Building codes for the future

AOL UK launches YouBuild competition to inspire kids to code and build a website for their school

Posted by Emily Hutton

AOL UK has announced the launch of YouBuild, a competition to engage and inspire school children to learn how to code.

In partnership with international charity and educational partner Free The Children, as well as Codeacademy, YouBuild is tasking pupils to help their school and local community through the power of code.  

Working with Free The Children’s partner schools, YouBuild will offer over 12,000 young people across the country, aged between 8-16 years old, the chance to enter the competition. Pupils from schools partnered with Free The Children who wish to take part, need to submit their ideas to a teacher for a website that they think could benefit their school and local community.   

The winning idea will be selected by a panel of judges from AOL, Codeacademy, Free The Children and 15 year-old Amy Mather, who was awarded the European Digital Girl of Europe Award by The European Commission.   

The winning class will be provided with laptops from AOL and will spend a day working with AOL developers and Codeacademy, learning how to build the website. AOL will continue to help the winning school manage the site once it has been built.   

 The competition is closely tied to AOL’s mission, to unleash the world’s greatest creators of culture and code. It also promotes AOL’s broader corporate citizenship strategy and commitment to creating opportunities for future leaders, through better access to technology and education.  

Last year, AOL’s commitment to inspire youth in coding kicked off with a partnership with Girls Who Code, a US organisation working to close the gender gap in technology and engineering. The partnership saw AOL give five Girls Who Code alumni the opportunity to take over AOL owned ahead of its re-launch.   

Graham Moysey, Head of International, AOL, said: “All around us there is a push for more coding in schools and never has there been a better time for young people to get involved.  

I’m really excited that we can provide kids with the opportunity to build a website, leaning on the expertise of our team of in-house developers and really create change in their school and local community.”  

Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children said: “Today’s generation of young people have the power to create and lead real systematic change. This competition is a great opportunity for them to use coding to bring their ideas for social change to life.” 

The competition opened on March 5th 2015 and will close on May 3rd. The winner will be announced on May 11th.