Generation Code 2020
CODE KIDS ROMANIA – a project by Progress Foundation, Romania
Children are coding in public libraries
The project aims to create a coding and STEM movement where children, young people and librarians from rural and small urban areas develop their technical competences and engage in the life of their community by solving creative digital themes.
Through the training activities and workshops, another window is open to explore the digital world with its development and learning opportunities, so that more than 2,000 children aged between 10 and 14 years old are encouraged to actively partake in activities and even to follow a career in technology.
This year we got the confirmation of how important it is for children, especially those in rural areas, to have digital skills. Children from our clubs were better prepared than many of the adults in Romania to move their learning and work online. This was proven in the pandemic when in some cases children have taught their teachers to work on collaborative, online communication platforms.
Until the appearance of the pandemic, the meetings went well in the CODE Kids clubs, kids and librarians met once a week, the children coded and solved the homework they had to do on the code.org platform. During the holidays they even met twice a week, and besides coding and programming they read and did STEM experiments. The children showed us that they are eager to learn programming and participated in many competitions.
Most of the librarians from CODE Kids network told us that in the emergency period it was very difficult to work. The libraries have been closed, all the people had to stay home. The whole club work moved online, even though in rural areas few children have gadgets and technology to connect and work from home. Club members tested many platforms, they encountered technical problems, but they didn`t give up.
Some CODE Kids clubs did not close their gates. They continued to work and meet on Zoom and Skype or other platforms. There were situations when they had to meet physically and then they met outside. Librarians and children improvised a space with few tables, with chairs, laptops, with tablets and their work continued.
We managed to resume the activities face to face in the last three months and we notice that children are eager to meet us, to socialize, and especially to work on the CODE Kids project.
Despite the pandemic situation, we are getting ready for the CODE Kids Fest – Science Fair type events! This autumn we are organizing eight Virtual Regional Science Fairs and – the latest one – the National Science Fair – CODE Kids FEST 2020.
In the last years, we have seen wonderful projects made by our club members, that have amazed us – weather station, games, projects that included Artificial Intelligence code, Scratch animations and much more. So, we are excited to see what innovative projects they will present this year!