Coding for Children
Tackling the diversity gap in tech through creative coding
The Imperial Codelab outreach initiative started in late 2016 in response to inadequate female representation in the technology industry and in its own Computer Science programmes. Working with alumni founded EdTech organisation, Turinglab, and with backing from Yoox Net-a-Porter, the Imperial Codelab has grown to reaching around 200 students each week through is creative computing labs. The aim of the programme is to kick start an interest in coding for young girls, and children from local and under-represented communities.
Why we do it
Imperial aims to promote the College as a destination for science-minded young people, diversify our applicant pool and widen participation. Less than 15% of our computer science undergraduates are female, compared with a UK average of 20%. More must be done to increase female participation.
While there are excellent opportunities at the primary level for young children to learn valuable coding and computational thinking skills, the amount of support available rapidly decreases as they enter secondary school. Several organisations are already working to inspire young students into STEM however there is a significant lack of programmes set up to develop the confidence and key skills needed to ensure participants can continue to learn independently themselves.