Pre-wired Coding Club
An Edinburgh computer programming club for under 19s is a big hit in the city.
A local computer programming club is helping enthusiastic young coders of all abilities to learn to code within a supportive environment. Prewired is also a place for young people to meet peers with shared interests which they can develop together.
Mentors from the University and skilled experts from the tech and creative sectors volunteer weekly to teach young people about computing and help them explore and experiment with computer programming and digital technologies such as Raspberry Pi microcomputers. Prewired actively promotes diversity and gender balance, and mentors are encouraged to participate in Unconscious Bias training and to develop ‘soft’ skills for working with young people.
Structured workshops introduce young people to new topics they may not have considered before. Annual ‘hackathons’ challenge them to work in teams to solve problems posed by city organisations.
I think it's a great way to express your creativity and it's really enjoyable. You don't have to do set tasks - you can work on your own projects but the volunteers are really helpful if you need any support.
Free classes must be booked
Prewired, established in 2013, is a registered Scottish charity, which grew out of events at the University’s School of Informatics. The approach is intended to complement the computer science and programming curriculum available in schools. Classes are free because it’s run by volunteers, supported by donations from local organisations and hosted in event space provided by CodeBase.
There is no lower limit on age or ability, so long as the young person is enthusiastic about coding and is comfortable learning independently or in a semi-supervised environment. Children younger than 11 must be accompanied throughout the sessions by a parent or carer.
If you're under 19 years old and interested in learning to code, or already know how and want to go even further, you can sign up on the Prewired website. To participate, you’ll need to register for membership before booking individual sessions.
Sessions take place from 5.30–7.30 pm every Wednesday during school term time at CodeBase, 38 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9DZ.
The School of Informatics took part in a Festival of Code for young people in 2012, and then entered teams into the Festival the following year. The enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas of the participants inspired us to set up Prewired to encourage young people to engage and experiment with programming, generate new ideas, and have fun.
Mentors and funding sought
If you’d like to become a mentor, you’ll be welcomed with open arms, and donations of funding for the Club’s activities would also be appreciated. Find out more on the Prewired website.