How Facebook Is Helping U.K. Students Learn To Code

By David Cohen 

CurlyTeenLaptop650Facebook is teaming up with Apps for Good and investing £100,000 ($159,721) to help teach some 20,000 students in 220 U.K. schools how to code, The Telegraph reported.

Facebook Director of Policy, U.K. and Ireland Simon Milner told The Telegraph:

This is our biggest commitment into this area, other than hackathons and things like that. Being part of this launch is part of our contribution to stimulating young people.

We’re doing our bit to get more young people, especially girls, into engineering. I’d love us to be able to recruit more young people from the U.K. schools and universities.

According to The Telegraph, U.K. Equalities Minister Jo Swinson spoke at Facebook’s engineering offices in London, where she said:

Engineering has a bit of an image problem. It is perceived as being something that is dirty and industrial and involves wearing a boiler suit. If that’s not what you fancy doing, it’s not surprising that two-thirds of girls think that’s something they don’t fancy doing. We really need to scotch that myth.

We know that engineering is a great career. If you look whether it’s fashion, the music industry, whether it’s what we do with all our smartphones — all these things that are seen as glamorous and exciting are all underpinned by engineering.

Secretary of State for Work and Business Vince Cable told The Telegraph the government launched a £30 million ($47.9 million) initiative to encourage students to become engineers, adding:

We’re just opening it up to any new ideas from employers about interesting new innovative ways of getting the engineering pipeline flowing more easily. We’re all ears. We’re looking for new ways to hear about doing things.

In half of all state schools, there isn’t a single girl doing physics at A level, so the pipeline is blocked and we need to do something about it.

Readers: Do you think this initiative by Facebook and the U.K. government will succeed?

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