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Bucharest, 7 December 2020: Thirteen innovative digital projects, made by high school children, competed for a place on the podium CODE KIDS FEST 2020, on December 3 and 4. In addition to the prizes at stake, in value of 7,000 euro, the young programmers were encouraged to follow their dreams and discovered more about the digital environment within the five interactive workshops.

CODE KIDS FEST 2020, an event organized by the Progress Foundation within the CODE Kids Romania project, took place online and managed to gather over 1,000 visitors, who watched with interest the projects of the small programmers. Children in the countryside and small towns wanted to show that they can learn programming and, through it, can develop solutions to community problems.

The little programmers from Tămășeni came to the Fair with a sensor that helps us keep the appropriate social distance and managed to win the popularity award at stake.

The third place was occupied by the “White Hackers” from Ovidiu, who developed an invention for bicycles, which helps you avoid accidents. At the same level with them were those from the CODE Kids Dumbrăvița club, who draw the attention of the jury with the digital matrix watch.

“Wizards Code Club” Pietrari tried to convince the jury that the accompanying robot for visual impaired people deserves a place on the podium and managed to win the second prize. And the first place was occupied by the “Kids4Coding” team from Onești, which thought of a light and motion sensor, which can protect the environment.

The big surprise of the event was the awarding of all projects, and each participating team that did not have a place on the podium won an educational kit with a programmable robot. Also, the ambassador of the project and the host of the event, George Buhnici, offered the participating children twelve individual prizes, various gadgets to help them both to follow their passion, but also in their day to day lives.

However, the children’s reward was not limited to prizes. Junior programmers were encouraged to follow their dreams and were praised by the best in the field.

“The children who come to CODE Kids are among the closest to my soul, they are smart, beautiful and kind! I also went to libraries, I know how valuable their work is and how much they strive to learn programming and use technology to their advantage. And they are lucky to have people, librarians and mentors by their side who give some of their time and goodwill to help them learn. I know what it’s like to grow up without the newest things, I didn’t have my computer until I was 18 years old. I also went to computer classes, it was difficult for my parents to save the money to pay for that class. I also went to internet cafes, because when you are together with others you learn a lot of good things, you achieve a lot of skills.” – George Buhnici, the ambassador of the CODE Kids project for the little ones, encouraged them.

The children also discovered the Python programming language and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), learned more about the IT journey and “What do programming and video games have in common?”, but also discussed specifically on an invention powered by Android system, all during interactive workshops.

“The over a thousand participants in the National Science and Technology Fair show us the need to organize such events, where children present their projects and learn about the latest developments in technology. I had two great days, with many emotions, but also prizes. In the rural communities from which the children participating in the competition came, there was a general mobilization to support them in the presentations before the jury. The partners who joined us made possible this festival of technology, which we want to turn into an annual event, in which to appreciate the most talented children from small rural and urban areas.” – Ovidiu Ana, Development Manager Progress Foundation

Main Partner: Societe Generale European Business Services

Partners: Romanian American Foundation, Aspen Institute, Simplon Romania, Marketing Clinic, Orange Romania and CEZ Vânzare

Supporters: ANIS, EA Romania, Autonom, UiPath.

Media partners: AGERPRES, Europa FM, ProTV, Re-Start.ro, Cultura Magazine, Știri.ONG, TVR3, TVR Moldova, TVR International, Ziarul Financiar. 

About Progress Foundation

The Progress Foundation is an NGO established in 1996, which leads local initiatives in the field of education, (e-) inclusion and community development. We use public libraries as lifelong learning hubs and centers for social innovation. We contribute to the development of community institutions, vulnerable individuals and groups and help people to be stronger through education, technology and research.

About CODE Kids Romania

“CODE Kids – Children are coding in public libraries” is a free of charge program developed by the Progress Foundation, which proposes a digital literacy solution for children in rural and small urban areas. It was born in the context in which almost 50% of the children in the countryside get grades below 5 in mathematics at the National Assessment.

The project aims to create a national coding and STEM movement in which children, young people and librarians from rural and small urban areas develop their digital skills and get involved in the life of the community they come from by solving creative digital topics. Through the training activities and workshops organized, a window is opened to explore the digital world with its opportunities for development and learning, so that over 2,000 children, aged 10 to 15 are encouraged to get actively involved and even follow a career in technology. The CODE Kids project is currently being carried out in public libraries in 22 counties of Romania and in rural localities in the Republic of Moldova. 

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