10,000 young Dutch coders to break Guinness World Record

Dutch NGO CodeUur gets parents involved as they aim to change the school curriculum and set a Guinness World Record in coding. The mammoth challenge will involve 10,000 primary school children, 500 volunteers and 500 schools – not your average coding class!

On October 14 this year, a new world record attempt in coding will take place across the Netherlands. Coinciding with Europe Code Week, Dutch NGO CodeUur will partner with schools, teachers and education ministers in an effort to set a new world record for the number of people coding at once. The gigantic challenge will involve 10,000 primary school children, 500 volunteers and 500 schools.

CodeUur, recognising the importance of instilling digital skills in youth from an early age, is looking at new ways to integrate coding into the national curriculum and ensure Dutch children are equipped for the jobs of tomorrow. Working with primary schools across the Netherlands, the not-for-profit has provided 635 schools with coding lessons for kids and teachers.

However, the bigger goal is to offer lessons in all 7,300 schools across the nation. To achieve this, the not-for-profit's partner network is getting volunteers involved and so far over 300 have signed up to help run the coding classes. Microsoft YouthSpark awarded the NGO a $100,000 grant last year, and nearly 100 employees from Microsoft Netherlands have volunteered to help teach kids computer skills. The NGO also wants to make sure the learning continues at home.

"Parents are a huge influence in driving change, and we want them to be aware of why learning digital skills from the offset is important to their childrens' future," says Ronilla Snellen, CodeUur co-founder.

With the preparations for the Guinness World Record attempt well underway, CodeUur wants to ensure its goal of changing the school curriculum continues long after October. While not every child will end up writing code for a living, they will benefit from understanding how technology works as well as how to create, apply and use it. Having access to computer science from an early age will help boost their creativity and develop their analytical and problem solving skills – all of which are critical for their future.