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Google's CS First to teach computer science to kids

Google South Africa recently announced the launch of CS First - an ambitious programme aimed at equipping South African learners with the fundamentals of computer science. The programme aims to train more than 30,000 learners across nine provinces in the space of a year.
© Cathy Yeulet – 123RF.com

Created by educators, CS First aims to introduce students to computer science fundamentals in a collaborative environment. Students watch instructional videos while simultaneously building projects in Scratch (scratch.mit.edu), a blocks-based programming language.

The programme targets learners in grades 4 to 8, although it may also be useful for learners up to grade 10. Globally, more than 2-million learners have experienced CS First.

To ensure that the programme addresses the needs of the disconnected and underserved communities and is inclusive, 70% of Google’s CS First training will be in public schools and 10% in special needs schools. Google also aims to ensure 60% of those trained are female.

The official launch of CS First came off the back of a successful pilot project, which saw 2,400 learners from selected South African public schools and two community centres, in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, get hands-on with the programme.

Schools looking to get involved in the programme can apply here.
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