit are created with code.

Coding clubs 

Coding clubs are a great place for children to have fun and become more confident with coding, where they can learn through making and share their creations with each other. The Raspberry Pi Foundation operates the world’s largest network of coding clubs — CoderDojo and Code Club

“I have a new group of creators at my Code Club every year and my favourite part is when they realise they really can let their imagination run wild. You want to make an animation where a talking pineapple chases a snowman — absolutely. You want to make a piece of scalable art out of 1000 pixelated cartoon musical instruments — go right ahead. If you can code it, you can make it ”

Liz Smart, Code Club and CoderDojo mentor, former Solutions Architect and project writer for the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Three teenage girls at a laptop.
At Code Club and CoderDojo, many young people enjoy teaming up to code projects together.

Coding challenges 

Once your child has learnt some of the basics, they may enjoy entering a coding challenge! The European Astro Pi Challenge programme allows young people to write code and actually have it run on the International Space Station, and Coolest Projects gives children a chance to showcase their projects from across the globe.

A Coolest Projects participant
A girl with her coded creation at an in-person Coolest Projects showcase.

Free resources 

No matter what technology your child wants to engage with, there is a wealth of free resources and materials available from organisations such as the Raspberry Pi Foundation and Scratch Foundation, that prepare young people for 21st century life. Whether they want to become professional software engineers, tinker with some electronics, or just have a play around … encourage them to explore some coding projects, and see what they can learn, make, and do!

Author: Marc Scott, BSc (Hons) is a former Science, Computer Science, and Engineering teacher and the Content Lead for Projects at the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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Celebrating the community: Sophie

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/celebrating-the-community-sophie/

It’s wonderful hearing from people in the community about what learning and teaching digital making means to them and how it impacts their lives. So far, our community stories series has involved young creators, teachers, and mentors from the UK and US, India, Romania, and Ireland, who are all dedicated to making positive change in their corner of the world through getting creative with technology.

For our next story, we travel to a tiny school in North Yorkshire in the UK to meet teacher Sophie Hudson, who’s been running a Code Club since February 2021.

Introducing Sophie and Linton-on-Ouse Primary School

A teacher for 10 years, Sophie is always looking for new opportunities and ideas to inspire and encourage her learners. The school where she teaches, Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery in rural Yorkshire, is very small. With only five teachers supporting the children, any new activity has to be meticulously planned and scheduled. Sophie was also slightly nervous about setting up a Code Club because she doesn’t have a computer science background, sharing that “there’s always one subject that you feel less confident in.”

A teacher and her learners at a Code Club session.

Sophie started the Code Club off small, with only a few learners. But then she grew it quickly, and now half of the learners in Key Stage 2 attend, and the club sessions have become a regular fixture in the school week.

“Once I did have a look at it [Code Club], it really wasn’t as scary as I thought. […] It has had a really positive influence on our school.”

Sophie Hudson, primary school teacher 

Thanks to our free Code Club project guides and coding challenges like Astro Pi Mission Zero, Sophie’s Code Club has plenty of activities and resources for the children to learn to code with confidence — while having fun too. Sophie says: “I like the idea that the children can be imaginative: it’s play, but it’s learning at the same time. They might not even realise it.”

A teacher and four learners at a Code Club session.
Sophie and some of her learners at Code Club.

Visiting the Code Club at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School was a joyful experience. The children listened intently as Sophie kicked off the lunchtime club session. As they started to code, there were giggles and gasps throughout, and the classroom filled with sounds and intermittent squeaks from the ‘Stress ball’ project. It was clear how much enjoyment the learners felt, and how engaged everyone was with their coding projects. Learner Erin told us she likes Code Club because she can “have a little fun with it”. Learners Maise and Millie enjoy it because “it makes you worry less about getting stuff wrong, because you always know there’s a back-up plan.”

“It’s amazing. Anything is possible.” 

Millie (10), learner at Sophie’s Code Club

Three learners at a Code Club session.
Millie, Maisie and Fern from Sophie’s Code Club.

Attending Code Club had a profound impact on a 9-year-old learner called Archie, who shares that his confidence has improved since taking part in the sessions: “I would never, ever think of doing things that I do now in Code Club,” he says. His mum Jenni has also seen a difference in Archie since he joined Code Club, with his confidence improving generally at school.

Two learners at a Code Club session.
Archie and a friend code together at Sophie’s Code Club.

The positive impact that Sophie has on Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery is undeniable, not only by running Code Club as an extracurricular activity but also by joint-leading science and leading PE, computing, and metacognition. Head teacher Davinia Pearson says, “How could you not be influenced by someone who’s just out there looking for the best for their class and children, and making a difference?”

Help us celebrate Sophie and her Code Club at Linton-on-Ouse Primary School & Nursery by sharing their story on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Code Club in Wales with translations, teacher training and a country-wide codealong

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/code-club-wales-translations-codealong/

Since the inception of Code Club in 2012, teachers in Wales have been part of the Code Club community, running extracurricular Code Club sessions for learners in their schools. As of late 2021, there are 84 active clubs in Wales. With our new Code Club Community Coordinator for Wales, Sarah Eve Roberts, on board, we are thrilled to be able to offer more dedicated support to the community in Wales.

A computing classroom filled with learners

Support and engagement for Welsh Code Clubs

Sarah introduced herself to the Welsh education community by running a Code Club training workshop for teachers. Educators from 32 Welsh schools joined her to learn how to start their own Code Club and then tried one of the free coding projects we provide for club sessions for themselves.

A tweet about a Code Club codealong in Wales.

The Welsh Code Club network had a chance to meet Sarah at a country-wide online codealong on 11 March, just in time to kick off British Science Week 2022. In this one-hour codealong event, we took beginner coders through the first project of our new ‘Introduction to Scratch’ pathway, Space Talk. Space Talk is a fantastic project for Code Clubs: it provides beginners with a simple introduction to coding in Scratch, and also gives plenty of opportunity for more experienced learners to get creative and make the project their own.

The codealong was fantastically popular, with 90 teachers and 2900 learners from 59 schools participating. Several of the schools shared their excitement with us on Twitter, posting pictures and videos of their Space Talk projects.

Tamasin Greenough Graham, Head of Code Club, says: “It was wonderful to see so many children and teachers from Wales coding with us. I really loved the creativity they showed in all their projects!”

Welsh translations of Code Club learning materials

Although the codealong took place in English, Space Talk and the whole ‘Introduction to Scratch’ pathway are available in the Welsh language. The pathway includes a total of six projects, bringing the total number of Welsh-language coding projects we offer to 37. It’s really important to us to offer our learning materials in Welsh, especially because we know it helps young people engage with our free coding activities.

A child codes a Spiderman project at a laptop during a Code Club session.

The translation of learning materials is a collaborative effort at the Raspberry Pi Foundation: we work with a team of 1465 volunteer translators, who translate our materials into  33 languages, making them accessible for more children and educators around the world.

Two of these translators, Marcus and Julia Davage, are based in Wales. They help to make our projects accessible to Welsh-speaking learners. Marcus and Julia have been part of the community for 6 years, volunteering at Code Club and running their own club:

“I started volunteering for Code Club in 2016 when my daughter was in a Welsh-medium primary school and her teacher had started a Code Club. This lasted until 2019. Last year I started my own Code Club at the Welsh-medium primary school at which my wife Julia teaches. Since helping out, she has taught Scratch in her own lessons!”

– Marcus Davage, Code Club volunteer & Welsh translation volunteer

Marcus and Julia have translated numerous learning resources and communications for our Welsh community. Marcus describes the experience of translating:

“I noticed that several of the projects hadn’t been completely translated into Welsh, so when my company, BMC Software, promoted a Volunteering Day for all of its staff, I jumped at the opportunity to spend the whole day finishing off many of the missing translations! I must admit, I did laugh at a few terms, like ’emoji’ (which has no official translation), ’emoticon’ (‘gwenoglun’ or ‘smiley face’), and ‘wearable tech’ (‘technoleg gwisgadwy’).”

– Marcus Davage, Code Club volunteer & Welsh translation volunteer

We’re thankful to Marcus and Julia and to all the teachers and volunteers in Wales who bring coding skills to the young people in their schools.

Get involved in Code Club, in Wales or elsewhere

Keen readers may have noticed that this year marks the tenth anniversary of Code Club! We have lots of celebrations planned for the worldwide community of volunteers and learners, in long-running clubs as well as in brand-new ones.

A group of smiling children hold up large cardboard Code Club logos.

So now is an especially great time to get involved by starting a Code Club at your school, or by signing up to volunteer at an up-and-running club. Find out more at codeclub.org.

And if you’re interested in learning more about Code Club in Wales, email us at [email protected] so Sarah can get in touch.

The post Code Club in Wales with translations, teacher training and a country-wide codealong appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

5750 Scottish children code to raise awareness of climate change with Code Club

Post Syndicated from Janina Ander original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/cop26-5750-school-children-scotland-coding-climate-change-code-club/

This month, the team behind our Code Club programme supported nearly 6000 children across Scotland to “code against climate change” during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

“The scale of what we have achieved is outstanding. We have supported over 5750 young learners to code projects that are both engaging and meaningful to their conversations on climate.”

Louise Foreman, Education Scotland (Digital Skills team)

Creative coding to raise awareness of environmental issues

Working with teams from Education Scotland, and with e-Sgoil, our Code Club team hosted two live online code-along events that saw learners from 235 schools across Scotland come together to code and learn about protecting the environment.

“This type of event at this scale would not have been possible before the pandemic. Now joining and learning through live online events is quite normal, thanks to platforms like e-Sgoil’s DYW Live. That said, the success of these code-alongs has been above even our wildest imaginations.”

Peter Murray, Education Scotland (Developing the Young Workforce team)

Classes of young people aged 8 to 14 across Scotland joined the live online code-along through the national GLOW platform and followed Lorna from our Code Club team through a step-by-step project guide to code creative projects with an environmental theme.

At our first session, for beginners, the coding newcomers explored the importance of pollinating insects for the environment. They first learned that a third of the food we eat depends on pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and that these insects are endangered by environmental crises.

Then the young coders celebrated pollinating insects by coding a garden scene filled with butterflies, based on our popular Butterfly garden project guide. This Scratch project introduces beginner coders to loops while they code their animations, and it allows them to get creative and customise the look of their projects. Above are still images of two example animations coded by the young learners.

The second Code Club code-along event was designed for more confident coders. First, learners were asked to consider the impact of plastic in our oceans and reflect on the recent news that around 26,000 tonnes of coronavirus-related plastic waste (such as masks and gloves) has already entered our oceans. To share this message, they then coded a game based on our Save the shark Scratch project guide. In this game, players help a shark swim through the ocean trying to avoid plastic waste, which is dangerous to its health.

Supporting young people’s future together

These two Scotland-wide code-along events for schools were made possible by the long-standing collaboration between Education Scotland and our Code Club team. Over the last five years, our shared mission to grow interest for coding and computer science among children across Scotland has helped Scottish teachers start hundreds of Code Clubs.

A school-age child's written feedback about Code Club: "it was really fun and I enjoyed learning about coding and all of the things i can do in Scratch. I will use Scratch more now."
The school children who participated in the code-along sessions enjoyed themselves a lot, as shown by this note from one of them.

“The code-alongs were the perfect celebration of all the brilliant work we have done together over the years. What better way to demonstrate the importance of computing science to young people than to show them that not only can they use those skills on something important like climate change, but they are also in great company with thousands of other children across Scotland. I am excited about the future.”

Kirsty McFaul, Education Scotland (Technologies team)

Join thousands of teachers around the world who run Code Clubs

We also want to give kudos to the teachers of the 235 schools who helped their learners participate in this Code Club code-along. Thanks to your skills in supporting your learners to participate in online sessions — skills hard-won during school closures — over 5000 young people have been inspired about coding and protecting the planet we all share.

Teachers around the world run Code Clubs for their learners, with the help of our free Code Club resources and support. Find out more about starting a Code Club at your school at www.codeclub.org.

The post 5750 Scottish children code to raise awareness of climate change with Code Club appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Celebrating the community: Zaahra and Eesa

Post Syndicated from Katie Gouskos original https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/community-stories-zaahra-eesa-coding-team/

Today we are launching an exciting series of impact stories from the community, to shine a spotlight on some of the young people who are learning and creating with technology through our educational initiatives.

A sister and brother smiling while doing digital making at a laptop
Zaahra and Eesa have been learning to create technology through attending Code Club and taking part in Coolest Projects!

These stories get to the heart of our mission: to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world.

Designed in close collaboration with families across the world, our new series of short inspirational films showcases some of the wonderful things that young people are empowered to do when they learn to use technology to address the issues that matter to them.

We are incredibly proud to be a part of these young people’s journeys — and to see the positive impact of engaging with our free programmes, coding clubs, and resources. We can’t wait to share their unique experiences and achievements with you as we roll out the series over the next few months.

And we invite you to celebrate these young people by liking and sharing their stories on social media!

Meet Zaahra and Eesa 

The first story takes you to a place not far from our home: London, UK.

Help us celebrate Zaahra and Eesa by liking and sharing their story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

Zaahra (12) and Eesa (8) are a sister and brother coding team and live in East London. For the last four years they’ve been learning about computing and digital making by attending regular sessions at their local Code Club. Zaahra and Eesa love working as a team and using technology to solve problems around them. When they found it difficult to communicate with their grandparents in their first language, Sylheti, the siblings decided to code a language learning app called ‘Easy Sylheti’. Eesa says, “We wanted to create something that was helpful to us, but also to our family and the community.”

A girl and boy standing on the grass in a park

When Zaahra and Eesa decided to take part in the Coolest Projects online tech showcase with their app, they never expected that it would be picked as a favourite by Coolest Projects special judge Eben Upton, CEO and co-inventor of Raspberry Pi!

“I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.”


Describing the effect of learning to create with technology and seeing the success of their app, Zaahra declares, “I’ve discovered that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought.” And she’s using her new-found confidence to continue helping her community: Zaahra has recently taken up a role as youth member on the Newham Youth Empowerment Fund Panel.

Help us celebrate Zaahra and Eesa by liking and sharing their story on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook!

The post Celebrating the community: Zaahra and Eesa appeared first on Raspberry Pi.