Hayley Markham, the co-founder of Code Camp – Australia’s premiere learn to code camp for kids, talks to Women Love Tech about the inspiration behind her business.
Hayley, 39, is one of the most influential women in tech in Australia given her commitment to kids learning to code.
New to Code Camp is the Drone Camp for those aged 9-12, developed by drone enthusiasts in a hands-on technology program, powered by US-based Drone Legends.
From learning the fundamentals of drone technology and safety, to discovering how drones can spot sharks, fight bushfires and rescue koalas, Drone Camp is a valuable amalgamation of STEM learning, teamwork and social awareness – showcasing how coding and technology can have a positive community impact. Her, she talks about Code Camp and her passion to inspire young children to make tech their friend and code from a young age.
- Hayley, what did you do before Code Camp and what have been some of the highlights of launching the business?
Before Code Camp I was mainly focused on a career in Marketing. I loved the creativity that came with thinking up and then executing campaigns. I predominantly worked with the Travel & Tourism sector at places like Air Canada, Travelscene and American Express. It is no coincidence that I love to travel and lived in London, Dubai and France before settling in Australia to have my three daughters and starting Code Camp with my Co-Founders. There have been so many highlights, but I think the fact that we are Australia’s largest and most highly rated provider of tech-based camps for kids, is pretty amazing. We started teaching kids to code at a time when many adults did not know what coding was. We made coding fun and accessible for kids in Australia and the reviews that we continue to get from parents and kids, daily are truly amazing. We have built a business that parents trust and kids love! That is the absolute best outcome I could have hoped for and we have done that with an extremely lean and passionate team. We have also managed to continue to innovate. We offered the first DJ Camp, First YouTube camp, the first AR Camp and we will continue to lead Australian kids on a really fun and important journey.
- What is your mission and how do you achieve that?
To develop an innovative and personalised educational ecosystem that equips students for success in an ever-changing world and builds a community of learners. We do this through Holiday camps / afterschool programs and online courses.
- Are you concerned that so few women work in STEM?/ Why is it so important to encourage your girls to enjoy technology from a young age?
Yes, I am absolutely worried about the lack of women in STEM. Getting more girls involved in STEM at a young age is crucial for many reasons. It fosters gender equality and breaks down the barriers that have historically limited opportunities for women in these fields. By encouraging girls to explore STEM subjects, we empower them to pursue their passions and contribute their unique perspectives to solving real-world challenges. Diversifying the STEM workforce brings fresh ideas, creativity, and innovation to the table. When girls are actively involved in STEM from a young age, they can develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and a strong foundation in logic and analytical thinking. These skills are not only valuable for individual success but also for the advancement of our society as a whole. Increasing the representation of girls in STEM fields helps to address the gender gap. By nurturing their interest and confidence in STEM subjects early on, we can cultivate a pipeline of talented female professionals who can make significant contributions.
- What role can Code Camp play in supporting more women in STEM?
Code Camp starts introducing an interest in technology at a young age by combining education with fun. To encourage more girls to pursue STEM education and careers, we need to create an inclusive and supportive environment that nurtures their curiosity and passion. Code Camp plays a pivotal role in supporting women in STEM by providing a platform and resources that actively engage and empower girls to pursue their interests in coding and technology. Currently Code Camp hires approximately 60% female staff to work at our camps and deliver courses. Our Design Camp has the highest number of female students with our Little Coders camp coming in second.
- Tell us more about Code Camp’s future plans and the inspiration behind it.
Code Camp will continue to introduce new camps for kids. Recently Design Camp was launched, and its focus is on providing students with a taste of Interior Design / fashion design and brand design. Our online offering will also grow to offer a wider range of content for students. In the future we are excited to continue being a place where kids can come to learn / innovate and get comfortable with technology.
- How do you teach the children at Code Camp? What’s popular and what’s new in the way of courses?
Holiday camps saw the introduction of Minecraft Engineers and Design camp:
Minecraft Engineers is our latest exciting blend of engineering and creativity designed to pique your child’s curiosity and provide a foundation in programming. Over three days, kids will build a rollercoaster by learning and applying basic engineering concepts and command-based programming in an age-appropriate way that’s also incredibly fun!
Over three days your child will discover design fundamentals, then experience the magic of fashion sketches, mood boards and patterns as they design a stunning three-piece fashion collection. They’ll delve into the world of interior design learning about space, colour, lighting, and more before creating a floorplan for their dream house and redesigning their own bedroom. Plus, everyone will develop a brand identity for their fashion and interior brands and compile a portfolio to showcase their creations.
We’ve also recently launched our Code Camp Tutoring Club starting in Term 3, offering small group online tutoring in Maths and English, with fun, games and rewards to keep kids happy and engaged while learning.
- How can people get involved?
Head to Codecamp.com.au to explore all our fun and educational programs available for your kids. There’s something for everyone including a range of tech-based school holiday camps, after-school, and tutoring.
There are over 131 Code Camp locations nationwide, starting from $260 for 2-3 day programs. Code Camp has various programs that teach skills specialising in animation, DJ’ing, web building, YouTubing and their latest program Minecraft Engineers and Design Camp, where kids have the opportunity to engineer their very own game, and design their own room and fashion items.