CHILDREN who learn to code now will be best placed to fill the massive skills shortage facing Australia in coming years in the STEM disciplines.
That’s why Telstra Foundation has supported Code Club Australia which will feature for the first time at this year’s South East Field Days.
Code Club Australia is a network of after school clubs for kids aged 8 to 12. It’s led by teachers and volunteers who run weekly hour-long sessions in schools, libraries and community centres across Australia.
The sessions emphasise fun, creativity and learning-through-exploring. Children are trained in programming by creating games and they are encouraged to think creatively and to build problem-solving skills.
The Code Club model credited with building self confidence and preparing primary school students for Information and Communications Technology programs now offered in high schools will be on show, and looking to grow, from its participation at the Field Days.
Research shows coding education is improving the efficiency of problem solving among learners and those children are more likely to be better problem solvers beyond STEM industries, and they will be creative thinkers, too.
Code Club Australia programs are great at teaching computational thinking and creating a space for kids to do clever things with the power of code.
But they are also being credited for building self confidence and igniting a passion for learning.
Code Club creates projects for its volunteers and educators to teach at after school coding clubs.
The projects teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites.
Code Club doesn’t exist just to teach kids to code - it aims to get children around Australia to get access to the skills, confidence and opportunity to shape their world
Code Club Australia has undertaken to start the learning earlier and also turn the tide on young people self-selecting out of STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which is especially prevalent with girls.
Kelly Tagalan, National Programme Manager - Code Club Australia, reports that girls worldwide are saying they do not feel girls are or can be as successful in STEM subjects as boys.
“Code Club is changing that. Code Club is designed to be inclusive of kids who face barriers to thriving in STEM education. Our programs are free and can be set up with just a little guidance from a Code Club volunteer.’’
Code Club Australia will not only introduce the Code Club model at the Field Days, but aims to generate interest from the region and further afield in starting Code Clubs to join the growing network and inspiring more kids to be more confident and more capable.