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Meet an Innovative Engineer – Sophiya Patel

Pursuing a passion for teaching children about the fun of engineering, Sophiya Patel established the Docklands Code Club in partnership with the Library at the Dock in Melbourne in 2016.

Establishing the club required Patel to take on the role of lead facilitator and organiser.

“Coding is key to how our digital world will work,” she said.

“Though we are unlikely to see the immediate benefits to running such clubs, it is making the children ready to tackle the problems of the future.”

Code Club also helps children develop problem-solving and computational skills by encouraging them to think critically and empowering them to independently solve problems.

In addition, Code Club gives children a creative outlet in a different environment to that found in school.

“With the world rapidly heading towards an age where we need to be digitally ready, clubs like the Docklands Code Club are helping build the knowledge base for the future,” Patel said.

At university, Patel helped run outreach activities using fun ways to help children understand complex topics.

After moving to Melbourne for work, she came across Code Club Global through Telstra Foundations and realised that the city’s western suburbs lacked such a club.

Having a Code Club in Docklands meant that children living in the area would not have to travel as far to learn coding. It also made it easier for parents to reach out.

Being a part of this global community also provided youth with a chance to attend local meet-ups and discuss what approaches work well and what needs to be improved.

“Running the Code Club has been a great experience and I hope we have had some impact on preparing the children for the unknown, as our future is in their hands,” Patel said.

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