UK children to design their own school websites


AOL (UK) Limited is a subsidiary of AOL Inc, a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code.  AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL's opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come.

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AOL UK yesterday announced a new competition to engage and inspire pupils and students with the art of coding. YouBuild will offer over 12,000 children, aged 8 - 16, across the UK the chance to come up with ideas on how to design a website that they think would boost their school and local community. The scheme in being run in partnership with international charity Free The Children and educational community Codecademy. Open now, the competition will run until May 3rd 2015.

YouBuild will be run closely with schools throughout the Britain, including those partnered with Free The Children. The competition is part of AOL’s mission to improve the computing skills of young people after 45% of Tech City business leaders reported said that a shortage of skilled workers was their biggest challenge in tech in the UK.

The winning website-idea will be selected by a panel of judges from AOL, Codecademy, and Free The Children, as well as 15-year-old Amy Mather, 2013 winner of the European Digital Girl of Europe Award by The European Commission. That class will then be provided with laptops and will spend a day working with AOL developers and Codecademy, learning how to build the website. Once the website is completed, AOL will continue to help the school to manage and maintain the finished product.

“All around us there is a push for more coding in schools,” said Graham Moysey, AOL’s head of International, “and never has there been a better time for young people to get involved. I’m really excited that we can provide kids with the opportunity to build a website leaning on the expertise of our team of talented in-house developers and really create change in their school and local community.”

Rachel Swidenbank, international lead for Codecademy, said: “Codecademy is proud to be a partner of YouBuild. We believe that anyone, anywhere should have the opportunity to learn the digital skills needed in the 21st century: coding. We are really excited to be working with even more young people, demonstrating how coding can be used creatively to help solve problems they may face in their school or local communities.”

Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children said: “Today’s generation of young people have the power to create and lead real systematic change. This competition is a great opportunity for them to use coding to bring their ideas for social change to life and make a difference in their school and local community.”

The YouBuild competition is open now, and will close on May 3rd 2015. The winner will be announced on May 11th 2015.

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