With a little play on words, AlMakinah decided to plant "seeds of coding" - as they term it - in children as young as 9 and as old as 11.
Starting July 1st to 11th, AlMakinah is spreading the foundations of computer programming to a much younger crowd with their latest educational programme, Makinder, making it the first Egyptian school to get that age group on board on the coding ship. Makinder is geared at teaching young Egyptians how to code while developing critical thinking skills through unplugged activities, learning visual programming, and using Arduino to programme hardware.
In its pilot version, 12 young future coders between 9 and 11 are getting started on coding basics, taught by three instructors, experienced in disciplines as technical as robotics and Serious Games, and as wide as Sustainable Development, education and learning disabilities.
With a variety of tools and methods, the young coders are will learn how to solve problems in a very critical and logical manner. They are first introduced to solving code using offline tools, including paper, and physical activities. Then the students are introduced to visual programming tools which enable them to rearrange code snippets to programme an action or sequence. Finally, they will be introduced to Arduino, a hardware tool which they can connect to their laptops and watch the magic happen. Through this, they observe their code come to life, as the visual blocks of code on their screen activate and alter the hardware devices and units.
Moreover, AlMakinah is keen on presenting female and male role models to distil any preconceived judgments or stereotypes of who can be a computer scientist. Makinder has actually received the highest female participation, following AlMakinah's “You Code Girl” all-female programming bootcamp initiative during summer 2017.The programme’s participants gender ratio are almost equally split, which gives hope for a more gender-balanced generation of techies.
Main Image: One of the students of Makinder, courtesy of AlMakinah.
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