Pupils share coding skills with MEPs

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Two Harrogate school pupils have been to Brussels to show off their coding skills to MEPs.

Edward Green and Orla McPartland – both members of the CoderDojo at Harrogate Library – were representing the UK as guests of the European Parliament as part of European Coding Week.

During their visit, Edward and Orla, who were accompanied by their fathers, taught MEPs how to code and told them what they have learnt at CoderDojo.

The Harrogate CoderDojo is run by Simon Green, an IT professional, who said: “Only 46 young European CoderDojo Ninjas were invited.

“It is fantastic that two of our members were selected from all of the UK to demonstrate their coding skills at the European Parliament.

“We are a free, volunteer-led, community-based programming club for young people. Anyone aged seven to 17 can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.”

Rae Smith from Marvin Informatics who supported the children’s trip encourages youth to engage in coding as soon as possible, said: “An understanding of programming languages is more and more important in the contemporary world.

“It’s both better and easier to learn these skills young, and all children should be offered the opportunity to do so.”

Edward, 16, a pupil at St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, hopes to have a career in IT, particularly video game design or cyber security. He said: “I have already created a website for a local restaurant and designed several games. “

Orla, 12, of Harrogate Ladies College, said: “I started with Scratch which is a sort of like using Lego on the computer to build programmes.

“Now I am using Python and have written code to play different games. Recently I have built a website.”

The pair, and their fathers, had a fascinating day at the Parliament and met many interested MEPs who were amazed at their talent.

EUDojo 2018 host, Seán Kelly, MEP, said: “Technology is changing the world in which we live.

“New innovations integrate technology into our everyday lives. We don’t know what the world will look like in 10 years, but we know that world will be powered by code, and these youngsters are at the leading edge.”

CoderDojo meets at Harrogate Library and welcomes new Ninjas who wants to learn more and Volunteers who can help as mentors, with or without programming skills.