At Lighthouse Labs, one of our main goals is to set up our graduates for long-lasting job growth, where they can build a successful career as a developer and contribute to the future growth and development of Canada’s tech community. Many jobs today rely on the digital literacy of Canadian workers to solve problems in the workplace, and the demand for these skills will only escalate as Canada shifts towards a digital economy.
The Canadian Federal Government recognized this need. In 2017, they put coding education on the national agenda by committing $50 Million to the CanCode program, which gives young Canadians the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. Lighthouse Labs, in partnership with Kids Code Jeunesse, was fortunate enough to receive some of this funding with a joint mission to provide students and teachers with long-term, sustainable digital skills in school classrooms and community centres.
There are many ways to promote digital skills development, but we believe the most sustainable solution is investing in educators. Teachers need the essential tools to spread digital literacy, as well as the confidence to inspire and empower the next generation of technology talent. With that ideology in tow, Kids Code Jeunesse and Lighthouse Labs spent the last year equipping 1495 teachers with the basics of coding and computational thinking through our Code Create Teach workshops in every province and territory across Canada.
Our curious yet wonderful journey took us through some of Canada’s coldest (Nunavut), flattest (Regina), and most beautiful (Prince Rupert) towns. We wanted to make sure this professional development opportunity was not limited to teachers in urban centres, so we held 42% of our workshops in rural communities. Each teacher received their very own set of micro:bits, which gave them all the resources they needed to apply what they learned to their classroom.
Our Code Create Teach workshops surpassed our highest expectations. The demand was tremendous, as some of our workshops filled up within 24 hours of opening registration. Teachers in Prince Rupert, Newfoundland, and Ontario drove more than five hours to attend. By providing professional development for 1495 teachers, we were able to reach an estimated 41,804 students across Canada.
Not all students will become developers or even pursue STEM jobs in the future, but workshops like this ensure youth are given the skills and knowledge to do so if they choose. Thanks to this program, Canadian youth are set up for success in the jobs of the future. Lighthouse Labs is honoured to play such a large role in this mission.