How one mum brought her passion for STEM to schools with Code Camp

- March 8, 2019 3 MIN READ

We all know that we live in a fast and digital world that is showing no signs of slowing down. And, while we may wish our kids would spend more time away from their screens, reality is that by the time they are entering the workforce, around 40 per cent of the jobs they will be doing don’t even exist yet. What we do know is that 70 per cent of these jobs will be technology based.

Where does that leave our school-aged kids today though? Essentially, if we don’t give early enough access to creative tech soft-skills they will likely operate technology, rather than evolve it. We get kids to start ballet at the age of 5, music at no later than 7 years old, yet we don’t necessarily open the door to the fastest growing genre of life skill – technology and coding until they are in high school, which is often too late.

Faced with this dilemma, Hayley Markham, a mother of three daughters, saw an even greater issue – that is very few women actually get to step into the world of coding and IT, leaving this sector largely male-dominated. That is when Hayley and her partners started to create the first extra-curricular coding program in Australia.

Fast-forward 4.5 years, and CodeCamp has taught over 45,000 children through its school holiday / in-school and after-school programs,  has earned a boot full of business awards and industry recognitions and built its very own coding platform that kids around the world will soon be able to access. Having grown originally from 4 co-founders – now into a team of 25 full-time staff and over 1000 casual teachers, CodeCamp has opened the door to coding for countless school-aged children right across Australia.

“I would have never thought that the concept would experience such strong demand, especially from girls. We can hardly keep up with inquiries from schools and families alike,” Hayley Markham says.

“We often receive inquiries from abroad, and winning one award after another stands testament that we are doing something right, we are really passionate about making sure every child who joins us at Code Camp absolutely loves the experience” she added.

The benefits of teaching children how to code are undeniable. It provides pathways to future employment, keeps them stimulated and offers a creative outlet. Coding is also a great way to direct screen time towards something productive. Children all across the nation are gaining sought-after entry skills that developers are learning in degrees and advanced courses these days.

With the advancement of technology on hyper-drive, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic are set to replace around 10% of jobs over the next decade alone and experts predicting major disruption to numerous careers and jobs for decades to come. We can simply not ignore that the skill sets needed for our children are very different then when we were at school or preparing for transition into the workforce.

We might like to think that the tech-driven Millennials are a passing trend, but reality is that they are just the tip of the iceberg of how future generations and our primary school kids of today will conduct work and life when they approach adulthood. Their world will be a very different one in terms of technology, work and what sort of professions will reduce due to AI and technology and which will grow in human demand. Technology development and coding are said to be fundamental evergreen career paths.

“The soft-skills we need to equip our children with these days are very different then what our generation needed when we were their age,” Markham says.

“And, coding really is where creativity and technology meet. While they learn basic game or app development at CodeCamp, these are the bedrock of career paths in this industry. Kids love it and it opens an all-important door for them,” she added.

For more information check out www.codecamp.com.au


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