Computing student Abdulsamad helps hundreds of children to code

Over the next few days, we'll be profiling the work done by the winners of this year's DMU Square Mile Awards which recognise students who put in hundreds of hours' volunteering to help serve the public, using their skills to help others. In the first instalment, we look at the winner from the Faculty of Technology:

A student who has championed coding classes across primary schools in Leicester has won an award for helping hundreds of pupils pick up the skill.

Computing student Abdulsamad Siddique was named the best volunteer from DMU’s Faculty of Technology, given to the student from that faculty who judges felt was most committed to helping others.

Square Mile Abdul INSET

The award was one of nine presented to students who volunteer as part of  #DMUlocal, which uses the skills of our students and staff to help serve the public. Students who sign up to join DMU Square Mile can choose from opportunities in Leicester and around the world supporting community work.

Abdulsamad has been a dedicated member of the #DMUlocal Coding in Schools project. He works across schools in the city and won praise from teachers for devising creative classes to help pupils pick up the skill faster.

He has also helped at #DMUlocal’s IT classes which teach people basic skills from setting up a Facebook profile to sending an email.

Abdulsamad, who has been volunteering for a year with DMU Square Mile, said: “I teach them Scratch, a kind of computer language that lets the kids make their own games, which they love. I like to think of different ways to help them learn and it’s helping me because I want to go into teaching.
“It’s really nice to work with the kids and it has been a really good experience.”

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Computing was brought into the national curriculum in 2014, teaching computer science, information technology and digital literacy. Children as young as five are learning programming and thanks to DMU Square Mile, DMU students have been supporting teachers in the classroom. A coding club was created and students go into schools using a special easy-to-programme robot to build skills.

Abdulsamad was recruited by student frontrunner Amina Lunat, who oversees the IT4Free programme. She takes bookings from schools and residents, and trains student volunteers to deliver an agreed programme.

“Amina approached me because she knew I liked computing and programming and thought it would be good for me to gain experience, because I want to be a teacher. I did not expect to win an award for it though, I’m shocked!”

Runners up in the Technology category were Sophie Moss, who teaches Tae Kwon Do in Leicester primary schools; Amar Rajput, who research how solar energy could help vulnerable communities in India; and Jessica Okwuono, who led coding workshops and has adopted a robot as part of her drive to teach coding further.
Posted on Monday 15 May 2017

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