Building coding confidence in kids
The Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School (SCXCS) is giving students in parts of regional Queensland the opportunity to learn commercial coding skills from industry experts.
Ann Moffatt ‘retired’ to Hervey Bay on Queensland’s southern coast in 2001. To date Ann has had an extensive career in the computer industry, past jobs included programmer, analyst, designer and manager. She also worked in education, holding the role of Director of the Institute of Information Technology at the University of New South Wales.
Rather than pursuing traditional retirement activities, Ann is using her skills in the ICT industry to raise awareness of the benefits that ICT can bring to regional communities.
Her first endeavour was an incubation and innovation centre in Hervey Bay which ran from March 2003 until 2009. Ann has now turned her attention to the next generation of innovators – our kids.
Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School (SCXCS) was born out of the need for regional kids to have access to a high quality code school, much like those popping up in major capital cities. The SCXCS combines online learning with face-to-face learning and assistance from professional tutors.
SCXCS classes are held at Central Queensland University in Cairns and Bundaberg, and University of Sunshine Coast in Hervey Bay and Maroochydore. Holding classes at the local universities is important for building kids aspirations to pursue these skills and to continue learning.
Although there are some examples of successful people in the computer industry who have not finished Uni, amongst the most famous being Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, today, it is almost impossible to be a professional programmer without at least a first degree. By holding our classes in a Uni, the young students see that Unis are places they can aspire to.
Ann Moffatt, Founder of Silicon Coast Extracurricular Code School
Something about the school must be working, because the students from the first course are working with Rotary to develop a healthy eating App. Who knows what some of these kids might go on to do next? I know I am excited to find out.
Tech skills like coding will be highly valuable for kids when they enter the workforce in the next decade. We want to find out more about different communities are doing to help their kids build these skills. If you know of a similar initiative in your area, we want to know about it. Email us at [email protected] or leave a comment below.