I’ve really enjoyed my time as a Code Club volunteer, and in all honesty I feel amazed that I have had the opportunity to not only teach a new generation of coders, but also to learn along the way.
Sadly my time of leading/teaching at the Code Club at MadLab is coming to an end, which means that there is an excellent opportunity for a lucky Code Club volunteer to shine and take over the reigns.
MadLab is an awesome organisation based in Manchester, and has the best team/staff to help assist in running the venue for the Code Club. However, I have to admit that part of the greatness of the MadLab Code Club is that the club leader gets to choose the lesson plans, gets the clubs email and twitter account (with the crew at MadLab supporting with retweets, blog posts and e-mail newsletters) and basically (if wanted) gets the independence to run the club as they want.
Running a club may seem a little daunting; but it needn’t be! I went from assisting at a school club to running a weekend club and found the best way to run the club was to organise. I would spend a bit of time during the week creating a lesson plan, picking a project to tackle, practising the project and then looking forward to running the lesson at the weekend.
Code Club has lots of resources available, and lots of projects at https://codeclubprojects.org/en-GB and it is a pleasure to teach the projects (my favourites are the Python projects. However, I did sometimes sway away from the Code Club projects; I made sure the Club took part in the fantastic Astro Pi challenge and even did a few lessons around Code.Org’s Hour Of Code event making Flappy Bird type games or moving characters around Minecraft and Star Wars themed games.
And for the Club leader (and Club volunteers) there are some fun lessons available via Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/partners/raspberry-pi); and even the Picademy training events (sadly I never got to go to one of these).
The club has seen attendance fluctuate and at first I got a little disheartened at this, but in the end I’ve been happy that although some young people have stayed for 1 or 2 lessons, others have stayed for a whole module or even a several months!
My last Mad Lab Code Clubs will take place on Saturday 9th June, Saturday 22nd June and Saturday 6th July 2018.
As I end this blog entry I just want to say thank you again to everyone at Mad Lab; you’ve all been fantastic. On a side note; if you are an adult and after some tech fun then make sure to check out Mad Lab’s courses – over the last few years I’ve been introduced to Java, had two days of Hacking fun and introduced to the fun of Arduino.