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As Easter approaches, many of you will be scouring the internet for activities that your kids can get involved in. Indeed, our Activities Calendar is packed with ideas for both day- and week-long camps that your kids can attend not just over the Easter holidays but summer too.

One new camp that has recently caught our attention is the Atelier ENCODE. Organized by the non-profit organisation, Wigii.org, Atelier ENCODE is a practical workshop that enables children from the age of 10 to discover coding using real-world programming languages such as Javascript and HTML / CSS.

During the week-long camp, children take control of their computers to create practical programs that reach beyond making games, something which parents tend to associate with coding camps. For example, they can create their own calculator, or program an interactive user interface for a simplified drawing program. Younger kids may prefer the challenge of programming a turtle to navigate a maze. The opportunities are endless.

For the Easter period, 3 camps are proposed, all running in the morning and priced at Fr. 325.- for 5 morning workshops:

  • 3-6 April 2018: Bellevue (GE) or Gimel (VD), Tuesday to Thursday 8h45-11h30, Friday 9h45-11h30
  • 9-13 April 2018: Gimel (VD) 9h45-11h30

During the summer more camps are proposed as follows:

  • 9-13 July 2018: Bellevue (GE) or Gimel (VD), 9h45-11h30
  • 13-17 August 2018: Bellevue (GE) or Gimel (VD), 9h45-11h30
  • 20-24 August 2018: Bellevue (GE) 9h45-11h30

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There are reductions for more than one booking, including adults who can benefit from a 50% reduction if they would like to attend a workshop with their child and find out more about what coding involves. See the website for more details on this and other courses being held throughout 2018, including weekly workshops starting in September 2018, priced at Fr. 65.- per lesson.

All workshops are presented in French by experienced IT engineers, who also speak English fluently and are happy to answer questions in English as well.

More about Atelier ENCODE and Wigii.org

Founded in 2016 by two IT engineers and an education professional, the Atelier ENCODE workshops represent the teaching side of a much broader organisation, Wigii.org, whose goal is to create innovative programming solutions for human wellbeing.

Using their own open-source web-based information management software, called Wigii-system, the founders have created an approach to programming called Natural Code Development, which they believe provides a bridge between human intuition and coding into a programming language. 

Co-founder, Camille Weber, explained to knowitall.ch, "NCD essentially reduces the path between intuitive thinking and the logical principles of programming. That's where kids of 10 years old are a very deep source of inspiration on how we could write and think things differently. Each time they bump into some syntax errors, it gives us new opportunities for simplifying the language or writing things differently."

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So what makes the Atelier ENCODE so special?

With more and more organizations teaching coding skills to kids, what makes the approach in Atelier ENCODE's classes so special? Director and co-founder, Lionel Weber, told knowitall.ch, “Firstly, we don’t have a standard formula for our courses, we prefer to let ideas emerge so that we can help kids to develop their own creations. Indeed we have a pilot workshop running for women at the moment designed to help them “decode” their own ideas and find better solutions for realizing their own projects.”

He continued, “Secondly, whilst we appreciate that there is a lot for kids to learn from making games, we like to concentrate on other, more practical projects that we think are equally cool for kids to build. At the end of the day, we want participants to have a deep understanding of the code that they are using, so that they can gain autonomy much more quickly in developing their own projects.”

Computer discovery workshops

In addition to their holiday camps, Wigii.org also organizes private and group lessons for both kids or adults, who want to get a better understanding of their computers. Offered on 2 levels, Atelier ordi de BASE and Atelier ordi PRATIQUE, these lessons are designed to provide participants with the tools they require to complete the myriad of everyday challenges we face on our computers, be they the creation of a flyer, an illustration for a project, or a photo album for family and friends. These lessons can be taken at your home or at the Wigii offices in Gimel, Bellevue, or Lausanne (EPFL).

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Further courses in English

In addition to its camps and discovery workshops, Wigii.org also organizes coding courses on an ad hoc basis… if there is enough demand they will run a course. So if you would like your child to attend a course in English, or you know a group of kids who would like to get together to develop their own projects, then get in touch with Lionel. He is open to suggestions and keen to hear your ideas for future workshops!

Lionel Weber
Atelier ENCODE
022 534 96 11
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