|Europe Code Week 2017 Now Underway|
|Written by Sue Gee|
|Tuesday, 10 October 2017|
This year's Europe Code Week lasts from October 7th to 22nd and, with spin-offs taking place in African and Latin America, is expected to reach millions of participants who will try out some coding, make an app, tinker with hardware and have lots of fun.
This year EU Code Week celebrates its 5th Birthday. It started was in 2013, the same year as Code.org's first Hour of Code by a group called Young Advisers for the Digital Agenda Europe, and seems to have had the same impetus - the need to ensure a future workforce with the skills needed in the digital age.
Reporting its success over its first four years CodeWeek.EU claims exponential growth:
Code Week is a grass roots movement with an aim to help people, young and old learn to code and have fun with it.
The first edition of EU Code Week saw a remarkable 10,000 people coding in 3,000 events in mostly European countries.
The second year 150,000 people tried programming or tinkered with hardware in 4,200 events in 36 countries in Europe and beyond.
The third year more than half a million people coded, hacked, tried robots, 3D printers etc. in 7,600 events in 46 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the US. Also Africa Code Week took off under the realms of SAP adding another 17 African countries and 89,000 coders.
In 2016 23,700 coding events took place in more than 50 countries on all continents meaning that almost a million people had fun discovering coding and learning what goes on behind a computer screen.
For 2017 a team of of 90 volunteers, Code Week Ambassadors representing 49 countries has helped to organize 7966 events which can be searched by country and are displayed on an interactive map - , which shows that some events are well outside mainland Europe, including on Madeira, the Azores, San Pierre The events in the USA are being conducted in Italian and that in Taiwan in German.
A events scoreboard for countries, sorted by the number of listed events per population, shows Estonia with 151 events and Malta with 36 being the leaders. However it is Italy with 4775 events, which iis in third place in terms of this ratio, where Europe Code Week has the strongest foothold. France comes in 22nd place (265 events), Spain in 24th, Germany in 30th and the UK in 31st. The UK, together with the US and Australia, had a National Coding Week last month so perhaps there's more going on there than reflected in this poor showing.
As well as support from the European Commission, Europe Code Week has had support from Google since 2014. Verónica Gebhardt, Google’s Computer Science Education Outreach Program Manager reports:
This year, we received almost 500 applications and it was an incredibly tough selection process. We’re funding 60 initiatives in 33 countries, with a goal to reach over 30,000 students. Some of the initiatives we are supporting include “Code me for the future” in Bosnia-Herzegovina which will introduce 500 rural students to their first steps in programming and “Coding pirates Skoedstrup” in Denmark through which 1400 students will work together to solve world problems through computing, problem solving, programming and tech-hacks.
Google has also produced getting started guides in computer science for France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK which point to local resources for teachers and students.
SAP is another industry partner and has helped pioneer Africa Code Week which has 552 live events across 35 African countries from October 18-25. The majority are events for beginners, many located in primary schools.
SAP is also backing Latin Code_Week, which appears to be concentrating on online courses targeted principally at 18-24 year olds.
The emphasis for Europe Code Week is live events, many of which are located within libraries with support from Public Libraries 2020, a partner organization.
Many library-based events are organized by CoderDojo, another important partner, which run programming clubs for youngsters aged 7 to 17 where they learn skills such as building a website, creating and app or a game. The fact that CodeDojo's activities crop up during a specific Code Week doesn't mean they are confined to that week. It is good to see that Europe Code Week is continuing to raise the profile of coding as a fun and worthwhile activity but better still is the fact that much of what takes place within it is ongoing, all year round.
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 September 2018 )|