The inaugural Africa Code Week is fast approaching and the Cape Town Science Centre has set itself an ambitious goal: teaching 1 500 children to code.

Using the programming language Scratch and under the tutelage of specialist volunteers from around the world drawn from software giant SAP, children between the ages of 8 and 12 can participate in a 1-hour workshop where they will learn the basics. For the duration of Africa Code Week (1 to 10 October) there will be five workshops a day.

Scratch is a free programming language from the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It helps children to create interactive stories, animation and games. Globally over 10 million projects have been created using Scratch.

The Cape Town Science Centre hopes to inspire children to take on computer science, while promoting critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork.

The Science Centre will also teach teenagers and young adults to code. During every 2,5 hour session, those aged between 18 and 24 will be taught how to build a basic messaging application, much like WhatsApp. Teenagers will learn how to create interactive computer games.

For more information, visit the Africa Code Week website, here.