Why coding?

Ina is an 18-year-old student from Sofia, Bulgaria. She did not know much about professions related to coding, but she had been hearing that programming was the language of the future. She decided to attend an event organized by the Alumni Association of the Technical University in Sofia. This meetup completely changed her vision of the future. Together with 50 other participants, Ina has learned about a wide range of professions related to coding, such as android developer, embedded software developer, or designer, that she was not aware of. Now she aspires to become a professional web designer!

Ina was one of almost 30 000 participants of MEEt and Code events - an initiative funded by SAP and implemented by TechSoup Europe Network.

Together with more than 400 nonprofit organizations from 15 Middle and Eastern European countries and 195 SAP employees, we inspired and encouraged children and youth to explore digital technologies and learn coding during EU Code Week 2017 (October, 7-22).

We believe that local nonprofit organizations not only have a deep understanding of their community needs, but are also able to bridge the digital division across the countries. Their activities are, however, often too limited by insufficient resources. To address this challenge, SAP and 12 partners from TechSoup Europe Network reached out to hundreds of nonprofits, which wanted to develop coding and digital skills for children & youth. Most of these NGOs were small and medium-sized organizations that operate at the local level. Together we funded nearly 600 initiatives in 280 cities, with the total value of grants exceeding 200 000 EUR.

Countries participating in the MEEt and Code 2017 - an initiative that supported coding events for children and youth during EU Code Week 2017.

*Figures indicate the number of projects in each country.

We supported 599 free coding events; among them highly popular workshops in Scratch, Minecraft, HTML, C++, Python, and JavaScript. Numerous robotic classes introduced Arduino sets, Ozobots, LEGO Mindstorm sets as well as Finch and Bee-Bot robots. During coding lessons students learned how to work with micro:bits or discovered the fun part of coding by playing the Scottie:Go game. There were also hackathons and lectures, as well as other workshops in which participants learned about web-coding, chat-bots or animation and game coding.



Take a tour through MEEt and Code events!

*The above video presents only 464 projects coordinated directly by TechSoup Europe. Additional 135 events were coordinated by local SAP offices and supported by SAP volunteers.

Austria and Switzerland

One of the 25 events, which took place in Austria and Switzerland, was CodeWeek Parktour organized in Vienna. It combined activities of four different organizations!

A1 Internet für Alle conducted workshops on coding with Ozobots. Chaos macht Schule organization focused on theoretical computer knowledge and privacy. CoderDojo Wien worked using Scratch and micro:bit sets, whereas the DaVinciLab taught how to code with Minecraft. And all of these were outdoor activities!

The above pictures come from various events.


In Bulgaria, children & youth could choose from over 44 MEEt and Code events. For example, they could attend an event organized by the Community Support at THTI Association. The event took place in Vidin, a small town with limited access to educational and technological resources. Event participants were invited to take their very first steps with LEGO sets and learn how to code using Scratch.

Older participants attended, among others, the MY IT Career Beyond the Profession of Software Developer workshop in Sofia. The event organized by the Alumni Association of Technical University Sofia was an occasion for participants to learn about various programming professions (as did Ina, the 18-year-old student that now aspires to become a web designer).

The above pictures come from various events.


From among 16 coding events organized in Croatia, participants could attend, for example, the School of Programming Basics workshop. The event organized in Split encouraged young people to study engineering and consider technical career in the future.

During the Programmers Starter Kit event in Rijeka, participants could learn the basics of block coding through visual programming of games in Scratch while getting familiar with HTML and CSS languages. Additionally, they had a chance to discover programming through micro:bits and to create their first microcomputers!

“I want to be a programmer when I grow up!”

- said Sanja, 8 years old, participant of the Programming for the youngest event.

The above pictures come from various events.

czech republic

Among the 34 events which took place in the Czech Republic, participants in Brno could choose, for example, the Programming with Micro:bits and Programming in Physics with BBC Micro:bit. During those events primary school students learned from their older peers from Gymnázium Elgartova, how to program with micro:bits. We also managed to get the adults excited: the accompanying physics teacher was thrilled after he managed to learn the basics!

"It is a really good feeling to influence the world around you with your own head and hands."

- says an 18-year-old participant of the Programming in physics with BBC micro:bit event.

The above pictures come from various events.


One example of the 135 coding events in Germany comes from the German-French primary school in Freiburg and was held by the Ecole 92 e.V. association. Pupils, boys and girls, really enjoyed themselves when developing their very first projects in Scratch. Johannes Charra, a professional software developer, guided them through the basics, to later pass to a more advanced skills, such as programming concepts like (infinite) loops, variables, a coordinate system and the handling of multiple simultaneous game threads.

“When will you come back, so we can do great stuff again? This was fantastic!”

- say participants of the Coden in der Grundschule mit Offlinespielen, Scratch und Calliope begeistern event.

The above pictures come from various events.


Who said that one nonprofit could organize only ONE event? Meet the Digitális Tudásért Alapítvány foundation from Budapest. They organized a series of coding events within the framework of the Code Week. Altogether, more than 500 children benefitted from their events! The main theme was creating a computer game relying largely on physics and mathematics.

During other 19 events participants could also learn how to program a 3D printer, or work on micro:bits and first of all - use coding in their every-day life!

“I attended because I wanted to learn how to create solutions for real world problems. Now, after the workshop, I feel I’m closer to my goal.”

-says one of the participants of Le Wagon Coding Day for Youth event held in Budapest.

"The most funny thing was when the micro:bit wrote my name in a funny way, because it doesn't know the Hungarian character for it."

-Gergő, boy, 8 years old, participant of the Nagy Micro:bit nap event.

The above pictures come from various events.


We also reached out to children & youth from Kazakhstan, supporting 20 coding events across the country! Children in Kastanai could participate in the Hour of Code series of events and find out about the skills needed for the creation of animated projects. They were also introduced to the Scratch programming language. Each participant was assigned a simple, individual task and later presented the solution in front of all participants as well as their parents.

"At the workshop, it was interesting to work with electric light bulbs. We learned how to program colors and connect cables. Thank you for the opportunity!"

- Igor, 14 years old, participant of the Smart house with Arduino event.

The above pictures come from various events.


Children and youth from Poland could choose from more than 160 coding events organized during EU Code Week. Participants aged 8-18 built their own robot using Arduino sets, while others found out about open source, micro-controllers, Atmego or Scratch for Arduino. Or even coded their own traffic lights! Older participants (aged 15-25) discovered the world of C++ language and JavaScript and could apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills during hackathons and workshops.

Learning coding without using computers or mobile devices? We checked that out as well!

"Traveling in time, coding and meeting aliens! We went on these adventures and picked up some basic programming skills playing the game Scottie Go!"

- say organizers of the Coding Planets in Zabierzów event held by Fundacja Edukacji i Kreatywnego Rozwoju FunEdu organization.

Kodujemy Arduino w Jarocinie event organized by Fundacja Ogród Marzeń in Poland

The above pictures come from various events.


During one of the 30 coding events in Romania, some participants even explored Mars! Organizers of the Mars Exploration Rover event from the Astronomy and Space Science Club in Oradea, showed children the images transmitted by satellites and later moved on to the presentation of a LEGO Mindstorms robot kit. It was an introduction of an exciting task: to design, construct and program their own rovers and explore Mars. The participants built 3D models of the Lego Space Challenge EV3 and learned how to code NXT 2.00 rover for specific tasks. The results were really impressive!

"This was amazing! After the class, my son came home and all he did was arrange Lego pieces in order to make the entire movie as he learned in the workshop. I discussed this with other parents and we want to have this happening more often and regularly!"

- says a parent of a 10-year-old participant of the Animatia - Atelier de programare creativa pentru copii event.

The above pictures come from various events.


Chatting is cool, but what about chatting using chat-bots? Among 21 events in Russia, participants of the Developing Chat-bots for Social Activists and Students event in Perm could learn how to develop the right algorithms for chat-bots or find out about popular bots-constructors.

At the same time, more than 70 students of School No. 63 in Saint Petersburg teamed-up in 20 groups and worked hard to win a Scratch challenge during the Scratch battle event. Prior to the main battle, there were two weeks of preparations, during which 15 senior high school students learned how to code using Scratch, as well as how to train elementary school students. Later they not only assisted teachers, but also ran workshops themselves - the aim was not only to teach senior students how to code, but also to prepare them to pass their knowledge and skills to others. When a preparatory phase was completed, the Scratch battle finally began!

"You gave us confidence!"

- says a 24-year-old participant of the Hackathon on social innovations held in Velikiy Novgorod city.

The above pictures come from various events.


If we want to do something, there is nothing that can stop us. Among the organizers of 31 events in Serbia, there was one really outstanding organization. The Association of Serbian Professors of Informatics organized a series of events teaching three different coding programs and reaching more than 1 800 participants! The events were held in all parts of Serbia and consisted mainly of workshops during which professors shared their knowledge in IT and programming. Great job!

"A great smile and happiness can be seen on the faces of the students!"
The above pictures come from various events.


Among the 29 events which we supported in Slovakia, participants could choose between creating games in Scratch, working on Arduino, or programming electronics, micro:bits or even learning MIT App Inventor. Participants’ reactions? "Aha, wow! Cool, great! Unbelievable!" For many of those kids, it was their very first programming adventure.

The above pictures come from various events.


From among 9 events organized in Slovenia, one is worth special attention: the S-Code Kids event in Ljubljana held by Simbioza organization. During this event, children learned how to program various games in Scratch. Apart from the programming language itself, they got familiar with the basic concepts of coding: variables, loops and data types. The response from S-Code Kids event participants was so positive that the organizers decided to offer further courses and programming workshops for children in the next months. Fingers crossed!

"We had parents calling after the workshops to ask about plans to continue with coding classes for kids and how to apply for them!"

- says Tjaša from Zavod za medgeneracijsko sodelovanje Simbioza Genesis Ljublj, organizer of the S-Code Kids event.

The above pictures come from various events.


One big country, 26 events, and hundreds of happy participants! Let’s take the example of Ivano-Frankivsk in the Western Ukraine where during the Great Scratch Blast event children and youth could learn more about the Big Bang. The Blast event was conducted by teachers who prepared for their students extracurricular classes in Scratch visual language programming.

In Kharkiv in the Eastern Ukraine participants were coached by 10 experienced python/Django developers (among them two ladies!) from IT companies. Coaches guided students aged 19-24 through the practical aspects of HTML, CSS, Python, and Django. As a result students were able to create their very first site-blog and run it live on the internet during the DjangoGirls Kharkiv event!

The above pictures come from various events.

The Code Week 2017 success is a great inspiration for TechSoup Europe Network, all nonprofits – event organizers and all participants – now Coding Wizards. So….. what’s next?

Follow us on www.techsoupeurope.org!


The MEEt and Code initiative was funded by:

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