IN BRIEF

Join or form a Code Club

Children at Moonhack

More than 10,000 children across Australia set a world record for the greatest number of children coding at once in Code Club Australia’s Moonhack campaign. Non-profit organisation Code Club Australia provides tools and support for teachers to provide coding lessons. There are more than 900 Code Clubs across the country. Moonhack took place on the night of Wednesday, July 20 – the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with participants working on online computer programming exercises related to science and astronomy. (Australia was involved in broadcasting the Apollo 11 moon landing; the story was the inspiration for the 2000 film The Dish.) “Learning to code gives children to be ability to control, not just use, technology,” Code Club Australia General Manager Kelly Tagalan said. Teachers interested in learning about setting up a Code Club should email Teacher Training at Code Club.

Cyber safety

In its first 12 months, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner says it educated more than 59,000 students across the country on cyber safety through presentations delivered online by the Office’s eSafety trainers. Disturbingly, the office also said that while conducting 7400 investigations into online child sexual abuse material, it found 92 per cent of the material depicted children who were primary school age or younger. Acting Commissioner Andree Wright said 95 per cent of those victims were very young girls “who are re-victimised when this material is shared online”.

Get the dirt on soils

Teacher guides to promote student knowledge of the relevance of soils are available through Soil Science Australia, the peak national body for soil scientists. There are four guides in the Soils in Schools program: Soil in Food Chains, Soil in the Urban Environment, Water Contamination from Run-off and Soils in Schools, and they follow the Australian Curriculum. The organisation is also trying out initiatives such as running school workshops with well-known entities such as Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis and teacher workshops with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation (Working the Dirt! Understanding Your Soils as a Kitchen Gardener).