Microsoft’s Hour Of Code Training In Frank Educational Centre

Day 3 of the Hour of Code initiative by Microsoft and its Partners

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Computer Science Week is still going on and Microsoft’s initiative to give kids a chance to learn how to write basic lines of code landed in a school right within Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi. The school in focus was Frank Educational Centre.

Digging around the Internet and it is revealed that the school is a community based one and this is how they describe themselves on their Facebook page. “The school works thanks to the charity, little help of the community and a hard, voluntary work of the school staff.”

Indeed it was a great location for Microsoft and its partners to teach the underprivileged kids how to write code using specialized software. The trainers present for the day included KidsCompCamp who thanks to their project lead, Wanjiku Lena, gave us the whole gist of the week, and guys from Cloud Factory who came to volunteer for the initiative.

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Unlike the venue in Kangemi Resource Centre, this community based school does not have a computer lab so a random classroom was chosen to be the place where the kids would be taught how to code. The workshop started at 9:30am and just like how the kids from Kangemi Resource Centre were taught, it involved following various steps that were laid down on the blackboard.

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Around 30 kids were present in the class and they shared the various laptops the volunteers had brought to the venue. They were still using Scratch, which as we said before, is the coding software of choice used to train the kids. From the blackboard, you can see the kids had various milestones to cover where they had to animate various characters (shown on the left) doing specific tasks (moving 10 steps, say hello…etc)

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The goal of the initiative was to make a kid at least write one line of code and from the progress shown by the above photo, these kids were able to animate several characters in the program with several lines of code! This is actually quite good for a few hours work and probably inspired some kids to become coders in the future. Later on, there was a “Open Camp” where kids were left to do their own thing with the computers.

Computer Science Week is still going on in Kenya and 60 other countries until Saturday. Today, the trainers will be in Nyumbani Children’s Home, Kawangware on Friday and it will be culminated by a visit to Kibra on Saturday.

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