eKids is an EPAM CSR Initiative |czech

eKids is an EPAM CSR Initiative |czech

Programming is becoming more mainstream and coding is considered to be a second language in the modern world. It is a new way to organize, express and share ideas — just as we do with writing.

EPAM eKids corresponds with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through our education initiatives, we support the goal of “ensure(ing) inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

In order to achieve this goal, EPAM eKids was launched in Prague, Czech Republic in January, with 14 children of EPAM employees who will graduate in the spring.

EPAM eKids Goals in Prague, CZ

EPAM eKids encourages young girls and boys to explore the world of software engineering. The program is active in 14 countries and has already shown its effectiveness.

Petr Bursa, marketing assistant of the EPAM Prague’s office and coordinator of the program in Prague said:

“eKids is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of EPAM. The program can have various formats. We decided to launch the program with an eight-week course for children of our employees. Each lesson is an hour and a half and centers around the Scratch programming language. Scratch was founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for children aged 8 to 14 years old. EPAM eKids in Prague started on the 19th January 2019 in Russian and the spots were quickly filled. Currently, we have 14 kids registered (five girls and nine boys) and five active volunteers. Three volunteers are always present at each lesson. Our goal is to bring kids closer to the IT sector.”

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is free of charge. EPAM eKids utilizes Scratch to provide a fun environment to learn coding through hands-on challenges and close mentoring opportunities with EPAMers.

With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games and animations, as well as share their creations with others in the online community. The program helps kids think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively, which are essential skills for life in the 21st century.

What do EPAM eKids classes in Prague look like?

During a 1,5-hour lesson, kids study programming with Scratch. At the beginning, the students practice what they’ve learned from past workshops. After that, mentors go over new material and spend more time practicing new skills, such as coding, visual and audio effects. During the break, kids have treats and fruits, and enjoy some time to relax, chat and discuss their projects. Girls and boys not only learn to code but also develop soft skills and make new friends.