31st March 2020
Children from across the UK are designing apps aimed at helping NHS working access quality food during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanks to Fire Tech, an education tech company offering remote classes to help parents home school children, over 100 children aged between 9 and 16 have already taken part in a social impact hackathon at which they learnt how to design and prototype apps to solve a significant challenge for NHS workers: accessing healthy, convenient food after their long shifts. They then had just 4 hours to develop their solutions.
The winning idea was ‘Apple A Day’ – an intuitive app designed by a teenage brother and sister, that connects NHS workers with food distributors across London. You can see a clickable prototype here.
Fire Tech, who provide cutting-edge remote tech camps for 9 to 17 year olds aims to run similar hackathons and camps over the coming months with the aim of engaging the next generation of young innovators across the world in technologies and learning experiences that will support change.
The company are offering free course places for NHS workers who can register interest here), and are continuing their hackathons for children throughout April. These include:
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the biggest school shut-down in history, affecting 1.5 billion young people across the world. In the UK, 85% of children are staying home as their school is closed (UNESCO 2020). This has resulted in a huge rise in the number of children learning online.
Founder and CEO of Fire Tech, Jill Hodges, said: “The school closures across the world present a significant challenge for parents and their children. We understand that these are challenging times for families, and we wanted to make sure that, rather than letting their progress slide, young people still had access to world-class learning experiences that can change lives.
“We’re so impressed by the ideas that this group of young people came up with during the hackathon – just imagine the impact they can go onto have in the future!”
Jill continued: “We know that parents were counting on us to keep their kids busy and engaged over the holidays, and that need will be all the greater now that most people will be staying close to home for the foreseeable future. So many young people look forward to coming to Fire Tech courses because of the fun, inspiring project-based learning, and we want to reflect that excitement in our online courses, too.”
Fire Tech’s remote courses are taught in English and available to students internationally. The courses will typically run between 10am to 3pm BST. Parents interested in these courses can find out more via their website. The tech requirements to take part are listed here.
About Fire Tech
Fire Tech’s mission is to give young people the tools and inspiration to become the tech creators, makers and leaders of the future. We have delivered over 30,000 learning experiences to young people across five continents. Courses include Python coding, AI, cyber security, robotics and digital media production. Each workshop is designed to teach young people 21st-century skills such as design thinking, collaboration and problem-solving. All of our programmes are taught by tech-savvy teachers from some of the UK’s leading universities. We run holiday camps, residentials and courses in school term times in over 20 locations across the UK.
Jill Hodges started the company seven years ago when she realised that she couldn’t find a way for her own kids to learn creative tech skills, either in or out of school. She wanted to provide a place where kids could get their hands dirty and experiment with a wide range of technology concepts.
The UK needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates, to meet labour demands every year – or the economy faces losing out on an estimated £33 billion a year by 2030, according to new independent economic research conducted for Amazon by Capital Economics.
Contact: Ed Halliday, Fire Tech UK Country Manager