MindFuel is helping kids learn valuable skills and earn prizes through the Crack the Code Challenge
Calgary – February 8, 2021 – With schools and parents opting for online learning as a safe alternative to in-classroom learning for their child’s education, youth are picking up more tech-savvy skills. This includes the valuable skill of coding, with one nonprofit reporting an increase of more than 80 million hours of youth coding since the start of the pandemic in 2020 (Source: Code.org).
MindFuel, a pioneer nonprofit in the online learning space and STEM (science, tech, engineering & math) programming, recognizes coding as essential to many STEM and innovation careers today, which is why it created the Crack the Code Challenge, in partnership with RoboGarden, for Canadian youth through its signature coding platform, Codingville.
With Canada projected to have a deficit of skilled STEM workers in the coming years, early engagement with youth to unlock their innovation and interest is critical. Thanks to support from AltaML as the national partner, and ATB Financial as the Alberta regional partner, MindFuel’s Crack the Code Challenge is designed as a fun way to teach youth the foundational skills of coding, which have vast applications in future post-secondary journeys and careers.
“Coding is such a valuable skill with so many applications, but it is not covered in many of our national K-12 curriculums,” says Cassy Weber, CEO of MindFuel. “Codingville gives students all the tools they need to learn the basics and even code their very own app or game. It’s a great platform, and that’s why we’ve launched the Crack the Code Challenge to inspire youth to get started and get coding.”
- The Crack the Code Challenge is open to Canadian youth ages six to 18 (excluding Quebec residents) currently enrolled in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum.
- The first challenge, which ran from January 15 to February 5, has concluded. The second challenge runs February 8 to March 1, and the final challenge runs March 5 to March 26.
- Participants will compete in one of three national age groups: six to eight years, nine to 13 years, and 14 to 18 years. Prizes will be awarded to the top three participants in each age group per round.
- Each round has a designated theme to inspire participants’ creativity.
To register, participants simply create a free account with Codingville and then opt into the challenge they wish to participate in. From there they compete to earn points and rank on a national leaderboard by completing coding journeys, sharing their referral code and “liking” participant projects, and finally, developing their own app according to the challenge theme.
Prizes will be awarded at the end of each challenge and include chromebooks, laptops & gaming laptops, and more. A panel of judges score the applications/games, which will be combined with the leaderboard points to determine the winners of each challenge. To view all rules and regulations, visit https://www.codingville.ca/crack-the-code.html.
Codingville is a $6M two-year project within the national CanCode initiative and provides three training journeys, each with up to 15 hours of coding and digital skills development training through self-paced, gamified, experiential activities for students. At the end of each journey, students can create and share their very own applications/games. In addition, Codingville has a teacher training module, and a quick tips tutorial for getting started in the classroom. To date, Codingville has introduced coding to more than 10,000 Canadian students.
To register for a free Codingville account as a student or teacher, visit www.codingville.ca. Registration for challenge two of Crack the Code Challenge is now open.
MindFuel is a registered charity, established in 1990, focused on creating future generations of innovators and problem-solvers. As a digital literacy and online learning pioneer, MindFuel is helping Canada diversify its economy through a focus on online STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education resources and in-field learning. Recognized with many awards of excellence, MindFuel supports teachers with 21st century learning resources and helps immerse students in the fun world of STEM through blended learning, which includes both digital and hands-on activities, critical to advancing Canada’s Innovation Agenda. MindFuel places a large emphasis on empowering girls, Indigenous youth and students in rural and remote regions to pursue studies and careers in STEM. In 2019-20, MindFuel programming reached hundreds of thousands of students across Canada in both French and English and is used in over 170 countries around the world.
For more information, please visit mindfuel.ca.