By Gordon Mullan, Lead Business Analyst, EPAM UK
For several years, EPAM has been focused on making an impact in technology education through its e-Kids program, and children around the world are learning valuable lessons about programming. Now, another EPAM location has officially joined the movement. In the United Kingdom, EPAMers came together to launch their first-ever Scratch workshop to spread the word among kids that computer science is fun, rewarding, creative and essential to the future.
After recruiting employees to coach the workshop, EPAM UK teamed up with the 100 Black Men of London (100BMOL), a community charity focused on mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic empowerment. Working with 100BMOL gave EPAM UK the opportunity to reach kids who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to gain programming experience.
For this Scratch workshop, the kids were introduced to the platform, and were taught why technology and coding skills are so important to their generation. To accomplish this, the Scratch coaches used the “Animating a Name” and “Make it Fly” tutorials as an overview to the platform capabilities and to show what can be achieved through coding.
“The course was tightly structured with clear objectives, but flexible enough to cater to both beginners as well as participants with experience,” said Jonathan Thomas, Director of 100BMOL. “The EPAM team provided great one-on-one assistance, consistently prompting the participants to think creatively and test their own ideas. The Q&A session at the end, which also involved the EPAMers sharing their own career journeys and views on the future, was a masterstroke. As for me, I had an absolute blast doing it, and I can’t wait for the next one!”
Eager to learn more about how important technology will be both in their everyday lives and in the future job market, the enthusiasm of the students certainly struck a chord with 100BMOL, as they intend to continue developing a strong and lasting relationship with the EPAM UK team.
“EPAM e-Kids really appealed to me because it took me out of the day-to-day and I saw it as a real worthy cause as well as good fun. IT and coding skills are becoming increasingly important in the world, and I wanted to help make more young people aware of this,” said EPAM volunteer Daniel Simpson.
After the success of the first workshop, EPAM UK has already added more employee volunteers to the team and will further expand the e-Kids program along with 100BMOL and other local organizations. We’re grateful to 100BMOL for their partnership and making this event a success!