Coding is the new times-tables as far as kids are concerned, so it made sense for NatWest Markets to set up a schools programme, helping young people around the world learn how to code.
NatWest Markets employees go into local schools with bits of kit and lots of enthusiasm and run day-long workshops called ‘RoboJams’. Children are taught how to build little robots using a variety of components, such as a 'raspberry pi' (a tiny computer used for programming), cardboard boxes, stickers, and loads of imagination.
Once the robots are assembled, it’s time for coding to begin. There are four tasks to complete during the sessions:
- Moving the robot one meter exactly
- Sending the robot through a maze
- Decorating their robots
And the final arena battle where competition really heats up …
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Volunteering with Robojam has given employees the chance to create lasting change. Find out how Ebi Obode discovered a passion for teaching kids to code.
RoboJams are the brainchild of Simon Wawra, Risk Technology, NatWest Markets, which he set up nearly four years ago. Simon has built a team of volunteers who head into schools across east London, working with kids who might not ordinarily have the chance to learn about robotics and programming.
Simon says, “We held our first RoboJam session in June 2016 with local schools with the aim of introducing children to a ‘maker’ culture and give them a flavour of computational thinking skills. Since then, we’ve taught over 300 children across different schools in London and Edinburgh”.