Friday, 19 July 2019 11:26

Moonhack: Can 50,000 kids code simultaneously, break record and celebrate 50th moon landing anniversary?

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With 2018's Moonhack event seeing 35,000+ kids simultaneously coding around the world, the aim for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing is for 50,000+ kids to take on the challenge.

Code Club Australia has announced Moonhack will return this year, taking place over seven days for the first time ever.

Powered by the Telstra Foundation, we're told that "Moonhack 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and will once again capture the imagination of Australian students, improving their digital literacy and preparing them for jobs of the future".

Running from 20-26 July, Moonhack aims to be a world record-breaker, led by Australian kids and Code Clubs all around the world - in many languages and from all time zones. It will take place in homes, schools, libraries and community clubs, and will see students take part in a space-themed coding exercise to build a space-themed game.

Kids can try one of the Moonhack projects or submit their own coding project with a moon theme for some serious Moonhacking.

In 2018, Code Club Australia reminds us that "Moonhack broke the record for number of kids coding at the same time with over 35,000 kids participating. This year across the seven-day period, Moonhack aims to have over 50,000 kids coding around the world".

Jackie Coates, Head of the Telstra Foundation, called on Australian families to join the mission and register their kids to take part or host their own Moonhack event

“With technology evolving so quickly, Telstra Foundation’s Code Club initiative aims to help prepare our kids for a bright future, teaching them invaluable skills in a fun and engaging way. While learning coding, children also develop important skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and mathematics, while fostering creativity, curiosity and confidence,” Coates said.

“The beauty of Moonhack is that kids can start a project anywhere, and with computer coding the universal language of the 21st Century, the event unites communities across the world. It’s over to you Australia, download your Moonhack Mission and code your way into the history books!", Coates continued, without sugarcoating any moon cakes in the process (don't worry, as the English say, I'll get my coat).

The Telstra Foundation reminds us that it is "the philanthropic arm of Telstra, backing initiatives that enable young people to thrive in their connected world including Code Club Australia".

Code Club is a nationwide network of volunteer-led coding clubs with a mission to #getkidscoding, aimed at children aged 8 to 12. All Code Clubs are free to join, and are supported by volunteers, parents, educators and our partners. There are 2,200 Australian Code Clubs, 3,200 teachers trained, with 165,000 Australian children participating."

The organisation also provides curriculum, training for teachers and creates projects for our volunteers to teach at after school coding clubs. The projects Code Club makes "teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Volunteers go to their local junior school or other venue, such as a library, for an hour a week and teach one project a week.

"Code Club is about fun, creativity, and learning through exploring. It’s important that the children enjoy their time at Code Club. They should understand that they’re in charge of the computer, and can (and should) make it do what they want, not the other way around."

To help break this year’s record and participate in Moonhack, families can register or host their own event – more info at the Moonhack website.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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