Prewired co-founded by Informatics' Ewan Klein secures funding to take Coding Club online

[2021] Prewired have obtained funding from Creative Informatics to take one of Scotland’s longest running coding clubs for young people online.

Prewired was founded in 2013 in partnership with the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, and since then has taught coding and digital skills to over 350 under-19s. The Scottish charity was established with the aim of addressing an educational gap in access to digital skills education, according to its founders.

Another motivation for Prewired is the ongoing digital skills shortage in Scotland, despite statistics showing rapid growth in the global technology industry. This contrast was referenced in Mark Logan’s Scottish Government-commissioned Scottish technology ecosystem review.

We’re thankful for the support from Creative Informatics to help us through a challenging phase, enabling our team to continue to work with our amazing community of young people, mentors and partners.  Prewired has always been about encouraging our participants to engage with programming and providing an environment in which they can safely engage with like-minded peers, while having access to mentoring from academic and industry circles.  While we look forward to gathering again in a physical space, the online format will allow us to take Prewired further and wider.

Freda O’Byrne
Prewired co-founder

Before the pandemic Prewired delivered computer programming sessions at CodeBase in Edinburgh, however now the charity must make the transition to online learning in order to continue to engage and educate young people. The social enterprise will begin online learning with students in Edinburgh, but hope to extend nationwide throughout Scotland in future.

In the days before Covid-19, our weekly sessions not just provided a great environment for young people working together, but also acted as a demo for visitors from schools, the third sector and tech companies. They could see in real life how we do things, exchange ideas and ways of learning and understand our goals and ethos of self-directed learning.

While an online version of Prewired won’t provide the same easy interactions, we are hoping that it will allow us to connect to a wider and more diverse community of young people across the city, and also to collaborate with other fantastic youth organisations to create new opportunities for digital-based team projects.

Ewan Klein
Professor Emeritus of Language Technology at University of Edinburgh and Prewired co-founder

In addition to Creative Informatics Prewired are supported by CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech incubator, and tech groups Skyscanner and Deliveroo Engineering.

Support from Creative Informatics

The Creative Informatics funding will be used to help Prewired make the transition from physical to online learning. It will also be used to adapt the Prewired Summer Hack to suit an online audience. The Summer Hack has previously been offered as a week-long team-based event for young people of secondary school age; this year’s ‘Long Thin Summer Hack’ will be a virtual event held over three months.

We are excited to be using the funding to develop online resources for young people to learn coding, design and other digital skills, while building a digital community so that they can engage with each other and share knowledge.

Regina Vereker
Resident Entrepreneur at Prewired

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Creative Informatics

Scottish Business News, Prewired secures funding from Creative Informatics to take one of Scotland’s longest-running coding clubs for young people online