Getting kids ready for a digital future

Inaugural Siemens Code Camp for kids. January 23, 2018

In a move to prepare the next generation of kids for a digital future, global technology giant Siemens organised a four-day code camp for children of employees in the Melbourne offices.

Siemens partnered with technology learning centre KIOSC (The Knox Innovation, Opportunity and Sustainability Centre) and Swinburne University of Technology to run fun and engaging sessions for 58 primary school aged children over four days. The camp was held at Swinburne’s Wantirna campus.

Speaking about the code camp, Nicolette Barnard, Head of Human Resources at Siemens Australia and New Zealand said, “We know that digitalisation is changing the world around us – from the way we interact with each other to the way we work. The reality is that by 2030, 50% of employees will be in roles requiring high-level programming, coding and software design skills and within the next five years a further 90% of the workforce will need digital skills to succeed in their role.

The reality is that by 2030, 50% of employees will be in roles requiring high-level programming, coding and software design skills.
Nicolette Barnard, Head of Human Resources at Siemens Australia and New Zealand

“As we shape the digital landscape for our employees, customers and industries in Australia, we knew the code camp was the right step forward to help develop our future talent. The Kids Code Camp is an incremental step towards the broader vision – a digitally competent Australia that excels on a world scale. Most importantly, the kids are learning new skills and are having fun doing so!”

Activities included the introduction to robots, learning binary language and about 3D printing, mBot games, drone technology and many other modules. The programs have been designed to suit the educational abilities of different age groups and included a range of unplugged and plugged activities to ensure the social and technical skills are developed in tandem.

The program was delivered to the kids by Australia’s first batch of Industry 4.0 Apprentices and KIOSC. The Industry 4.0 Apprentices, who just completed their first year, are part of a unique program that is being recognised nationally and internationally for its different approach to learning. The first group of 20 apprentices are part of the only program of its kind combining theoretical digital knowledge with hands on working experience in a range of new technologies. The Industry 4.0 Apprenticeship Program was launched by Siemens Australia, Swinburne University and the Australian Industry Group (AiG).

According to KIOSC, the time is right for kids to be taught coding and digital skills. “This type of education is not yet mainstream across all schools so we are seeing increasing interest from kids. Digital literacy will not be optional in future – it will be a must have skill across all facets of society. The faster we empower kids with these skills, the better equipped they will be to tackle future challenges,” said Kate Kent-Evans - Director from KIOSC.

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