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Bluff Marae Taking An Early Lead With Kids Coding

Bluff Marae Beat The Odds By Taking An Early Lead With Kids Coding

The latest announcement by Nikki Kay with kids computational thinking being introduced to the school curriculum for ages 5 through to 10 is a long needed upgrade to an education system that hasn’t been changed for the last 10 years, is well overdue and some of the kids in Bluff aren't waiting for it.

Te Rau Aroha Marae, Bluff is holding a unique holiday programme with the help of CodeCamp from Wellington and beating these odds with 75% girls and 100% maori in attendance.

Despite the odds of only 1% of Maori studying IT and only 2.5% are working in the IT industry.

Even though one in three IT graduates are women, only 21% of IT employees are women. 11% of women occupy executive positions in Silicon Valley. Locally, and anecdotally, we need only glance around our offices to see the lack of diversity.

The Marae, regardless of it’s low decile and remote location is on the ball and not waiting for the curriculum change in 2020 when it will become mandatory for kids to learn computational thinking.

Sumaria Beaton who helped organise the holiday programme says "We are a go ahead region and want our young ones of the future to thrive. Technology enables anybody to solve problems no matter who you are or where you’re from. It’s a great opportunity for our young ones to participate in opportunities that other people have in the bigger cities. With technology there are no boundaries. We believe that our young ones will become creators rather than consumers."

Computational thinking has been used by the Government as an important aspect of this new initiative but has not been explained. is a problem solving process that can be used in any area of life. It is made up of 4 core principles,

Decomposition - breaking down a big problem into smaller pieces,

Pattern Recognition - analysis

Abstraction - focusing on what needs to be done and getting rid of the unnecessary

Algorithm - step by step instructions for a solution.

CodeCamp is an organisation that teaches 21st Century skills to kids who want to learn how to code and know more about robotics through holiday programmes and after-school sessions.

Peter Duncan who runs CodeCamp with wife Rebecca says "Coding is not hard. The language has evolved and made it more accessible to all kids. It’s a communication platform to show expression and gives more meaning to learning."

Teachers who will have to learn code, should see coding as a platform that can be integrated into every aspect of learning. It’s a communication tool that students can create stories through, which reinforces their learning.

Anyone can learn to code with the modern visual tools available today.

The students at the Te Rau Aroha Marae holiday programme will be learning how to code from Monday through to Wednesday and presenting their final projects at 1.30pm on Thursday 20th to parents and elders of the Marae.

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