Despite the challenges that schools around Europe and the world faced in 2020, over 3.4 million students and teachers from 84 countries, joined the EU Code Week initiative and took part in more than 72,000 coding activities, the organisers of the event reported this week. Teams from all six Eastern Partner countries took part with hundreds of activities.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, EU Code Week moved to a new hybrid model in 2020 and introduced virtual events to facilitate the online participation of schools across Europe and beyond.
The measures included a calendar of online featured events, a digital treasure hunt and a virtual kick-off event with the participation of European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, Professor Mitch Resnick, book author Linda Liukas and Professor Alessandro Bogliolo.
European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said: “Learning computational thinking and trying coding at an early age is not only exciting, but essential to prepare our young generation for the future: Everyone needs digital skills to study, work, communicate and use online services in a safe way. I congratulate all those involved in EU Code Week working to make more young people digitally empowered and interested in studies and careers in digital technology.”
84% of Code Week activities in schools
19% of the 72,000 activities were organised online, and 84% were organised through schools. 55% focused on playful coding activities and 20% on basic programming concepts. But an increasing number focused on more advanced STEM activities such as robotics, game design or data manipulation. 20% of activities were “unplugged” meaning they did not use any technology. The average participant was 10 years old and 41% of participants were girls and 59% were boys.
Eastern Partner countries
All six Eastern Partner countries took part, with Azerbaijan leading the way in the region with 230 activities.
Click on the links below to see all the activities in your country.
Armenia 34 activities
Azerbaijan 230 activities
Belarus 1 activity
Georgia 48 activities
Moldova 59 activities
Ukraine 186 activities
Focus on teacher training helped reach students worldwide
Last year, Code Week introduced even more online resources to help educators teach coding in school. The new training materials include an introduction to Artificial Intelligence for schools, Coding for sustainability goals, a series of webinars, and a collection of virtual workshops, called Coding@Home by Professor Alessandro Bogliolo.
Additionally, two massive open online courses (MOOCs) organised in 2020 enjoyed the active participation of 4,000 teachers worldwide. Topics included coding, computational thinking, visual programming, robotics, and app development. A new three-module MOOC ‘AI Basics for Schools’ is about to start on 8 March 2021.
What is EU Code Week?
EU Code Week is a grassroots movement run by volunteers: Code Week ambassadors, leading teachers and other coding enthusiasts around the world. It is backed by the European Commission and education ministries in the European Union and beyond. The European Commission supports EU Code Week as part of its Digital Single Market strategy and through the Digital Education Action Plan.
The next edition of EU Code Week will take place from 9 to 24 October 2021.