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Aussie kids set world record for coding with Moonhack event

Thousands of kids across Australia have joined forces to set a world record for the greatest number of children coding at once, as part of Code Club Australia’s Moonhack campaign.

More than 10,000 children took part in the event on the night of Wednesday, July 20 2016 – the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Participants completed a series of online computer programming exercises related to science and astronomy.

Code Club Australia General Manager Kelly Tagalan said Moonhack was the first event of its kind to capture the imagination of children across the entire country and help improve digital literacy at the same time.

“The support Code Club Australia received for our Moonhack campaign was so much more than we ever expected. We would like to say a huge thank you to every child who took part, as well as every parent, teacher, librarian and Code Club volunteer who helped to make it happen,” Ms Tagalan said.

“Learning to code gives children to be ability to control, not just use, technology. It’s one of the most important lessons they can learn for the future. Code Club Australia wants to make sure that every Australian child has the opportunity to learn how to code, and we are overjoyed that Moonhack was able to reach so many families around the country – and even overseas.”

The Moonhack event was buoyed by unexpected support from several places, including scientists at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex – part of the NASA Deep Space Network – which was integral in broadcasting the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

Code Club Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides tools and support for teachers and volunteers to provide free coding lessons. There are more than 900 Code Clubs across the country, from Perth to Alice Springs and the inner suburbs of Sydney.

Code Club Australia was started in 2014 by Annie Parker. The first Code Club was founded in London by Clare Sutcliffe. Australia’s involvement in broadcasting the Apollo 11 moon landing was the inspiration for the 2000 film The Dish.

Moonhack had gathered 9782 participants at 6.30pm AEST when a new world record was declared in Sydney during a live event at the Telstra Customer Insights Centre on George Street. By midnight, it had gained 10,207 participants.

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