EPAM eKids, a global social initiative for teaching schoolchildren the basics of programming, is implemented in 14 countries where EPAM is represented. In Ukraine, it covers five cities where the company's offices are located.
The project has been around for three years. During this period, thanks to trainers-volunteers from EPAM Ukraine teams, hundreds of young Ukrainians have acquired basic knowledge of Scratch programming, HTML/CSS, and Python. During the spring and autumn stages last year, 175 EPAMers’ schoolchildren and 65 volunteer-trainers were involved in the training. This year’s spring stage has already attracted 190 students, and the number of volunteers keeps rising steadily. The training sessions are to be delivered by 80 properly qualified volunteers this year. The most active volunteer movement was formed in Lviv, and the biggest number of students is in Kharkiv. Overall, a great interest in the project is seen in Kiev.
Held in the form of a game, the training will last throughout March and April. Using Scratch children will create animated movies, games and information projects about one of the Sustainable Development Goals. Scratch helps to develop creativity, systematic approach and teamwork. All these skills are highly required in the XXI century.
“I’m pleased that our educational initiative eKids keeps growing every year. That means we chose the right direction for social activities. I’m very grateful to each volunteer who carefully prepares for the training and spends weekends seeking for new knowledge to share with students. As a socially responsible business, we realize that investments in children’s education are investments in the development of the whole country”
In 2017 eKids’s projects that were created using Scratch programming language were highlighted at the global corporate competition Scratch4Good. 30 projects from Ukraine, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and the United States contended for championship. 4 Ukrainian projects for the sum of points were in the top five. The main criteria were social significance, creativity, integrated approach and usability.
eKids isn’t the only initiative for children's education. EPAM Ukraine was the first IT company to create a Scratch programming station in KidsWill - children's city of professions in Kiev. Since May 2017, more than 5000 children have had an opportunity to get acquainted with programmer’s job. Volunteers regularly provide training for children and coaches in a fully equipped station. The company also provides technical support in equipping of children's programming clubs in cooperation with the Code.UA organization.