the Benefits of Code Club and other STEM Ambassador sessions

STEM Ambassador sessions should provide a number of benefits for all who participate, so it is in everyone’s interest to make them work.  As the goals of Code Club fall nicely in line with the goals of STEMNET, these same benefits should be extendable to Code Club sessions.

If you have any additional benefits, feel free to leave a comment below.

STEM Sessions benefit Students

What do they get, or want to get out of it?

  • They can gain an insight into real world applications for the things they’ve been taught.
  • They may find their perception of the subject shifts, particularly if it’s a subject that is depicted in the media, television or film. It can help break stereotypes.
  • They want it to be a fun, enjoyable break from the monotony of lessons.
  • It can give them career ideas, they may inevitably ask about the pay and the opportunities it could bring.

STEM Sessions benefit Teachers

  • These sessions can help supplement lessons by reinforcing concepts learned in ICT or other subjects. If you are able to, liaising with tutors can help you plan your lessons to deliberately introduce these connections.
  • Children may open up in these sessions, showing enthusiasm and interest in something that teachers can then use when trying to relate to them in future lessons.

STEM Sessions benefit Ambassadors

  • The feeling of goodwill achieved from giving back to the community, particularly if you are holding sessions at a school you went to as a child.
  • The chance to inspire and mentor, especially disadvantaged children who may not otherwise have the opportunity, for whatever reason.
  • Improving your personal skills, confidence in speaking publicly.

The obvious but unrealistic expectation of attending Code Club is that the students might decide to pursue a career in programming, but we know this isn’t likely to be the case, and isn’t really the main objective.  It’s also possible that with these skills they may find themselves in the future, happy to dive into “code” specific things as a hobby, such as app development for their smartphones, or perhaps amending their own business website, tweaking the look of a website profile page, or understanding how IT could help with their own hobby or future career.  This is perhaps a little more realistic in terms of the aiming to provide better ICT knowledge in students, but this isn’t the only goal either.

Code Club sessions provide a challenging modern method by which to teach students the personal skills required to think logically, solve problems, and understand a little more about a technology that they’ve grown up with, which isn’t a bad thing if IT continues to impact on almost every industry.

Can you think of others? I would love to hear from you, especially if you have been involved with Code Club, either as a teacher, volunteer or student.

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