As a university student, you’ve probably asked yourself these questions:
How can I acquire the 21st century digital skills I need, connect to a vibrant network and discover my innovative talents?
How can I apply these skills in real life while I’m still a student?
How can I really find my niche, and improve my competencies to boost my career and life prospects?
The good news is you can do ALL that by simply joining ONE team:
the Coder-Maker Club
What is it?
How did it come to be?
& How can you join?
The Coder-Maker Club
What It Is
The Coder- Maker Club is a thrilling phase of the Coder-Maker volunteering journey, a journey which allows you to acquire and implement skills in social entrepreneurship for digital transformation. These skills include : coding, design, training, project management, marketing and much more.
Where It Operates & How Many Volunteers It Hosts
Presently, the Club operates in two centers, one in BDD, Beirut Digital District, and one in USEK Kaslik. A third one is planned to open in 2019 in BAU, Beirut Arab University Tripoli Branch.
The Club currently hosts 33 volunteers in total. They are all trained on IEA‘s “Learn- as- you work” model to provide technical support to the students and teachers of Lebanese public schools participating in the Coder-Maker Program.
What It’s Part of
It is part of the Coder-Maker ‘s Volunteering Program, a component of the Coder-Maker Program.
The Coder-Maker Program– in a Nutshell
The Coder-Maker Program is a non-profit initiative co-founded in 2012 by the International Education Association and Fondation Mouna Bustros.
Their strategic partner is Beirut Digital District (BDD).
It empowers both students and teachers.
How It Empowers Students
It empowers students in schools and clubs by enabling them to create, design, and promote their own innovations.
Students acquire STEAM foundations, i.e. foundations in coding, design making, assembling, manipulating electronic components, collecting and analyzing data as well as telling stories through text, pictures and videos.
They also acquire real life skills, for they learn how to create their own startups, and make their own innovations a reality in the program’s Factory phase. They also learn how to raise funds to take their creations to the world, in the Entrepreneur’s phase.
How It Empowers Teachers?
It empowers teachers by allowing them to acquire the Coder-Maker pedagogy, a pedagogy they learn from the professional workshops the program offers. As a result, they end up integrating STEAM, coding, making, problem solving and design thinking into their classrooms, from Grade 4 to Grade 12.
Its Relation to the Coder-Maker Club
As mentioned previously, The Coder-Maker Club is part of the Coder-Maker’s Volunteering program, a program that is dedicated to empowering university students in spreading coding and innovation in schools and communities at scale.
How the Volunteers and Future Club Members are Recruited
To become a volunteer, university students participate in dedicated workshops whereby they take part in exciting technical and social activities to know more about themselves and the program. At the end of these workshops, interested students are selected to start the Volunteer’s Journey.
Students from computer science, engineering, and many other majors learn about Coder-Maker’s upcoming workshops and recruitment events through IEEE’s Lebanon branches , as well as their respective robotics university clubs. As a result, a recruitment event is conducted each year followed by a bonding camp where volunteers get to know each other and build a sense of community.
When the Club Started
The Club started in May 2018 with a two-day camp in Arsoun Village where the volunteers bonded and built the energy to go ahead with a fantastic social enterprise.
Its main aim is to provide the volunteers a unique hands-on experience in social entrepreneurship, whereby they can apply and face the real life challenges of implementing the technical and soft skills they have been trained on.
Its Criteria for Selection
Any university student is accepted as long as he/ she demonstrates passion to fulfil the program’s goals and make a difference in the country.
Note that volunteers don’t strictly have to be engineering or computer science students. Any major will do, since all volunteers are trained on the necessary soft skills with a focus on entrepreneurship, and the business aspects of the Club’s social enterprise.
Additionally, volunteers with technical and coding background are trained to provide face-to-face and online technical support to teachers and students.
What Club Members Actually Acquire
“They learn how to communicate, collaborate, solve conflicts, how to take decisions, and avoid mishaps. Add to that the public speaking skills they gain, the business skills they acquire and the confidence they build. The experience is more than worth it; you never learn this in school, nor in university,” said Emilio Abi Khalil, country coordinator of the Coder-Maker Program.
“It’s all about teamwork” said Joseph
“I can’t tell you how confident I became after joining” said Peter,
“… and how decisive and effective I became when teaching” added Christian.
“What I like is the sense of family/ community” said Peter.
“You never get the opportunities to network nor to manage and execute a project using an online platform like Office 365 elsewhere! What keeps me in, is the role I am playing, and the potential to develop myself and my leadership abilities“, added Anthony.
What the Club Members Have Achieved so Far
So far, the Coder-Maker volunteers have provided technical support in delivering 587 hours of Coder-Maker training sessions to 85 public schools across Lebanon, to over 200 teachers and more than a 1,000 students.
Where the Training Sessions Occurred?
The training sessions were given at Beirut Digital District and ACS in Beirut, BAU Tripoli, USEK Kaslik, AUST Zahle, and HBS in Saida.
What the Schools Were Trained on?
The volunteers trained and prepared public and private schools for Lebanon’s Raspberry Pi Competition.
For that, the club encourages school students to attend training sessions at the Coder-Maker’s premises in BDD to prepare for the upcoming competition.
School students are encouraged to attend training sessions at the Coder-Maker’s premises at BDD in preparation for the competition. There they learn to innovate and code a project using Raspberry Pi to benefit Lebanon. The benefit could be educational, environmental, or social.
Below is a list of activities and events the Coder-Maker Club has already accomplished:
- Coder-Maker Raspberry Pi workshop for university students at NDU
- ChangeMaker (September 9, 2018)
- OctoberTech ( October 5, 2018)
- Coder-Maker sessions to youth from 8 to 18 at BDD and USEK:
- Summer Camp 2018
- Summer Weekly Sessions 2018
- Winter Weekly Sessions, ongoing
The Club, in collaboration with its partners, aspires to conduct Coder-Maker hackathons, and create innovative and engaging events that benefit the community.
How to Join the Coder-Maker Club
If you want to learn more, or are interested in joining the Coder-Maker club, make sure to follow Coder-Maker on Instagram, or contact:
Also published on Medium.