A free summer camp aimed at teaching young people how to ‘code the future’ took place at Elderbank Primary last week.

The week-long initiative saw youngsters, aged 9-12, take part in a series of activities designed to teach them how to code with a visual coding language called Scratch then progressing onto text-based languages such as Python.

Scratch is a good way of introducing the concepts of coding using an easy-to-use language where blocks of code are snapped together, taking away the need to learn a complex text-based structure.

During the week, the young people also had the opportunity to try out other exciting new technology and gadgets including creating content for virtual reality headsets, augmented reality, 3D design and printing, physical computing with Raspberry Pis and Sphero robotics.

The summer camp forms part of the Council’s ‘Coding the Future’ programme which sees a variety of council staff volunteer as STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ambassadors and help facilitate coding clubs within local schools and libraries.

Various Council services have also come together and commitment to a pledge to provide access to code clubs for all pupils aged 8-13 by 2020.

The Code Camp was developed to offer young people with an alternative summer activity – particularly for those interested in computing, technology and digital.

Council Leader Joe Cullinane joined the group last Thursday to find out more. He said: “It was fantastic to see kids as young as eight developing their own computer games through the use of coding – and having so much fun while doing so.

“Our ‘Coding the Future’ programme is all about improving digital literacy here in North Ayrshire with the aim of addressing the digital skills gap that exists in this country. And there’s no better way to improve this than by developing our younger generation and equipping them with the necessary skills.

“After all, with the rise and popularity of digital technology, it’s likely that many of our young people will go on to careers in this field – so by giving them this experience now, we’re helping them get one step ahead.”