TECgirls is a Cornish volunteer organisation set up to provide inspirational content and engaging activities for girls across Cornwall to help them explore the worlds of technology, engineering and creative digital. They have launched the Great Green Hack week, working with organisations across Cornwall that are keen to build on a long heritage of innovation in Cornwall, while also looking to the skills children will need to thrive in the future.
With the G7 heading to Cornwall this summer, TECgirls thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to create an event for kids in Cornwall to help build up their digital and engineering skills, while also tackling critical environmental issues. We wanted to run an event that not only fits the build back better goals of the G7 summit but also has a positive legacy for children in Cornwall. From this, the idea for the Great Green Hack Week was born. With the support of multiple partners, we have organised a free 3 day “tech for good” style event taking place virtually on June 1st -3rd and open to all primary aged children in Cornwall (not just girls this time).
For the environmental issue we are tackling during the Great Green Hack Week, we have partnered with the Cornwall Plastic Pollution Coalition. The CPPC identified fishing plastics as a major threat their members are working hard to tackle and it felt like the perfect topic to focus on given Cornwall’s long history with fishing. The CPPC will be providing guides to help educate children on the threat of fishing related plastic pollution. Our hack week will then give them a chance to use technology, engineering and creative solutions to tackle this problem. It is important to us that young people across Cornwall can see that they can make a difference to the world around them and that the skills they develop now can be fun but also practical.
Due to COVID, we will be running everything online with video and written tutorials. This will also allow children of different ages to move at the right pace for their skill levels. After the initial hack week with children in Cornwall, we will be making all of the lessons available for free on our TECgirls website for children around to world to be able to use. We plan to share some of the projects created by Cornish children and hope it will inspire other kids to take part and make a positive change in their own community
Hack Week Agenda:
Day 1: Tech – Code your own beach clean plastic counter using a micro:bit and capture your beach clean finds with a kids citizen science survey
Day 2: Engineering – Come up with an amazing invention to tackle plastic pollution.
Day 3: Creative – Make your own video or poster to help encourage other kids to keep Cornish beaches clean this summer.
The event is free and open to all primary age kids in Cornwall. The sessions will be done via pre-recorded videos and written tutorials that kids will be able to use to work at their own pace. No previous coding experience required. Support from kids will be available from TECgirls and micro:bit volunteers.
We are working with the micro:bit Foundation to provide the first 100 Cornish kids who sign up with a free micro:bit. This is an important factor for us as we are keen to ensure our events are as inclusive as possible to children from all backgrounds.