How Google and Kids4Kids are empowering students with a coding course

By Edmund Ho

Using a free coding course called Google CS First, students learn about the basics of computer science and programming

By Edmund Ho |

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Leonie Valentine, managing director of Google Hong Kong says coding will be an essential skill in the future.

Student participants felt empowered after completing a Google coding course, they said at a graduation ceremony for the curriculum on Saturday.

The Google coding curriculum, Google CS First, is offered in local schools. It is taught by student volunteers who sign up through Google’s NGO partner, Kids4Kids.

Chinese International School student Phoebe Chan, 17, volunteers as a tutor for local students who don’t have as much experience with computers.

“It was a new experience, because I hadn’t heard of any other opportunities where you could teach coding, and teach programming … beyond just normal literacy,” said Phoebe, who wants to share her knowledge with those who don’t have the opportunity to learn coding.

“What we teach with CS First is mainly based on [a programme named] Scratch, and that is something we’ve been exposed to since we were in primary school, so it seems really important to give back to the community with the experiences that we’ve had.”

Leonie Valentine, managing director for Google Hong Kong, says coding is an essential skill, “because the jobs in the future ... are going to require an understanding of technology and coding.”

Stephanie Tsui, 15, from Sir Ellis Kadoorie Secondary School, took part in the Google CS First course. She says that it changed her view of technology.

“Before participating in the Google CS First course, I didn’t have much interest in computers and digital things; I didn’t know where to start. It was only afterwards when the volunteers starting guiding me that I realised I was very interested in the subject.”

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge