Every year voluntary organisation Young Rewired State runs the largest annual hack event in the world, and this year Eastleigh’s Tec Hub is one of the regional venues. The ‘Festival of Code’ started life in 2009 as a weekend hack event for 50 young, self-taught coders. Every year since then, the flagship summer event has grown in size and scale. In 2014 over 1,200 young people from the UK, USA, Germany and Kosovo came together for a full week of digital making fun.
During the Festival the community of young people gather from Monday 27th July to Thursday 30th at volunteer local centres to build stuff together, combining their amazing technical skills with the power of open data to solve real world problems and improve their communities. They then come together for the final Festival weekend where they showcase what they have built to parents, mentors, press, industry and expert judges in between taking part in fun activities and inspirational sessions with leading technologists.
Over the past six years, Young Rewired State have worked with over 2,000 young people in the UK, with lots of their alumni returning to mentor the next generation of young coders. The community of young people say that participating in the Festival is not just a fun experience, it’s also one which grows their confidence, develops their skills, and generates lots of opportunities that can improve and inform their future. By working together and sharing knowledge, YRSers validate their digital skills, learn about teamwork and communication, and make lifelong friends.
Between the first event in 2009 and 2014, Young Rewired State have worked endlessly to ensure that there is a more diverse community of young people interested and engaged in computer science, and from a 2% female attendance in 2009, at the latest Festival this had risen to 30%. Young Rewired State are committed to continue to work towards gender parity, and outreach to harder-to-reach groups.
This year the Festival of Code will culminate over the weekend of 1st and 2nd August in Birmingham and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! As well as competition heats, Festival Saturday is being transformed into a Makerspace extravaganza, featuring sponsored Challenges. After the huge success of Young Rewired State Kosovo, this year the Festival is going continental, opening to European centres to take part remotely, twinning them with centres in the UK to help the Festival reach and inspire even more people.
So, whether you’re a young digital maker, a prospective mentor or an intrigued volunteer, you’d be mad to miss out on the Festival of Code 2015!
The Festival of Code is open to young people aged 18 and under.
For further information please contact Elbrie De Kock firstname.lastname@example.org or to book your place go to the Festival home page.