Year eight student teaches MPs a lesson in coding

Amelia Lockley, 12, teaches Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne coding at the Beehive in Wellington last month.
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Amelia Lockley, 12, teaches Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne coding at the Beehive in Wellington last month.

An Auckland intermediate school student has given MPs a lesson in coding during a visit to the Beehive.

Auckland's Diocesan School for Girls student Amelia Lockley, 12, was one of 30 students who headed a technology lesson in the capital last month.

The tech whiz students are members of Code Club Aotearoa - a charity that aims to give Kiwi kids the chance to learn coding for free.

Coding - a type of digital language - is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites.  

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Lockley said she wanted to prove that "girls can do anything – even teach politicians to code".

"My favourite thing about the week was how much the politicians loved learning from the kids – I think they were really surprised at how much we could teach them."

Lockley said learning to code was as important as learning to read, write or count for children today.

"We already use coding in our everyday lives - every technology advancement including smart phones – is made possible through coding.

"Having an insight into the creation of these equips kids with the skills they will need in the future," Lockley said.

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Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne and National List MP Brett Hudson were two of Lockley's students.

Hudson spent 20 years working in the technology sector before entering politics and said Lockley's display of structural thinking was impressive.

"I never could have been able to think in such depth at that age.

"The adults learnt so much from these children - it was astonishing," Hudson said.

A recent PwC survey showed only 3 per cent of New Zealand women selected a career in technology as their first choice.

Techweek 2017 put out a plea for New Zealanders to eliminate the gender gap within a decade.

The event identified the best way to do this was to get girls into technology at secondary school.

Dunne said this was why the Government introduced coding into school curriculums.

Code Club's was helping grow a generation of coders, he said.

"It is great to see young children like Amelia Lockley ,who serves as an inspiration for other young New Zealanders to learn to code," Dunne said.

Lockley has a regular segment on television show "What Now", which teaches coding to kids.

She is currently working on an app to help immigrants find essential services when they first arrive in New Zealand, including, schools and banks.

 - Stuff

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