Most parents would probably relate “Scratch” and “Python” more to chickens and reptiles rather than ways that we communicate with computers, says Prime Minister’s Science Award winning science teacher Ken Silburn. But Code Club’s Moonhack is the perfect platform for mums and dads to start coding with their kids. We asked him for the ‘101’ on why and how to get coding.

We hear about STEM almost every day, but why do young people need STEM skills?

There is a lot of rhetoric about the need to educate our youth in STEM skills, and fortunately, this has been backed up by serious research and funding. The jobs that we as teachers and parents saw as we grew up are changing.  If young people do not have the cross-disciplinary skills of critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and digital technologies – they will be left behind.

What about coding specifically? Is it important?

It’s believed there will be a shortage of computer programmers as we continually move to incorporate more technology into our daily lives.  So there will be jobs for students who know how to code. However, the process of learning to code opens up students to new ways of learning, new ways of thinking and allows them to be fluent with technology.

Serious question: is coding hard?

Coding is not as difficult as some may believe. It is not the domain of high schools and advanced maths. Once you get by the fact that it is something new.  We actually use coding to make many of our decisions on a daily basis in a logical way.  Coding is just a way we can talk to a computer using logical steps that involve a language or set of instructions that the computer can understand.

Why are some parents nervous about coding and digital technologies?

We all like to help our children. However, for many parents, the idea of using a programming language can be scary.  Most parents would probably relate “Scratch” and “Python” more to chickens and reptiles rather than ways that we communicate with computers.   Despite the look of fear imposed on parents when we first talk of coding, like their children, parents are fast learners. Combining a Code Club with positive discussions on STEM sets up students for positive outcomes.

So why is Code Club and Code Club’s Moonhack such a great way for parents and kids to get coding?

On 15 August, all kids have the chance to be a world record holder – by jumping online and taking part in Code Club’s Moonhack – a world record attempt to get the most kids coding in one day. This is an excellent way for students at an early age to get involved in coding.  The Moonhack project is designed for students of all skills from very basic to advance – and it’s perfect for parents to join in.

This is going to be big – you don’t want to miss out. Click here to register.

Be part of the Moonhack kids coding world record

Code Club Australia, powered by the Telstra Foundation, has announced the return of Moonhack to capture the imagination of Australian students and help improve digital literacy. Thousands of children across Australia will participate in Moonhack by taking part in computer coding exercises on the night of August 15. This year, Moonhack will be part of the 20th anniversary of National Science Week, Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology.