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Teaching code in Cumbria

Wed Mar 4 17:05:00 2015

One of the many things I am is a Stem Ambassador. Stem Ambassadors are volunteers that support sessions and run clubs and other activities in schools.

I have been wanting to run a CodeClub for a while as part of my STEM Ambassador activities. CodeClubs are volunteer-led after-school clubs that teach the basics of logic and programming using Scratch - a visual programming language that works with a drag-and-drop system and allows the user to make exciting animations and games - a perfect way for the children to learn!

I have only done two sessions so far, but I already find the children excited and very eager to learn, and they learn extremely quickly! They also experiment on their own and build things they were not asked to, which may be a bit of a problem when you are trying to show something, but it's also a very good thing as experimentation is what makes a great programmer and the best way to learn. Even the teacher said he wanted to play with scratch and learn himself, which is amazing!

Hopefully the children they will keep the interest for years to come and become the next programmers - they certainly seem to enjoy it!

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my employer, Shadowcat Systems for sponsoring me and giving me the ability to do this on company time; this would not be possible otherwise. They are pretty awesome and do a lot of other community work as well, which is very important to me (and I think most of my colleagues as well) at a job :)