With new two-year funding from the Government of Canada, Coding Quest – a foundational program in The Learning Partnership’s inclusive innovation education portfolio – is on track to reach over 330,000 students by 2024 with a focus on those in underserved communities.
“Barrier-free access to programs like Coding Quest for Black, Indigenous and students of colour, as well as girls, is critical to address the opportunity gaps that exist and have only widened during the educational disruptions of the pandemic,” said Debra D. Kerby, President & CEO of The Learning Partnership. “We are proud to be among the organizations who have been trusted to help deliver the CanCode mandate to strengthen Canada’s future workforce by sparking students’ interest and building their skills in STEM and to do so with a diversity, equity and inclusion approach.”
"These are the skills that will help them transition from the classroom to research labs, shop floors and boardrooms"
The hands-on, experiential learning program teaches coding and digital skills to students in Grades 1 through 8 and is made available to educators in publicly-funded schools across Canada at no cost to them. It comes complete with live or pre-recorded training, comprehensive lesson plans, and other educator resources so Coding Quest teachers do not need any expertise in coding to incorporate this curriculum-aligned program into their teaching plans right away.
“Beyond learning to code by creating their own story or game, with Coding Quest kids code to learn,” said Kerby. “Coding Quest has an intentional focus on building digital skills and computational thinking as well as global competencies such as collaboration, problem-solving and creativity, which are vital to prepare today’s students to take on tomorrow’s challenges and need to be taught at younger ages,” she added.
“By investing in resources that teach students things like coding and data analytics, we are helping them gain the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century economy. These are the skills that will help them transition from the classroom to research labs, shop floors and boardrooms,” said The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in announcing the third wave of CanCode funding on February 11, 2022.
“Barrier-free access to programs like Coding Quest for Black, Indigenous and students of colour, as well as girls, is critical to address the opportunity gaps that exist and have only widened during the educational disruptions of the pandemic”
The Government of Canada, through CanCode, recognizes that equitable access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills-building is essential. CanCode is aligned with Canada's Digital Charter, the first principle of which is focused on ensuring that all Canadians have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the tools to do so.
The Learning Partnership will apply CanCode funding, along with funding from Lead National Partner, Capital One, and other sponsors to deepen Coding Quest’s focus on global competency development, ensure its curriculum is relevant to and representative of Canada’s diverse students, and reach more students and teachers in every province and territory across Canada with a targeted focus on outreach to underserved students, schools and communities.
“We have already made significant enhancements to the program to sharpen its curriculum connections, streamline its lesson plans, and broaden its applicability to students starting from Grade 1. This work resulted in the highest enrolment ever in 2021 with close to 76,000 students from 11 of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories taking advantage of Coding Quest,” Kerby said. “We have no doubt that the program we offer to publicly-funded schools in the next two years will reach even more students – and we’ll get Yukon and Nunavut on board too!” she promised.
To learn more about Coding Quest, and for educators in publicly-funded schools to register for access to training, lesson plans and teaching resources, visit: thelearningpartnership.ca/coding-quest