A STEM coding club is alive and well in Surrey, UK, where Ivanti STEM ambassador and business systems analyst, Karen Peacock, is teaching kids how to code.

We are very proud advocates of young people pursuing STEM subjects here at Ivanti. After all, our company relies upon the technological expertise of hundreds of professionals in order to continue to grow as an industry leader. As such, we are always looking to support the next generation of STEM superstars.

One of our Women In Tech, Karen Peacock, supports our STEM mission by teaching kids to code at a local primary school.

STEM Coding Club

It’s extremely important to get children excited about IT, and Karen is doing just that. As part of her role as a STEM ambassador for Ivanti, Karen participates in career networking events at secondary schools, inspiring students to consider careers in IT.

She has also worked to set up an after-school coding club at a primary school. This has meant that Karen has been able to get kids thinking about IT at an earlier age, before they have already settled on a career path (as many secondary school students already have).

During the weekly after-school session, nine-, 10-, and 11-year-olds are encouraged to jump right into STEM coding club, which provides coding projects made available through the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

While there is a set program of lessons for the kids to follow, this is only a starting point. Students are also encouraged to take projects in their own direction and embrace their creative side.

Karen emphasizes to the children that with an education in coding, the sky is the limit.

Giving Kids a Head Start

It’s never too early to learn about the different types of careers in technology, whether it be web designer, software engineer, or information security professional. These are just a few of the roles that students can start learning about at a young age.

Karen has been using the STEM coding club as a platform to spread awareness of all the different roles in IT and cybersecurity, using real life stories.

For example, the students have been learning about what happened during last year's WannaCry crisis and the role that coding had to play in the story.

Where Coding Meets Creativity

We’ve all made our own Christmas cards, but few of us can boast to having actually coded our own Christmas cards.

Coding has been getting creative at Karen’s coding club, and last Christmas, the students entered a UK-wide competition to see who could design the best cards using a coding project as a starting point.

By demonstrating that coding isn’t just about numbers but can also be creative, the kids have become more actively engaged with the syllabus. Focusing on the “fun and games” of coding is a great way to get the kids involved – especially for the students who already have a passion for online gaming.

Most importantly, Karen has shown the kids that coding can be great fun for everyone, and Ivanti is committed to supporting its STEM ambassadors in order to spread this message further. Due to the club’s success, Karen’s class is continuing to expand and attract new members.