Written by Megan Venn-Wycherley, Programme Manager
While the tech industry has revolutionised the world around us, disadvantaged young people frequently confront significant barriers to tech careers, limited by access to resource, finance and professional networks. Altitude Foundation’s Code Project programme aims to address some of these barriers by providing young people aged 13 to 16 across the North East with a springboard to tech careers, through a multi-day hackathon focused on digital skills development, teamwork and industry mentorship.
This year, our Code Project was back with a bang! We invited young people from all across the North East to participate in the Code Project: Bots for Good hackathon. Their challenge? To use their skills to create robots that could tackle real-life issues within their communities. With the assistance of mentors and specialists from Altitude Foundation and Open Lab – Newcastle University, 34 young people worked in teams to design and present innovative tech solutions to problems such as littering, social care, and mental health through social robots.
But it didn’t end there – young people are supported by those closest to them, including their parents, teachers and communities. To celebrate their all achievements, we invited their family and communities along to the Code Project Showcase to learn more about what they’d created. We had over 65 attendees who came along to learn more – from parents, teachers and university researchers. It was such a great buzz, celebrating what each team had achieved in such a short period of time!
It goes without saying that I’m beyond proud of what the Altitude team have achieved with the Code Project this year. This has been another milestone in our mission to support disadvantaged young people in the North East, and the team have been working tirelessly to deliver innovative programmes and initiatives to empower young people with the skills, knowledge and networks they need to succeed in tech. I can’t wait to see what we achieve next!
However, Altitude cannot achieve this goal alone! Are you an organisation or individual who can provide mentorship, funding or resources? If you are looking to make a difference in the lives of young people in the North East, reach our to us here on LinkedIn or by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Only through our collective support can we provide disadvantaged young people with the tools and guidance to smash barriers and provide the opportunities they need to succeed in the tech industry and beyond!