PH International

IT Wings Encourage Kids Afflicted with TB to Soar!

Russia | IT for Youth | 23 Oct 2017

Among the extensive network of IT for Youth Russia coding clubs, one club stands out as uniquely impactful.  The club is based at the Novokuznetsk Special Boarding School for Kids afflicted with tuberculosis who have been abandoned by their parents.

The boarding school students were first introduced to the IT for Youth project in 2015 during the All-Russia Hour of Code campaign.  Since then, the school has become a very active project partner.  In 2016, the school insightfully launched an Entertaining Informatics coding class. The students’ mentor initially captivated the youth by working with Kodu Game Lab.  Kids learned to create games on PC and Xbox platforms using a simple visual programming language.  Kodu lessons inspired creativity, problem solving and storytelling to such an extent that the program has attracted nearly 200 kids spanning grade levels 1 to 9 in the span of one year.  The initiative has evolved from a class model to a “club” where students learn a wide variety of subjects such as Python,ะก#, Arduino, 3D Design, Robotics and JavaScript.

Our kids are well aware that their disease presents a large challenge on their path to realizing their full potentials.  Here, in the code club, they see that their work is valuable. It gives them confidence and power, and it provides them with an opportunity to develop inner initiative and communication skills.  We want kids of all ages, who enjoy being creative with technology, to take part in the club’s activities,” shared a student mentor.

Andrey Schwechkov, CS teacher and code club leader, supports interest and builds confidence as students begin to tackle increasingly complex code.  As a result, several club members have been inspired to thoughtfully design their own projects. For example, Ilya Genze, a 7th grade student, created a mobile phone application that helps physicians calculate a person’s ideal weight in a quick and accurate manner.  Ilya took 2nd place at the regional Mobile Developer contest and was awarded with a diploma and prize.

“Our code class offered Ilya ‘wings’ that continue taking him to his cherished dreams - to become a programmer, and strength in his fight to overcome tuberculosis,” reflects the happy teacher.

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