MadLab Young People

Young People

Code Club Salford is a free weekly drop-in session for children age 9-11 (and their parents) that enables children to learn about coding at their own pace. The hour-long session is staffed entirely by a dedicated team of MadLab volunteers, with regular special events (such as visiting experts like Mitch Altman, or trips to technology events). Code Club Salford, along with the BBC’s Code Club, are unique in that they are the only two Code Clubs in the country not to take place in a school. This is primarily because some of the schools in the Club’s catchment area do not have computers, but it also allows the Club to take place on a weekend when volunteers are more readily available. The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Let’s Go Global have generously donated and loaned equipment for the children to make use of.

MadLab has hosted Young Rewired State, a national collaborative hacking event for young developers to solve real-world problems, every year since its inception in 2010. It quickly grew to become the biggest national centre (of some 60 centres), hosting 50 children and 20 adults over one week every summer. It also advised the BBC and Oldham College in forming their own centres, and trained its volunteers. Manchester children have done exceptionally well at YRS, consistently winning national prizes and awarded prestigious internships (Facebook, Google) as a result

MadLab has worked with organisations such as the Ideas Foundation to prepare teachers and pupils for changes to the national IT curriculum by developing creative learning programmes in Arduino, Raspberry Pi and coding (e.g robot-making)

Video CVs (EU research project). MadLab delivered training to over 40 unemployed young people with social and educational needs, creating 25 video CVs. Although ongoing, initial evidence suggests the scheme has led to employment and increased confidence for many participants, who are predominantly from a BME background, “hard to reach” and/ or with few qualifications or special needs. For those who haven’t yet secured a job, MadLab has continued to provide support and signpost opportunities. In addition, MadLab is providing training to partner organisations (Connexions, Breakthrough UK, Factory Youth Zones) in order for them to film and edit their own videos.

‘Cool and Quirky’ – increased the skills and confidence of 28 young Asian women, in the field of computer programming and coding, building links between the Community and Cultural Services team and the wider Asian community. Activities included creating wearable electronics with Manchester Girl Geeks, making buzzing robots from toothbrushes and an introduction to Arduino, led by 14-year old Amy Mather [link].

Creative Tech Open Days (supported by Manchester City Council) saw Longsight Library turned into a digital- and bio-technology lab over several days. Activities on offer included extracting DNA from strawberries, using banana-powered Makey-Makeys to play computer games, and drop-in sessions on coding and projection mapping. Over 100 people attended the sessions, predominantly from a BME background.