Paul Bason, Director at Manchester Metropolitan University gave me a preview of progress on the new Innospace facility which is currently being developed just off Oxford Road, Manchester. Capitalising upon years of success, Innospace is about to enter a new era providing students an inspiring facility in which to create the next generation of startups.
Once complete in late Spring 2014 Innospace will become the home for up to 100 small businesses offering spaces from as little as £10 per week.
The pupils of Rolls Crescent Primary School in Hulme, Manchester Code Club had no idea what was in store for them yesterday. When Code Club volunteer Steven Flower revealed to them His Royal Highness the Duke of York was soon to arrive, the room was suddenly erupted with noise and excitement. An air of anticipation ensued and a flurry of exuberant amusing questions flowed.
The kids set about preparing various examples of their work including a most remarkable banana powered electronic piano. Make no mistake, learning to code is a bundle of fun.
Coding is all about problem solving and growing the ability to experiment, fail, before finally succeeding. One student was invited, by the BBC Newsround film crew, to become the interviewer ( see the report here ). From the way this young man superbly interviewed Prince Andrew, it was clear that Code Club had contributed also to his confidence.
Code Clubs are only possible through the generosity of volunteers like Steven. They introduce experience and knowledge most schools struggle to provide. Often developers or programmers themselves, they typically have years of experience and a certain passion for coding. This is what the kids find so infectious.
Whilst adults, the media struggle to grasp why learning to code is so important, children seize the chance to absorb these modern life skills
Organisations like Code Club are dedicated to offering children what can be life changing opportunities. Kids become makers rather than consumers of technology. Whilst adults, the media struggle to grasp why learning to code is so important, children seize the chance to absorb these modern life skills and are equipping themselves with vital knowledge for their future careers.
The UK internet and technology economies are growing fast. They need children like those at Rolls Crescent Primary School to develop a love for coding early in order ensure there is sufficient talent for the future. There are over 600 schools currently waiting for a volunteer to start a Code Club across the UK.
Maybe you aren't the next Steve Jobs, but certainly could be the next Steven Flower. Why not volunteering to help make a Code Club happen at your local school?