1 of 1 people found this helpful
Interesting series of questions on this topic.
I have never run a code club but maybe worth. Let me explain; I have tried to start something with students in Spain the past year, before moving to Belgium but I have not reached the desired interest. here things sound different; first of all is a multicultural environment with several STEM university departments, a couple of maker labs, an Arduino study group and more. Then there are several realities like in-Gent and Taal Cae supporting intercultural exchange and knowledge. These are not exactly the place where it is possible to run an initiative of this kind directly but IMHO is the right contexts where the proposal can be explained, presented and discussed. Beside to this scenario that I am exploring by some months, there is also the Art-a-Tronic exhibition that maybe the good training for the initiative. The exhibition - where it is now - had good success and it will move by the next 8 June in a more central place where I was offered to replicate it including some more boost: seminars and workshops because of one of the most interesting aspects is that all the projects are open source. And here the Open Source Philosophy is more than welcome. Maybe that I am just in the right place at the right moment. And the presence of a good sponsorship (also in terms of trustability, reputation, and image) has a considerable value added.
2 of 2 people found this helpful
I helped develop an Arduino based club for 12-15 year old kids. The format was hands-on lab with one main instructor and an assistant for every 4 kids. Among the challenges are:
- range of ability of kids
- need to get them doing something interesting quick or they get bored
- preparation before starting - e.g. getting the same windows environment on all laptops, loading Arduino ID, preparing teaching material, laying out supplies, etc.
- not all kids lasted the distance for various reasons
I also put on "Robot Summer Camp" for my grandchildren every year. We have not actually made a robot but I show them how things work, including robots, and we do simple electronics (blink LEDs, sound buzzers, etc. and simple programming). It is unstructured and is just me and two children, and we do whatever interests them. It is a lot of fun for them and me.
As to what Premier Farnell could do:
- provide links to potential lessons and ideas for projects- e.g. the ones at Raspberry Pi foundation, Arduino, adafruit, Sparkfun,, etc.
- Provide kits that support the lessons / projects
I found it best to work with motivated teachers who know the kids and can wrangle the parents. They have a better idea of what the kids can do, what interests or bores them, how to properly prepare materials, etc.
Whether it's an after-school group or a summer class, code clubs are a vital resource for getting young people engaged with coding and digital literacy. At element14 we're currently planning some special activities to support local code clubs through the summer, and we'd really appreciate some feedback from our membership to help us to shape our plans.
- Have you ever run a code club for young people? If so, what was the format?
- If you'd like to but haven't run one so far, what's stopping you?
- What were the biggest challenges involved in running a code club?
- How could companies like Premier Farnell make it easier for parents, teachers and community members to run localised Code Clubs?
All answers welcome!