Digital solutions company Kainos has launched its third summer CodeCamp, supported by Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast City Council and South Belfast Partnership.
The free course, which is being attended by 80 young people from across Belfast and further afield, is aimed at year 11-14 students studying STEM subjects.
Kainos CodeCamp is designed to introduce young people to the world of computer programming and improve their technical skills. Over the two weeks, software developers and mentors from Kainos, Queen’s University Belfast and Liberty IT provide training and deliver workshops in a number of technologies including Android, iOS and Raspberry Pi. Participants not only learn basic coding techniques, but also get a chance to develop their own apps. This will allow them to experience what working in an IT/technical environment would be like, and to understand the different roles available within the industry.
For the first time this year, the CodeCamp attendees will be given group training sessions in using Raspberry Pi, the small computer system designed to encourage children to learn programming. These will also be offered up as prizes, alongside Nexus tablets and an Apple Watch.
Discussing the unique opportunity offered by CodeCamp, Gemma Crothers, Technology Outreach Manager at Kainos, said: “CodeCamp’s main goal is to inspire young people to become creators of technology, rather than just consumers of it. They know how to use the latest technology, but they don’t understand the role they could also have in building it. Our main aim is to give the participants a passion for building applications, and enable them to use the latest technical tools available to them.”
Demand for places was exceptionally high this year, with all 80 tickets being snapped up in just two hours. In total, there were 300 applications, highlighting the obvious demand and appetite for initiatives of this nature, and the thirst for technical knowledge that today’s teenagers have.
Dr Phil Hanna, Director of Education in the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “The camp is a brilliant way to inspire the next generation of technical professionals. The students can gain a better understanding of app development and different types of coding, along with working in a professional environment.”
CodeCamp runs from 27th July, and culminates with a prize giving ceremony on 7th August.