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Inspiring a Generation to get Creative with Coding

Local company Cognito and Education Business Partnership team up to uncover programming talents of school pupils as CHIPS Challenge is set for a 2nd successful year in West Berkshire schools

October reports showed that Government and technology experts are becoming increasingly worried that vital computing skills are not being taught in schools. This view is one shared by local mobile workforce management specialist Cognito, who last year launched their annual CHIPS programme, to encourage pupils from West Berkshire schools to develop the skills that are vital for a modern economy.

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Cognito Helping to Improve Programming in Schools (CHIPS) encourages pupils in Year 10 to consider a career in IT by teaching valuable skills in software engineering and highlighting the opportunities available to those with programming skills.

“The CHIPS Challenge is a great project that really encourages pupils to think about IT and programming as a possible career,” said Amanda Richards, Chief Executive at EBP West Berkshire. “It’s great to see a company rolling up its sleeves to help harness the skills that will be needed in the future and give great opportunities to these young people”.

After learning the art of basic software programming, the teams will come together for the grand final, where they will be pitted against each other in a series of challenges using programmable Lego Mindstorm robots to solve a variety of problems.

Steve Alderson, Managing Director at Cognito commented “The energy we see from both pupils & Cognito staff is fantastic. There is great satisfaction in being able to support local schools in developing our future workforce. Last year’s challenge was a real success and we are really excited to see more schools attending this year”.

The four schools taking part in CHIPS 2013 are; Kennet, St Bartholomew’s, St Gabriel’s and The Downs. Team preparations are already underway, with the final taking place at the Hilton Newbury Centre on 30th November.

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