Aberdeen Science Centre is to receive a share of £100,000 of funding to help drive digital skills for young people.
It’s Be Cyber Smart project been selected as one of 22 initiatives to receive a grant from Scottish charity Digital Xtra Fund in a bid to allow children under 16 the chance to develop their skills through a series of clubs or classes.
Kraig Brown, Digital Xtra Fund’s partnerships and development manager, said the
fund’s goal is “for every young person in Scotland to have access to innovative and
digitally creative activities, regardless of their gender, background, or where they
Hundreds of children across the country to benefit
Among the other grants to be awarded are a number of projects in Angus, including Technologies Inspiration at Arbroath Academy, the Micro:bit Coding Club at Edzell Primary School, the Girl’s STEM & Robotics Club, Southmuir Primary School and the Mini Digi-Club at Warddykes Primary School.
In the north and islands, funded projects include Technology Day Events and Coding Experiences, T-Exchange Moray Markerspace across Highland, Moray and Orkney and the IET FIRST LEGO League Explore led by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Shetland.
Further projects include VEX GO Robotics Challenge from the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre for Perth and Kinross and the STEM Coding Club at Westquarter Primary School, Falkirk.
Aberdeen Science Centre has already run projects thanks to previous awards from Digital Xtra with the Be Cyber Smart set to run in November and January.
Jessica Brook, public and digital programme coordinator at Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “The funding provided by Digital Xtra Fund allowed Aberdeen Science Centre to develop a modern digital-themed workshop which introduced young people and families to the world of programming and opened up important discussions on how to stay safe and secure online.
“Our visitors enjoyed the hands-on experience and the opportunity to explore coding in a fun environment.”
Digital tech is the future
DXF was launched in 2016 to support extracurricular computing initiatives around the country.
It has since awarded £725,000 of funding to digital skills initiatives across Scotland, helping schools and organisations engage with more than 35,000 young people.
Mr Brown said: “The past 18 months have really proven the importance and value of what we’re doing, but also shown us we need to increase our ambitions now if we want to reach our goal before it’s too late.
“We want educators, youth workers, and others across the country to be confident in starting a coding club in their community so all young people have an opportunity to learn about digital tech regardless of what courses their school may offer.
“One thing we’ve been looking at is how to scale up the fantastic work we’ve seen over the past five years and support the development of hundreds of ‘tech clubs’ where kids could learn various skills and try different types of kit in informal and creative ways.”