One of the many things I am is a STEM Ambassador. I have talked about this in a previous blog post, but STEM Ambassadors are volunteers that support sessions and run clubs and other activities in schools.
I've been wanting to run a CodeClub for a while. Codeclub a volunteer-led after-school club that aims to teach children to code using Scratch, a visual programming language developed at MIT, and I’m very excited to finally have found an opportunity at a school in a village in Cumbria!
I have only done two sessions so far, but I already find the children very eager to learn, and they learn extremely quickly! There’s definitely much enthusiasm in the air during the sessions, and seeing the children work together and ask each other questions is a great feeling. They also experiment on their own and build things they were not asked to, which may be a bit of a problem when you’re trying to show something, but it’s also a very good thing as experimentation is what makes a great programmer.
I have confidence that by the end of the sessions, the children will have learned many things and hopefully they will keep the interest for years to come and become the next programmers!
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my employer, Shadowcat Systems, for 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 :)