Young Rewired State exists to encourage young people keen to get into computer programming by mentoring them. This summer sees YRS put on a week long hack event, during which businesses across the UK host local children. They are challenged to build their own digital products, using at least one piece of open data.
At the end of the week, participants gather at the festival of code venue (The Custard Factory in Birmingham) for a night camping out, coding with their peers over pizza. The next day the young coders show off their creations, not only to their peers, but the press and leading industry figures.
There is a prize for the best, judged by a panel including Lily Cole (actress, model, and founder of social giving network Impossible), Aral Balkan, Conrad Wolfram and Jonathan Luff.
Registration is still open for the weekend event – although it may be too late to enter your pupils for this years event, it is certainly one to keep an eye on for next time – it is an annual event with a strong alumni network, with previous attendees returning as mentors. It is one of many initiatives designed to encourage young people to explore the technical side of ICT as it is one of the few real growth sectors in the economy, and one for where skills are lacking in the UK at present.