Over the past year, we have seen significant changes in children participating in CEL Kids Hackathon. Children have grown in terms of their abilities to identify meaningful problems and articulate them, connecting with the audience, writing complex codes, working with peers and creating a simple and interactive design.
In CEL Kids Hackathon 2022, we saw 250 children from 10 cities in India participate to showcase their coding talent and make amazing projects on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to make the world a better place.
In order to prepare children to code who had no or less exposure we had webinars for children conducted by experts. There were volunteers from Tata Proengage who worked with children for 4 months to give first ever exposure to children from under-resourced and government schools. One of the most inspiring things was that children from Inventure Academy in Bangalore went on to teach coding to children in nearby schools to make the coding experience more inclusive.
We were super amazed to see the projects where children have made applications to bring in more dignity to people associated with crucial work in the society however are stereotyped and less recognized. Moreover, hearing the stories of children who have seen drug abuse in their society and have seen people die in covid because of lack of awareness and gathering courage to solve the problem by making an application was inspiring.
We deeply feel the challenge through which children, teachers, parents and various stakeholders participated. Children not having computers to code but still coding on phone which is painstaking, teachers teaching and supporting children online which requires much more effort. Moreover, we have heard stories of teachers grieving through personal loss and still making sure that children participate. This made us believe that Hackathon was not just a competition but was an emotion. An emotion to come to terms with our realities, fighting hard and giving it all to bring change around us for a better society.
We want to thank all the volunteers and expert panel members who have spent so much time viewing all the work of children and engaging with children to objectively evaluate the work and create amazing learning opportunities for them. We also want to thank our donors, supporters and collaborators for making a concerted effort to make sure that children build 21st century skills to thrive in the innovative world.