Founded to help Inspire, Support and Promote the teaching of Computing across the UK a little over a year ago, exa.foundation has helped hundreds of teachers and thousands of students develop their interest in Computing, running a wide variety of events aimed at school teachers, students and Computing hobby clubs. In this piece, we’re taking a look at some of the events we’ve run recently - and what’s coming up next!
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Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.
‘Man Stuff’! Preconceived ideas of what men do and women generally don’t. Unfortunately, coding has found its way onto the list too… I’m going to start with the white elephant here. I’m a bloke. I like man stuff. I have a man drawer full of cluttered rubbish which may one day come in handy. My wife’s drawers however are borderline OCD. When I was younger I played rugby and went mountain biking which was all about taking risks and getting covered in dirt.
Code Club, a not-for-profit organisation and part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has launched its teacher-volunteer recruitment campaign. This initiative aims to increase the number of teachers involved with leading after school Code Clubs in Primary schools across the UK, and will be will be held across both social channels and a comprehensive email marketing campaign.
I have recently implemented a Digital Leader programme within the Primary School where I work, requiring children to complete a written application, attend interviews and complete practical challenges. I’ve tried to encourage those children who need support with social skills or behavioural issues to apply and get involved. One thing that I have long since noticed is that many of the children who gravitate to the often more solitary activities, such as Computing, are those that need this support.
To make the most of today’s Ada Lovelace Day celebrations - which recognise 19th century mathematician and writer Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace - Code Club have created some fun and engaging resources for schools to use. For many, 13th October is an annual celebration of the achievements of women in Science, technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
Women are still highly underrepresented in STEM subjects and technology. The 2015 statistics published by the Joint Qualifications Council have shown that girls account for just 16 per cent of those sitting the computer science GCSE, but they were also shown to perform very well, with 72 per cent of them attaining grades A* - C. Encouraging more girls into computing and technology is not just a numbers game; there is clearly a huge pool of talent and enthusiasm to be discovered from all pupils.