Here in Birmingham we've been building on the success of the Young Rewired State (YRS) Festival of Code, a week-long event that fosters the talent of young coders. The YRS is an independent global network of kids aged 18 and under who have taught themselves to programme. It introduce these children to like-minded peers at global events where they use freely available open data to make websites, apps and algorithms to solve real world challenges. Their annual Festival of Code has held in Birmingham in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Reflecting changes in the curriculum, organisations across the country act as hosts and mentors to young people in centres local to them, working with the young people build digital products using open data.
Here are some of the activities taking place in Birmingham:
- A permanent centre hosted by the BBC has been established where youngsters (under the age of 18) gather the last Saturday of every month at BBC Birmingham to learn or build on their coding skills, email CodingBrum@bbc.co.uk for more info.
- The Social Breakfast does work with all groups, here and abroad and run hack events to address civic challenges.
- Code Club is a nationwide network of free volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.
All of these organisations seek to support a network of coders and designers that will use their digital skills and creativity to address social and economic challenges – with a focus to attract young coders, and those that want to learn, from underprivileged and minority backgrounds.