Who We Are
My name is Toyin, I am a software developer and founder of CodeNest Academy; a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) based computer coding and robotics club provider. I am a big kid at heart who loves children and technology and has found a way to combine both passions into a fulfilling and growing business.
At the moment, CodeNest Academy is just me, but we have ideas to have a band of instructors bringing the fun to schools and communities around the country.
What is our Project Aim?
We want to raise money to buy laptops and Lego Robotics kits for use in our coding and robotics club sessions; beginning in the next academic year - September 2019.
In addition, once we are profit making, we pledge to support Compassion UK, a non-profit organisations by donating 10% of all profits to help children overcome poverty.
How it all began!
CodeNest Academy emerged as a solution to the lack of true computing lessons at my son’s school, which like most schools, only offered basic ICT lessons. While I had the skills and experience to supplement this at home and introduce my children to the concepts of coding, I felt inclined to find a solution that could use my skills and benefit more children. As a result, I proposed running an after-school computer coding club to introduce pupils to the concepts of programming.
The children were instantly captivated, expressing themselves, and creating weird and wonderfully imaginative simple programs. The club was a success and oversubscribed each term.
Going a little further...
Upon further investigation, I realised that most primary schools do not offer more engaging computing lessons because teachers do not have the time, confidence or expertise to deliver the lessons. I realised there was a business opportunity here; one that was mutually beneficial for schools, pupils and myself.
Towards the end of the term, as a reward for my coding club pupils, I brought in a Lego robot which the children could program to follow a sequence of instructions similar to the work they had been doing on the computer. This was a huge motivator for even the most reluctant children and proved to be a success. Based on the reaction and feedback I received, I decided the next step would be to run a coding and robotics club using Lego WeDo the following term. These sessions would be more hands-on and interactive and offer more STEM based learning opportunities.
I reached out to a number of local primary schools offering to the run coding and robotics club sessions. My proposal was met with much interest; however, a major stumbling block was the lack of equipment, which meant we could not go ahead with the clubs. None of the schools had the Lego Robotics Kits, most of the schools did not have access to sufficient tablet devices or had very old computers which were very slow and did not meet the minimum software installation requirements, nor the budget to acquire the resources needed.
It occurred to me that if I could provide the laptops and Lego devices, I would have the ability to reach more schools and run more sessions; without the school having to bear the cost of the equipment. I asked if this would be desirable, and the response was a resounding yes from schools who were once again very excited about the prospects. A few schools have signed up for the club for the next academic year which begins in September 2019 and are eagerly hoping it will be a reality.
YOU can help!
I need your help to raise the funds required to buy the equipment in order to make our coding and robotics club a reality.
How will we use the money we raise?
The money raised will be used to buy devices to accommodate 16 children per session, with pupils working in pairs (it is never too early to begin pair programming) and will be spent on purchasing the following:
- 8 Laptops (Latitude 3300 Education for durability and extended battery)
- 8 Lego WeDo 2.0 Kits
- 8 Lego WeDo 2.0 Replacement Pack
- 8 Lego WeDo 2.0 Rechargeable Battery
There have been requests to accommodate up to 20 children in a session, however, this will require more devices, or children working in groups of 3.
Our Vision for the Future
We would love to make our club available to more schools to support the primary computing curriculum and this will require additional sets of equipment to run sessions simultaneously in different locations.
We also plan to run workshops during the school breaks and summer holiday in the near future.
We would like to partner with organisations to run free and subsidised sessions that focus on providing a safe space and engaging activities for vulnerable children and child carers at the weekends.
We would also like to offer sessions geared towards attracting more girls to coding as I have noticed in previous clubs, boys outnumber girls by a ratio of about 4:1.
Your donation would facilitate this and provide more possibilities to children who would not normally have access to this opportunity.
Please give generously.