Park Street Hacker Elite coding club receive £1k from Bango

Mobile payments firm Bango has given the ‘Park Street Hacker Elite’ coding club £1,000 for equipment, after the children aged seven to nine wrote to the company asking for support.

The coding club takes place at Park Street Primary School in Cambridge, and the children used the money to buy screens, cables and other accessories for the five Raspberry Pis which the school won in the ‘Hour of Code’ competition before Christmas.

Bango specialises in mobile payment for app stores including the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon and BlackBerry.

Richard Leyland, vice president of marketing communications at Bango said: “Coding is a new literacy. Like reading and writing, it will be a fundamental skill for the next generation at work.

“Teaching young children to code fluently is vital for the UK’s connected economy. We’re really happy to support the next generation of programmers!”

Currently the children are learning to code on a programme called Scratch, but the club hopes the new equipment, and with support from Bango’s developer Simone Masiero, that the children will be learning other coding languages by the end of the year.

The club hope this will progress onto robotics and other creative Raspberry Pi projects.

Teacher Mark Calleja, who set up and runs the club said: “We are really grateful to Bango for their support. It is helping Park Street get totally ready for the change in curriculum in September, which will mean everyone has to learn to code at primary school.”

The club, that takes place every Tuesday after school, was oversubscribed. The organisers ended up having to choose 20 members by ballot.

 “We were only supposed to have 12 kids” said Calleja.

“But as Bango have also supplied us with a skilled developer to help run the club, we could stretch to 20, which is great!”

The children in the coding club are set to appear on the BBC’s Naked Scientists programme this coming Sunday at 6pm on 96 and 95.7 FM.

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