Skip navigation

eKids Volunteers: 10+ Years of Teaching Coding to Help Kids Develop Skills for the Future (Pt. 4)

Blog

Technology continues to evolve at an incredibly rapid rate and the demand for people with coding skills is growing. Yet, offering basic tech courses to children is still not a standard part of curricula. In response to this increasingly critical and global need, we’ve been building a community that encourages children to explore software engineering through the Scratch platform.

The eKids program wouldn’t be what it is today without our 765+ volunteers spanning 15 countries and spending 32,000+ hours helping local children learn to code, preparing them for the future predominantly driven by technology. In our previous eKids Volunteers interview segment, we spoke with EPAMers from India and China about their experience teaching EPAM eKids. Here’s another segment from some volunteers in Hungary and China:

Why did you decide to volunteer for EPAM eKids?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): I feel lucky, because I loved programming at a young age and chose it as my career. I would like everyone to understand that IT is interesting and exciting. I believe that, if we show it to the kids, they also see the beauty of it.

Imre Papai (Hungary): Before working at EPAM, I taught informatics and technical skills, so I decided to apply my experience to this great mission to help our young generation of IT kids.

Krisztian Huterjak (Hungary): I believe that teaching is important and I saw this as a way for me to pass on the torch of everything I have learned.

Kyle Huang (China): As a father, I feel especially compelled to teach children something that they will need to know in order to be successful.

Can you tell me what the eKids workshops are like?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): At the beginning of the workshop, we always start with a game to get to know each other, make friends and warm up for the lesson. In our trainings, we like to show that learning can be educational, yet entertaining at same time.

Imre Papai (Hungary): The lessons really focus on pair work and classwork. On the other hand, we have a chance to help the participants improve IT-related skills mainly focusing on visual programming. We can interact and engage if they have questions, which improves confidence among teachers, mentors and students as well.

Kyle Huang (China): Kids love the workshops. They’re able to play games while learning a skill that will benefit them in the future.

How easy is it for people with non-tech backgrounds to learn the Scratch program?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): The greatest lesson that I learned from taking part in the 2017 Scratch Conference is that everyone can learn Scratch. If they want to learn it and have enough motivation, they can do it.

Imre Papai (Hungary): It always depends on the motivation of participants. For me, Scratch is easy to use and learn because it is a simple, handy and useful visual application that helps children explore coding and programming.

Krisztian Huterjak (Hungary): It all depends on their mindset. Scratch is fairly simple. The way a programmer needs to think is more difficult to learn.

Kyle Huang (China): I believe everyone in the world can learn the Scratch. It doesn't matter what background you have.

Why is it so important for kids to learn about technology like coding at such a young age and how does Scratch fit in to this initiative?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): At this age, they are more open to learning new things. Scratch also helps kids learn algorithmic thinking, which is very useful in any field or career. It is easy to use, and kids can create a complex project in a short time. Even if somebody is not really interested in coding itself, they can find at least some interesting part of it, such as drawing and coloring sprites, which is also essential to complete a project.

Imre Papai (Hungary): Not just Scratch, but also every coding tool improves mathematical and algorithmic thinking skills. The extra value for children is that they can create something new and enjoyable for themselves. It shows parents how their children can use the computer for learning. Using this visual programming language, kids can build the blocks of code like a puzzle. The cast moves under the programmers’ inspirations, their commands and I think they really like it. Code comes to life.

Krisztian Huterjak (Hungary): Children are more open to learning and they can easily learn programming when it’s introduced to them at a young age. Scratch is a great tool because it’s easy to use and provides a tool for them to express their creativity.

Kyle Huang (China): Kids are growing up in a very different world than their parents. Smart phones, computers, YouTube, WeChat, QQ and Facebook are embedded in their daily lives. Even toys are digital, and many are programmable, such as Legos. Learning to code is the same as learning a new language; it’s one of the fastest growing occupations. Like learning a new language or riding a bike, it is best to start learning how to code in the early years. With programming knowledge, kids better understand the world around them. Most people don’t know what makes our smartphones, laptops, social media networks and video games run. Basic programming knowledge can change the way we interact with the technologies we use daily, and can open our eyes to the infinite possibilities of coding. Scratch gives children the ability to work together to solve problems and create something new.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges that kids and educators face today in a technology-driven world?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): Kids have too many lessons a week and they get tired. As a result, they become unmotivated. Schools should teach kids critical thinking instead of learning everything word-for-word.

Imre Papai (Hungary): Technology is growing fast and I think it is hard to follow these changes. Also, it’s not easy to handle the differences between participants: for example, some of them have informatics lessons bi-weekly, which is not enough.

Krisztian Huterjak (Hungary): I would say managing expectations when it comes to learning about technology.

Kyle Huang (China): In my lessons alone, the time goes by too fast. I wish we had more time to teach the kids more about programming.

What are some of your favorite moments as an eKids volunteer and what is the most impressive thing you’ve seen the students accomplish?

Martina Horvath (Hungary): I love seeing the kids become more enthusiastic and motivated with each lesson. The biggest challenge for the kids is when they give presentations on the projects they created at the end of the Scratch trainings. I’m always happy to see the clever solutions that they come up with.

Imre Papai (Hungary): When they presented their projects at the end of the course, I was so proud of them. It’s great to see their improvements and growth.

Krisztian Huterjak (Hungary): My favorite moment was when I first met the kids. I would say the impressive part was when one of the kids from a previous season hosted one of the sessions.

Kyle Huang (China): It is an honor for me to be able to teach these children and see how excited they get during each lesson.

That wraps up our interview series with EPAM eKids volunteers! Be sure to stay tuned for other eKids-related initiatives at EPAM.

Hello. How Can We Help You?


Our Offices

  • Canada

    • Ottawa

      343 Preston Street,
      ON K1S 1N4, Ottawa
      Canada

      Map
    • Toronto

      5 Park Home Avenue,
      Suite 400,
      ON M2N 6L4, North York,
      Toronto
      Canada

      Map
      P: +1-416-591-4004
      F: +1-416-595-1551
  • Mexico

    • Guadalajara

      Periférico Sur #8110,
      Col. El Mante
      45609 Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
      Mexico

      Map
      P: +52-33-462-400-98
  • United States

    • Newtown, PA

      41 University Drive,
      Suite 202,
      Newtown, PA 18940
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Bellevue, WA

      110 110th Ave. NE,
      Suite 310
      Bellevue, WA 98004
      USA

      Map
    • Boston, MA

      21 Drydock Avenue,
      Suite 410 W,
      Boston, MA 02210
      USA

      Map
    • Cambridge, MA

      One Mifflin Place,
      Cambridge, MA 02138
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Conshohocken, PA

      101 East 8th Ave,
      Suite 201,
      Conshohocken, PA 19428
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-484-382-1300
    • Los Angeles, CA

      11601 Wilshire Blvd,
      Suite 350,
      Los Angeles, CA 90025
      USA

      Map
    • Mountain View, CA

      465 Fairchild Dr,
      Building B,
      Suite 221,
      Mountain View, CA 94043
      USA

      Map
    • New York, NY

      24 West 25th Street,
      5th Floor,
      New York, NY 10010
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Philadelphia, PA

      30 South 15th Street,
      9th Floor,
      Philadelphia, PA 19102
      USA

      Map
    • San Francisco, CA

      222 Kearny Street,
      Suite 308,
      San Francisco, CA 94108
      USA

      Map
    • Washington D.C.

      7901 Jones Branch Drive,
      Suite 400,
      McLean, VA 22102
      USA

      Map
  • Austria

    • Vienna

      Nottendorfer Gasse 11,
      1030 Wien
      Austria 

      Map
  • Bulgaria

    • Sofia

      69 Bulgaria Blvd.,
      Infinity Tower,
      1404 Sofia
      Bulgaria

      Map
      P: +359-700-20-273
  • Czech Republic

    • Prague

      City Tower building,
      Hvezdova 2b,
      Prague 4
      Czech Republic

       

      Map
      P: +420 22 888 28 23
  • Germany

    • Frankfurt am Main

      Franklinstrasse 56, 
      60486 Frankfurt am Main,
      Germany

      Map
      P: +49-69-31019090
  • Hungary

    • Budapest

      Corvin Offices I.
      Futó street 47-53,
      Budapest, H-1082
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-1-327-7400
    • Debrecen

      Bethlen Street 3-9,
      Debrecen, 4026
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-52-999-485 / 45050
    • Szeged

      Felső Tisza-Part 25,
      Szeged, 6723
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-62-808-013
      F: +36-62-550-655
  • Ireland

    • Dublin

      Alexandra House,
      The Sweepstakes,
      Ballsbridge, Dublin 4,
      D04 C7H2
      Ireland

      Map
      P: +353-(0)-1-631-9280
  • Netherlands

    • Delft

      Delftechpark 37j
      2628 XJ Delft
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
    • Schiphol

      The Base B
      Evert van de Beekstraat 104
      1118CN Schiphol
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
  • Poland

    • Gdańsk

      Al. Grunwaldzka 472E
      80-309 Gdańsk
      Poland

      Map
    • Katowice

      Chorzowska Str. 148
      40-101 Katowice
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Krakow

      Opolska Str. 114
      31-323 Kraków
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Warsaw

      Al. Jana Pawła II 23,
      Atrium International,
      00-854 Warszawa
      Poland

      Map
    • Wroclaw

      Ul. Piotra Skargi 1,
      Budynek A,
      50-082 Wrocław
      Poland

      Map
  • Spain

    • Malaga

      Avenida Imperio Argentina num. 19-21,
      2º Planta, Oficina 2E,
      29004, Malaga
      España

      Map
  • Sweden

    • Göteborg

      Lilla Nygatan 2,
      411-09 Göteborg
      Sweden

      Map
      P: +46-85-250-06-98
    • Stockholm

      Kungsgatan 50,
      111 35, Stockholm
      Sweden

      Map
      P: +46-85-250-06-98
  • Switzerland

    • Glattpark

      Boulevard Lilienthal 2,
      8152 Glattpark (Opfikon)
      Switzerland

      Map
      P: +41-43-500-21-49
  • Ukraine

    • Dnipro

      17A Volodymyra Monomaha Street,
      49000 Dnipro
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-56-790-5651
    • Kharkiv

      33G 23 Serpnya Street,
      61072 Kharkiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-57-728-06-22
    • Kyiv: Registered office

      28 Fizkultury Street,
      03150 Kyiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
      F: +380-44-390-0861
    • Kyiv: Visitors office

      14B Kudryashova Street,
      03150 Kyiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
    • Lviv

      45 O.Stepanivny Street,
      79018 Lviv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-32-242-4642
      F: +380-44-390-5458
    • Vinnytsia

      51 Ovodova Street,
      21000 Vinnytsia
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-432-551-294 +380-432-551-275
      F: +380-432-551-293
  • United Kingdom

    • London

      114 Middlesex Street,
      London, E1 7HY
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
    • Manchester

      Tower 12,
      18-22 Bridge Street,
      Manchester, M3 3BZ
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
  • Australia

    • Sydney

      31 Highgate Cct
      Kellyville NSW 2155

      Map
      P: +61-28-310-82-72
  • China

    • Guangzhou

      Unit B01, 23/F,
      Yuexiuxinduhui Building,
      No. 236, 6th Zhongshan Road,
      Yuexiu District, Guangzhou,
      China 510180

      Map
    • 广州

      中国广州市越秀区
      中山六路236号
      越秀新都会大厦中座 23楼 B01室
      邮编510180

      地图
    • Shanghai

      Room B509, 5th Floor,
      48 Weihai Road,
      Huangpu District, Shanghai,
      China 200000

      Map
      P: +86-21-53080606
    • 上海

      上海市黄浦区
      威海路48号
      5楼B509室
      邮编200000

      地图
      P: +86-21-53080606
    • Shenzhen

      3/F, Block 5, Vision Shenzhen Business Park,
      9th Gaoxin South Road, 
      Shenzhen Hi-tech Industrial Park,
      Nanshan District, Shenzhen,
      Guangdong, China 518057

      Map
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • 深圳

      中国广东省深圳市
      南山区高新南九道
      威新软件园5号楼3楼
      邮编518057

      地图
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • Suzhou

      Building 12, Creative Industrial Park,
      328 Xinghu Street,
      Suzhou Industrial Park,
      Suzhou, China 215123

      Map
    • 苏州

      中国江苏省苏州市
      苏州工业园区星湖街328号
      创意产业园内12号楼
      邮编215123

      地图
  • Hong Kong

    • Hong Kong

      198 Wellington Street,
      17F, Central
      Hong Kong

      Map
      P: +852-5808-6018
  • India

    • Hyderabad

      10, 11 & 12th Floors,
      Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge City,
      Plot No. 2, Phase - 1,
      Survey No. 83/1,
      Raidurgam Village,
      Serilingampally Mandal,
      Hyderabad, Telangana - 500081
      India

      Map
      P: +91-40-47979900
    • Pune

      SmartWork Business Center Pvt Ltd,
      Suite 8, Level 1,
      West Wing, Nyati Unitree,
      Samrat Ashok Road,
      Yerwada, Pune - 411006,
      Maharashtra
      India

      Map
      P: +91-20-4913-6025
  • Japan

    • Tokyo

      Floor 1-10-11
      Shibadaimon Centre Building 10th
      Shibadaimon Minato-ku
      Tokyo 105-0012
      Japan

      Map
      P: +81-03-6880-9198
      F: +81-03-6880-9201
  • Singapore

    • Singapore

      5 Shenton Way
      UIC Building, #10-01,
      Singapore (068808)

      Map
      P: +65-6911-6888
  • United Arab Emirates

    • Dubai

      EPAM Systems FZ-LLC
      Dubai Branch,
      Building 16, Office 241,
      Dubai Internet City,
      PO Box 501929, Dubai
      United Arab Emirates

      Map
      P: +971-4-568-3569
  • Armenia

    • Yerevan

      15 Khorenatsi Street,
      Elite Plaza Business Center,
      0010 Yerevan
      Armenia

      Map
      P: +374-10-60-00-65
  • Belarus

    • Brest

      6A Masherov Avenue,
      224030 Brest
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-162-52-5268
      F: +375-162-50-9888
    • Gomel

      80 Rechitsky Avenue,
      246012 Gomel
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54079
      F: +375-232-70-50-31
    • Grodno

      87B Gorkogo Street,
      230005 Grodno
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 69011
    • Minsk

      1/1 Academician Kuprevich Street,
      Suite 110,
      220141 Minsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100
      F: +375-17-268-6699
    • Mogilev

      19 Cosmonaut Street,
      Suite 510,
      212009 Mogilev
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 1001
    • Vitebsk

      11-a Stroitelei Avenue,
      Suite 311,
      210032 Vitebsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54433
  • Kazakhstan

    • Astana

      8 Auezova Street,
      Office B,
      010000 Astana
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7172-475-970
      F: +7-7172-688-774
    • Karaganda

      58/3 Ermekova Street,
      100009 Karaganda
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7212-93-01-01 +7-7212-93-01-00
  • Russia

    • Moscow

      9th Radialnaya Street,
      Building 2,
      115404 Moscow
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6362
      F: +7-495-730-6361
    • Izhevsk

      150 V. Sivkova Street,
      426000 Izhevsk
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-3412-27-13-37
    • Nizhny Novgorod

      30 Poltavskaya Street
      603089 Nizhny Novgorod
      Russia

      Map
    • Ryazan

      16 Gogolya Street,
      390035 Ryazan
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4912-55-99-10
    • Saint Petersburg

      22/2 Zastavskaya Street,
      MegaPark,
      196084 Saint Petersburg
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-812-611-1094
      F: +7-812-611-1094
    • Samara

      21 Michurina Street,
      443110 Samara
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-846-200-0970
    • Saratov

      37 Tankistov Street,
      410019 Saratov
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-8452-692-981
    • Sergiev Posad

      7 Akademika Silina Street,
      141313 Sergiev Posad
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-496-547-11-39
      F: +7-496-547-11-39
    • Togliatti

      31E Yubileynaya Street,
      445037 Togliatti
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6360, ext. 47650
    • Tver

      8 Kolodkina Street,
      170002 Tver
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4822-630-070 +7-4822-630-071 +7-4822-630-072
      F: +7-4822-630-073