4 min. reading time

IT is a growing industry. At the same time, there is a shortage of skilled workers who can handle increasingly complex tasks. But there is hope! Thanks to projects like Skool, 8 to 18-year-old girls are learning how to program and what opportunities IT offers them. Itemis supports this project with free itemis CREATE licenses.

What I like the most in Skool is that I am able to learn in a way that I do not even realize. There are more mentors around, not only a single teacher – this helps a lot. They are always supportive and kind, even when being asked the strangest questions. :)

– said Anna, one of our Skool workshop participants.

Our mission at Skool is to fuel young girls’ interests, raise their confidence in technology, and show them the various career opportunities in the IT sector and beyond.

What is Skool?

Skool is the flagship project of the Technology in Education Foundation, an independent Hungarian organization, established in 2014. The journey that was initiated with 15 girls from Budapest has expanded to a magnitude reaching and involving more than 2.200 girls from around Hungary and the region.

At Skool, we work in close cooperation with our tech and non-tech partner companies, universities, schools, libraries, tech role models and more than 450 volunteers.

We are pleased to welcome itemis among our professional partners. With their support, we can further our work of encouraging and inspiring dozens of young people every day to make the technology world more diverse.

Sustainable effect on the participants

Based on our yearly surveys conducted among our alumni girls, Skool programs have a long-term effect on girls’ interests and on their career-choosing intentions. In response to our 2018 survey, 63% of the responding girls said they continued programming ever since attending Skool workshop.

Moreover, 42% of girls would definitely choose technology field, and another 46% would consider this area – altogether 92% of them see the technology sector as a potential choice for their career.

How do we reach this? Well, one of the fundamental pillars of Skool programs is an experience-based, child-centered and creativity-inspiring teaching methodology. Our workshops are designed to ensure that girls experience coding as a creative problem-solving process and learning as an enjoyable discovery. They gain a successful experience, which is crucial to help build and increase their confidence.

Organization of workshops

Most of our programs are organized at the offices of our partner companies, thus girls also have the opportunity to go to the offices of successful developing companies and get an idea of what a programmer does every day.

Skool workshops are delivered by our trained instructors with the involvement of tech mentors recruited from tech professionals. The mentoring activity is aimed to provide personal and professional assistance, support and inspiration in the field of technology.

Support by itemis

We decided to use itemis CREATE, because we thought that it means a new and interesting way of introducing and teaching the basics of programming and algorithmic thinking to complete beginners, even when they are very young.

Writing code takes practice, and it takes a lot more time to reach the first accomplishments, like a functioning game. With a graphical representation of abstract programming concepts, it’s easier to give the participants that first sense of achievement, which we deem so important.

What makes this sense even stronger, is the fact that this tool wasn’t made for teaching. Creating something with a tool that real, proficient software engineers use means a lot.