LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Digital skills: Getting a head start



A girl is pictured coding a robot in Belarus Shutterstock

A girl is pictured coding a robot in Belarus Shutterstock

Looking to futureproof your child’s job prospects? If schools appear to be slow on the uptake when it comes to teaching, the good news is there are plenty of grassroots organisations filling the gap.

According to the World Economic Forum’s “Jobs of Tomorrow” report, the highest demand skills required in emerging professional clusters span both technical and cross-functional skills.

If schools appear to be slow on the uptake when it comes to imparting youngsters with these much-needed skills, there are plenty of grassroots clubs and associations in Luxembourg that can help. What is more, because they are not “school”, the volunteers who run them can share their passions and take young learners even deeper into the applications of new technology to solve real-world problems.

Code Club Luxembourg is an umbrella organisation for a series of coding clubs aimed at young people aged from 8 to 12. Inspired by a movement in the UK, there are now six clubs serving around 1,000 learners. You can find out more by visiting www.codeclub.lu or emailing [email protected]

For young people aged 12-18, there is Coder Dojo, free coding clubs and mentoring sessions which meet every Thursday evening at the Level 2 hackerspace at 87 route de Thionville, Bonnevoie, L-2611. Youngsters will also have a chance to use the in-house 3D printer and raspberry pi. Find out more by visiting coderdojo.lu.

Kids Life Skills offers programmes in English, Luxembourgish and French for young people aged 4-10 to learn to code. Classes are hosted at PwC in the Cloche d’Or. There is also a drop-in service on Sundays when young people can get help on a project or ask questions. Find out more about the timings and fees by visiting www.kidslifeskills.org.

Women in Digital Empowerment, or Wide, is a not-for-profit introducing people to the world of coding in a fun and supportive environment. For young girls, it offers girls in digital, providing workshops, mentoring and other activities. For information, visit www.wide.lu/girlsindigital.

Workshop4Me was created by a mum who didn’t want her children to get left behind and now they are involved in teaching coding. Aimed at 7 to 16-year-olds, sessions cover introduction to computer science, scratch, mobile apps and python. They take place over weekends. For costs and times, visit www.workshop4me.org.

Beyond coding

Bricks4Kidz uses Lego bricks to help children develop critical thinking, creativity, organisational skills, problem-solving and teamwork. It organises after school programmes, holiday camps and in-school programmes. Youngsters can also bring their creations to life using skills at the WeDO Jr Robotics activities aged at 5-9-year-olds or the Mindstorm robotics programme for learners aged 9 and upwards. Find out more by visiting www.bricks4kidz.lu.

Bee Creative is a government-supported body aimed at teaching digital literacy and equipping young people in Luxembourg with tech skills for the future. Its 32 makerspaces, mostly located in schools, are a place for young people to tinker with technology and work on projects covering anything from robotics, electronics and programming to 3D printing and design. If there is no makerspace in your child’s school, check out Base1 at the Forum Geesseknäppchen (Luxembourg-Merl) or the robotics makerspace, which not for profit Make-It opened in Esch in February. Find out more about makerspaces by visiting www.makerspace.lu, www.bee-creative.lu or www.makeit.lu.

The Maker Faire Luxembourg, dubbed the greatest “show and tell on Earth”, is a gathering of engineers, artists and scientists running from 16-17 May in the Rosport Sportscomplex am Bongert, which aims to showcase invention, creativity and resourcefulness. More information from Luxembourg.makerfaire.com.

The Luxembourg Tech School (LTS) is a place for 13-19-year-olds to learn how to apply new technology to a business context. The areas covered include gaming, big data, fintech, space resources and AI applications for finance. Today it is present in seven schools in Luxembourg. Find out more by visiting www.techschool.lu

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This article was adapted on 14 February 2020 to include information about the Luxembourg Tech School.