South Ayrshire held its first Code Club in summer 2017
A batch of would-be computer whizz kids have given the thumbs up to South Ayrshire's first Code Club. They've been learning basic digital programming skills at a Council-run six-week pilot at the CyberCentre, Carnegie Library, in Ayr.
Code Clubs show children how to create digital games, programming, build animations and develop websites. Aimed at 9-11-year-olds, activities are group based, where participants also get the chance to boost their self-esteem and develop people skills.
Code Club is designed to introduce the basics to programming and when children are ready they can move on to text-based languages such as HTML, CSS, or Python, potentially leading to long-term careers.
At the Ayr Code Club, a group of 17 young people were put through their paces learning the Scratch graphical programming language. Children dragged and combined code blocks to make a range of programs, including animations, stories, musical instruments and games, with the lessons being the programming equivalent of Lego.
Councillor Brian McGinley, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism & Leisure said the club had been a big hit, "With the pilot now complete, it's fair to say that all the children involved thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
"We're committed to helping children to grow, working in partnership and developing experiences that are both exciting and useful. Code Club let those taking part design their own games, making it easier to understand what's involved in basic programming.
"These are exactly the type of skills our young people will need in the future as they look to build careers. We will now review the programme to see how the idea could be taken forward across South Ayrshire in future."
Myah Cuozzo (11) said it had been a great experience, "I've really enjoy coding at the library as it's given me the opportunity to make new friends.
"I'd previously done coding at my primary school (Kingcase) and decided to attend code club to keep my skills up to date and possibly learn something new along the way.
"The club's been great as I've been able to build my projects from scratch and share them with my friends and class."
Code Club took place every Friday from 7 July – 11 August at the Cyber Centre, Carnegie Library, Ayr.