by Katharine Childs, Code Club Regional Coordinator for East Midlands
Meetups are a great way for anyone running a Code Club to get ongoing support and for anyone new to find out more. Run by our team of Regional Coordinators, they take place all around the country and are a relaxed, informal way to meet others in the Code Club community to share experiences, swap tips and hear the latest Code Club news.
Last month our Derby meetup took place at the Silk Mill Museum, and had a mixture of existing volunteers, new volunteers and hosts who came along to chat, eat doughnuts and tinker with tech for a couple of hours.
Lots of clubs had received BBC micro:bits back in September 2016, and more clubs were applying in the second round of applications this year, so we had three of the Code Club micro:bit projects on display to play with.
We had a great talk from a host who plans to set up several clubs in a Radio Communication Museum later this year. Several volunteers were looking for a venue to volunteer at, and so were able to chat to all the hosts who were there and link up to get a Code Club started. As one attendee said, “I found the evening fascinating, enlightening and enjoyable. All in all, a first class meetup.”
For clubs who had done lots of the Scratch projects and were considering what to do next, there was a presentation about our Python projects including some information on how to use the online coding environment Trinket. This led onto a really interesting discussion about the challenges of using a text-based programming language with children aged 9 – 11, and we crowd-sourced community tips such as:
- linking back to children’s literacy skills when checking the syntax of their code
- commenting sections of code to explain what they do and modelling patient
- methodical debugging by getting it wrong yourself and then working through how to put it right.
Is there a meetup coming up near you? Find out more on our events page and come along. Whether you’re a host or a volunteer, looking to get involved or running an existing club, there’s bound to be something for you!
Photos credit: Samathy Barratt, new Code Club volunteer