On the weekend from March, 8 to 10, the time had finally come: More than 700 organisations from all over Europe had applied – 15 made it to the finals. The Meet and Code Coding Initiative awarded the Meet and Code Award for the first time to the most creative ideas for getting children and young people excited about digital technologies.

All 15 organizations were invited to the SAP headquarters in Walldorf for a weekend. The winners in the three categories Diversity, Innovation, and Kick and Code each received an additional 2,500 euros in prize money. Since 2017, the Meet and Code initiative has been supporting non-profit organizations in 22 countries during EU Code Week to organize programming events for children and young people. In 2018, there were 1,100 events with more than 52,000 participants.

Diversity: Veteran Foundation, Ukraine

The Veteran Foundation from Kremenchug (Ukraine) shows 25 imprisoned male youths perspectives for their career choice and for a new beginning after prison with its project “Profession of the programmer – a step into the future”. “Through the workshop, young people between the ages of 16 and 20 got to know various IT professions and were introduced to the world of technology. This gives young men, who might otherwise remain criminals, a new perspective for their lives,” said Clemens Frede, member of the three-member jury.

Innovation: Globe Community Library, Great Britain

The Globe Community Library from Stokesley (UK) with their project “Build your own 3D printer” built the printer together with volunteers and 30 children and teenagers and developed the corresponding software to create self-designed objects. “The project taught the children how 3D printing works and at the same time took away their fear of what they thought were complex technologies. That convinced us,” explains Gabriele Hartmann, initiator of Meet and Code.

Kick and Code: Asociatia Pro Teodor Murasanu, Rumania

The 20 participants of “Scratch and… Goooal!” of the club Asociatia Pro Teodor Murasanu from Turda (Romania) first learned to program in Scratch, printed out the code and transferred it to a football field. The team that correctly executed the code’s commands and scored goals won. The jury found it particularly remarkable that this project combined play and fun with learning and executing code – with children from particularly disadvantaged families.

Who´s behind Meet and Code

Behind the Meet and Code initiative is the Haus des Stiftens gGmbH with the IT portal Stifter-helfen and the respective country partners of the TechSoup Europe network. Meet and Code is made possible by SAP. Due to the great response, Meet and Code will take place again in 2019, with the unchanged goal of introducing children and young people between the ages of 8 and 24 to the world of programming through exciting events. Dates and conditions for participation will be announced on the Initiative’s website: www.meet-and-code.org.

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