Five ways to inspire your club members about code!

Whether your Code Club is just launching or has been running for a while, here are five ways for you to get your Code Club members excited about coding

A young girl is sat in a classroom working at laptop. A female volunteer is looking at her laptop screen. Both are smiling!
A young Code Club member showing her code to a volunteer.

1. Make Scratch Cat say hi! 

Just starting out with new Code Club members? Christina from Code Club USA encourages you to begin with the basics:  

“We often forget that the simplest things can inspire folks — start with the basics! Show your Code Club members how to make Scratch Cat say hi, and then have them change what the cat is saying and encourage them to try and make the cat do a dance.”

– Christina Foust, Club Program Manager, Code Club USA

2. Be ready, inspiration is contagious!

Make sure you are the first one to be inspired: join us at a FREE online webinar and make sure you’re #CodeClubReady! Talk to our team from across the world, ask your questions, and find out what support we’ve got for you. 

An illustration with too robots, the Code Club logo and words, we are #CodeClubReady

3. Send your code to space

How cool would it be to have your own code run aboard the International Space Station? Your Code Club members can do just that with the European Astro Pi Challenge!  

The Astro Pi Challenge has launched with two missions.

  • Mission Zero: With the help of a step-by-step guide, your Code Club members write a very simple Python program that will run on the International Space Station and show a message for the astronauts there! This mission is a great introduction to Python for learners who want to move on from Scratch. 
  • Mission Space Lab: participants design and write a program for a real scientific experiment that has the chance to run aboard the International Space Station. This mission has four phases and runs over eight months. 
An illustrated image with the Astro Pi logo, two astronauts and the launch date details.

4. Encourage a show-and-tell 

Hold a show-and-tell session to celebrate you club members’ achievements! You can even invite your club members’ friends and family and teach them about coding by having the club members showcase what they’ve been creating and learning. If your Code Club is registered on our website, download certificates from your dashboard to hand out to your members at the end of the show-and-tell to make it really special. 

“A show-and-tell is a great place for your club members to share what they’ve learned and also talk about anything they found challenging. It leads to great discussions and encourages the other children to ask further questions.”

– Rohima Cooke, Code Club Regional Coordinator, South East 

An older ladies hands working on a laptop, drawing a person on the laptop screen.
A family member taking part in a show-and-tell session

5. Build your own game

Who doesn’t love to play games at home? Inspire your learners to create and code their own games. With our free step-by-step projects for Scratch, Python, and Blender, children can easily learn how to make games. You never know, you may have the next Tim Sweeney, game developer of Fortnite, in your group!

How do you get your Code Club members excited about coding? Share your ideas with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #MyCodeClub.

Code Club #ScratchDay activities

This Saturday is Scratch Day, when people all around the world come together to celebrate Scratch and the people who use Scratch.

As you probably know, here at Code Club we love Scratch – it’s the first tool we use in our projects, and most of our volunteers, Code Clubbers and parents are well aware of how awesome it is for making animations, games and all kind of creative projects.

We’re keen to join the Scratch Day party, and have created a brand new project – (starring Scratch the cat and some evil space junk!) which can be used in the classroom, Code Club or at home. Click here to check out the project.Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.05.04 In Manchester, we’re also taking part in some Scratch Day activities, as local Code Clubs will be heading to the National Football Museum to take part in some awesome football-themed coding workshops. T

here’s also a chance to have your Scratch games displayed at the museum – it just has to be footy themed and uploaded to https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/1112522/ – and if you made it in a Code Club, then be sure to note that down!

Scratch Day is all about sharing our enthusiasm and passion for Scratch, so be sure to tag us @CodeClub on Twitter & Facebook with any updates on your activities! You can also use #ScratchDay to join the conversation worldwide! For further information about Scratch Day, visit http://day.scratch.mit.edu/host/

User testing and pilot scheme update

On the 26th of May we headed to Camden to join Mozilla and CoderDojo at their play test event, kindly hosted by Forward Internet group. They lent us their schedule and their kids so we could test out the first six Code Club projects we had been working so hard on writing. This play test meant we could test our projects on a good sized group of children with different ability and experience levels. The kids really enjoyed the projects and out little table went from nice and organised like this…

…to very popular like this!

Our 6 projects are now being tested in 20 schools across the country. Each week our dedicated team of volunteers fills in a feedback form about the project they have completed with their club. This gives us invaluable data as to how to improve on the projects we have created and allows us to improve them in time for September. Onwards!