4 mins read 19 Apr 2021

Getting Young People Coding for Moonhack 2021

Moonhack is back in 2021 and once again, young people across the country will have the opportunity to participate in a global coding challenge that increases their STEAM-based skills through fun learning activities.

Young people across the country, and indeed the world, will once again have the opportunity to participate in this year’s fun coding learning experience, the annual Moonhack challenge, set to commence at the end of May later this year.

Over 34,000 young people participated in 2020, Moonhack is gearing up to be even bigger and better than ever before, as schools, community clubs and armies of eager future STEM programmers sharpen their coding skills in preparation for this year’s challenge.

The program is run through Code Club Australia – a Telstra Foundation supported charity – which serves through their volunteer network 75,000 kids per week in coding lessons. Established in 2014, Code Club Australia has been creating projects for volunteers and educators to teach at after school coding clubs.  

“Moonhack gets bigger and better every year, and 2021 is no different! We’re exceptionally proud to be working with Gomeroi artist Tess Reading for a very special coding project!” said Code Club Australia's National Program Manager Nicola Curnow.

The themes this year for the week-long event include learning about the Gomeroi story of the Emu in the Sky, as well as other topics that cover bushfire regeneration, home electricity sustainability, fire warning systems and calculating our carbon footprint.

Moonhack also falls on Australia’s National Reconciliation Week, allowing young people across the country to also learn about the shared histories, cultures, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.  

“At Code Club Australia we strive to ensure every child feels included and represented in tech. We can’t wait to see kids all over the world learn more about Indigenous Australian culture by coding Dhinawan in the Sky, especially during Reconciliation Week”

Last year’s massive event engaged over 34,000 young people and included two space-based projects – the first around sustainability practices in lifting things into orbit, and the second, focusing on water consumption practices on the surface of Mars. The event also saw an excellent 50% female participation rate.

Key Dates and Themes

Registrations for this year’s program are opening on 19 April 2021 and will run through until the event’s completion on May 30th Participants are encouraged to register in this period and will receive special tips, certificates, and fun resources.

Moonhack is a week-long event starting on 24 May 2021 and ending on 30 May 2021. During this period registrants will complete their coding lessons and submit their results, along with tens of thousands of other participants from across the country.

There are six projects to complete this year, each targeted at different age ranges and featuring different platforms. These include:

Language Name Description Age Suitability Finished Project Link
Scratch Dhinawan in the Sky Make an animation that shows the different phases of the story of the Dhinawan in the Sky, as well as its connection to Country. 8 - 12
Scratch Matariki Code your own interactive animation to celebrate the story of the nine stars of Matariki, the Maori New Year. 8 - 12
Scratch Nature Returns Fire can be very dangerous, but after a bushfire, the plants grow back better than ever! Make an animation that simulates the fire-regrowth cycle. 8 - 12
Scratch Home Power Hero Use left and right to move Avery and help her turn off the appliances. Learn all about parallax scrolling to create your own game. 10 and above
Python Carbon Footprint Calculator Code your own simplified carbon footprint calculator that can help people to understand their personal impact 12 and above
Python Fire Danger Warning Sign Code your own fire danger early warning system that senses temperature and humidity using a SenseHat and a Raspberry Pi Emulator. 10 and above

Once again, is excited to be collaborating with Code Club Australia on this program as part of our InspiringNextGen campaign – which encourages young people to take up interests, practice and resources to skill the future Australian workforce – which will seed Australia and New Zealand’s space communities in the future.

For more information, check out the Moonhack page here.