In our own work, design, programming and business work closely together to create meaningful products and services. We wanted to bring this understanding to the kids, so we created a game that mimics our work process.
We assigned different roles: coder, designer, sales and customer and then created teams that would design and build products which they would sell to customers to earn “money”. The products were drawings created using the Code Club platform. The money was limited in amount. The winner was the team with the most money earned after the 1,5 hour workshop.
The success of The Game went well beyond our expectations.
Before the event we had made extra sure that each team got at least one “experienced” coder who had been in our Code Club, to make sure each team can produce something and no one gets stuck at the drawing board. However, by the end of the workshop, we found that most kids in the class had written some code, regardless of what role they’d been assigned.
The class was completely engaged for the whole duration of the workshop. What made us extra happy was to see girls equally engaged into coding as boys, even though none had subscribed to the Code Club earlier.
The biggest impact with this type of initiatives is achieved when the methods and tools we create are re-usable and re-used, especially by others. If you know teachers or schools who would be interested in trying this out, please share the materials below with them.
Here is a more detailed description of the game. Feel free to re-use and adapt this one too: TheCodingGame.rtf
If you need guidance for creating this type of workshop in your own school, or if you have improvement ideas for the materials, please get in touch with Sebi Tauciuc, Eeva Raita or Teemu Turunen. (our email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@example.org)
Final note: work like this is made possible by Spice Program, Futurice's social impact program. Do share the word and challenge other companies to join or to match our efforts.