The Bristol Rotary Club and District 1100 will partner with the Beirut Cedars Rotary Club to fund a Global Grant, to provide an education in computer technology to secondary school pupils across Lebanon.
The project is based on the Coder-Maker programme and is designed to provide the expertise and equipment for computing and coding, to 15 selected schools across Lebanon, using one school as a hub. The aim is to train key Lebanese teachers in the appropriate IT technology, who will then train a wider group of teachers. They in turn will educate and train 10,000 students, drawn from 15 community secondary schools and from the wider community, in all aspects of the construction, programming and practical application of the Coder-Maker programme. The total project cost will be in the order of $200,000.
The Coder-Maker programme was set up in 2012, by International Education Association (a ‘not for profit association) and Fondation Mouna Bustros (a ‘not for profit’ foundation), to enable students to learn to code and program objects around them. The course gives a foundation in designing, making, assembling and programming in real life STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) applications, and the understanding of open architecture hardware.
Coder-Maker seeks to empower youth to become innovative entrepreneurs, and responsible and ethical users of digital technology. It encourages them to acquire the competence needed in a continuously evolving world, to contribute positively to society through equitable, inclusive and quality digital learning.
The equipment used will be Raspberry Pi’s low-cost coder/computer, developed in Cambridge and aimed at teaching schoolchildren about computing and coding. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world. It does this so that more people are able to harness the power of computing and digital technologies for work, to solve problems that matter to them, and to express themselves creatively.
Computers and digital technologies shape our lives and society; it is important that we make sure young people have the skills to use them to solve problems. Compared to subjects like mathematics, computing is a relatively new field and, although there are enduring principles and concepts, it’s a subject that is changing all the time as the pace of innovation accelerates.
Of the $200,000 needed for the project, about $75,000 will be cash from Clubs (mostly in D1100 or RGBI, with a nominal sum from RC of Beirut Cedars), about $75,000 will be DDF, and roughly $60,000 will come from The Rotary Foundation. These figures are approximate.
The spending for the project can be broken down into the following component parts: $75,000 for equipment, $67,500 for Teachers’ connectivity and transport, $34,500 for Teachers’ professional development, $15,000 for Communication & Coordination, $7,500 for Volunteers’ expenses.
The principles of this new and innovative approach to learning and problem solving, can be used and applied anywhere in the world.