20 North Kensington children aged 3-12, many of whom were affected by the Grenfell tragedy, gathered for a day of digital innovation and empowerment at an “Eco-Hackathon” run by award-winning coding school MAMA.codes at Nova New Opportunities.
The digital whizzkids were challenged to “use technology to tackle climate change” and raise awareness of more eco-friendly lifestyles/choices, at the event hosted on March 1 at MAMA.codes’ charity partner Nova, which has supported the local community with social inclusion and education programmes for the past 36 years.
Funding for the event and ongoing free coding classes for these families, was provided by sponsorship from leading technology recruitment company Lorien, and donations from the MAMA.codes’community of customers and staff.
Six teams competed to invent an eco-robot to solve an environmental problem and then programme it to create a multi-media animation and present it back to the group in front of an audience of 30. Their eco-solutions ranged from a fish that eats rubbish dumped in the ocean, to a carbon footprint calculator, and litter-collecting robots which were junk modelled then animated by the youngest “hackers” aged 3-7.
While the children were hard at work, their parents attended a talk on Raising Digital Kids, given by MAMA.codes’s local area manager and Franchisee Unro Janchiv, who runs several local coding clubs including at North Kensington Library, plus private home-based classes.
The event was made possible by volunteers from the MAMA.codes team, London Apple stores staff, tech industry specialists and London secondary schoolchildren. MAMA.codes also provides free coding classes to children under Nova’s Family Programme and Lorien’s funding will enable these to continue through 2020.
David Gettins, Managing Director of Lorien, said:
“Lorien is delighted to be able to support the Eco-Hackathon and sponsor a place at MAMA.codes’ free coding clubs for the Grenfell community for the rest of this year. We share a mission to encourage greater diversity in the tech industry, as well as show that a career in tech is appealing and rewarding.
We believe the solution lies in teaching the next generation coding and digital literacy as vital career skills.”
Read the full press release to find out more.