Grants totalling £100,000 have been awarded by Digital Xtra Fund to extra-curricular programmes across Scotland, in a bid to create the next generation of digital experts.
Digital Xtra Fund brings together businesses, organisations, and individuals with a common purpose, to help young people succeed in a digital world, through an annual grant awards programme.
In total, 22 initiatives have been awarded grants of up to £5,000 each, designed to support some of Scotland’s hard-to-reach young people and improve digital skills in areas such as coding, data science and computer-based problem-solving.
The focus of the grant awards has been on reaching those traditionally underrepresented in the technology industry, such as girls and young women, young people in rural areas, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
This mirrors CodeClan’s ambition of having a lasting social impact through our work with Coder Dojo, CodeBar and the Girl Guides.
Grant award recipients for 2019 include Wear-a:bits, which introduces the basics of coding through wearable technology to young people from areas of Glasgow facing multiple deprivation; STEAM Ahead, an initiative to teach coding and digital creativity at libraries in the Outer Hebrides; and Resilient Robotics, an Islay-based initiative designed to develop young people’s perseverance when building robots – a process that can sometimes require a lot of trial and error. Resources for Resilient Robotics will also be made available in Gaelic.
The fund is another step forward to get young people learning digital skills, the very people who are the biggest consumers of technology. It’s only by teaching young people these skills that Scotland will have a pipeline of ready-made and diverse workers, who can go into jobs across many industries, including hospitality, healthcare and finance.
Grant recipients were officially announced at an event held at Anderston Primary School in Glasgow. The School’s Tech Heroes after-school club, supported by Digital Xtra Fund, will give pupils the opportunity to use Spheros, micro:bits, Osmo kits and Snap Circuits, as well as practice on-screen coding while they learn about the role of technology across various subjects.
The event was attended by Kate Forbes, MSP and Minster for Public Finance and Digital Economy, as well as representatives from Digital Xtra Fund, Skyscanner, J.P. Morgan, and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.
If you’d like to know more about CodeClan’s community outreach initiatives, you can find more information here.