STEM Coding initiative goes for record

An annual worldwide computer coding exercise and STEM initiative for children will take place again on August 15. 

Code Club Australia has announced the return of Moonhack to again capture the imagination of Australian students and help improve digital literacy.

Thousands of children across Australia will participate in Moonhack by taking part in computer coding exercises on the night of August 15 with the event forming part of the 20th anniversary of National Science Week.

Last year saw the event break the world record with 10,207 kids all coding on the same day. This year, Moonhack is going global with the aim to have kids all over the world coding over a period of 24 hours. The event will launch from Wellington and Auckland in NZ, the closest cities to the International Date Line and continue around the globe.

“Moonhack is about so much more than just kids coding,” Code Club Australia general manager Kelly Tagalan said.

“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.”

“We also want kids to spark a love for learning through computational thinking, because it will be required in more than 70 per cent 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,” Tagalan said.

“Our mission is make sure that every Australian child has the opportunity to learn how to code, no matter where they live, what school they go to or what kind of access to computers they may have at home.”

Jackie Coates, head of the Telstra Foundation, Code Club Australia’s founding funder, encouraged parents across Australia to get on board and organise a Moonhack mission control in their homes or local schools.

“Digital technology is changing every aspect of our lives and computer coding is the language of the 21st Century. At the Telstra Foundation we’re passionate building the skills our kids need to prepare them for the jobs of the future,” Coates said.

“The best thing about Code Club is that it breaks down the myth that computer coding is hard and complex – 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.”

Code Club Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides tools and support for teachers and volunteers to provide free coding lessons. Currently, there are more than 65,000 Aussie kids across 1950 Code Clubs in Australia, from Perth to Gold Coast and South-Western Sydney – Australia now has the biggest network of clubs outside the UK.

To participate in the event, families can register their details at moonhack.com by midnight on August 15

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