Aiming to break its own world record for the most number of kids coding at one time, Code Club Australia has announced the return of Moonhack for 2017, a campaign to see thousands of kids come together to code online.
This year’s Moonhack is set to spread globally, planned to kick off on August 15th in a number of cities around the globe.
The date will mark the 20th anniversary of National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of tech and science, following on from last year’s event which celebrated the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.
Kids and schools that sign up for Moonhack will be tasked with creating projects within several moon-related themes, using a choice of either the Scratch, Scratch Jr or Python programming languages.
Once a coding project is completed, they can be uploaded onto the Moonhack platform to be shared with others. Kids receive a digital certificate for their work, and are encouraged to continue exercising their coding skills through Moonhack.
Last year’s campaign saw 10,207 kids take their coding skills online in Australia, breaking the previous world record for the number of kids coding on the same day.
With over 20,000 kids already registered for this year’s event, Code Club Australia said they are expecting to at least double the world record from last year.
This number falls in line with Code Club Australia growing its local impact across the country. Currently, the non-for-profit has helped establish roughly 1950 Code Clubs in Australia which cater to 65,000 kids, more than doubling the number of Code Clubs in the country last year.
While this year’s campaign is set to stick to its coding roots, Kelly Tagalan, Code Club Australia’s General Manager, said the campaign will be able to do so much to educate kids, beyond teaching them how to code.
“We are reading kids’ statements along with their registrations telling us why this kind of education is so important. One girl said, she’s planning to be an engineer, like her dad, and wants to learn to code early, because it’s helpful to her in solving problems,” she said.
“We also want kids to spark a love for learning through computational thinking, because it will be required in more than 70 percent of jobs of the future. Complex problem solving and a basic understanding of how technology is built is already an in-demand skill set in Australia’s job market.”
Jackie Coates, Head of the Telstra Foundation, Code Club Australia’s founding funding body, said the campaign also presents a strong opportunity for parents to interact with their kids and get them excited about problem solving.
“The best thing about Code Club is that it breaks down the myth that computer coding is hard and complex [plus] it’s actually fun, and through Moonhack something parents can do with their kids. As a mum of tweens, I’ve been able to get involved in coding with my kids through Code Club’s unique approach and we’ve had a blast doing it,” she said.
You can find more about participating in Moonhack here.