In 2017, together with BrainBasket Foundation and Miratech, ASTARTA launched a large-scale educational project on IT-education in rural areas. Working in the regions, the company seeks to make the information technology world accessible to a wider range of stakeholders. The project has become a unique opportunity for children and adults to study IT free of charge. The program of lessons is designed for different target groups, so the project focused on two separate areas of training – educational courses for adults and children.
The adult course is designed for people over 40 years old and is aimed to teach project participants basic IT skills. It includes tutorials necessary for working with computer, Internet, email, office applications, and cloud environment. In addition, the program provides self-development resources so that in the future, adult learners will be able to gain new knowledge and develop their skills and abilities on their own. The program consists of 15 lessons.
The educational course for children is designed for pupils aged 9 to 15 years. The program is based on the study of Scratch visual programming language (developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Training course consists of 12 lessons. Owing to the knowledge gained, children are programming Mbot robots in the framework of robotics course. This course includes 8 lessons that introduce children to basic concepts and approaches in programming and robotics: basic code objects, initialization, bug fixing, robot design, physical principles of sensor work, etc. During the training course pupils use a Scratch-based visual environment, and a MakeBlock mBot robot.
The project started in three villages: Ozera, Lutovynivka and Staroavramivka in Poltava region, and in two years the number of locations has increased to 33 in five regions of Ukraine: 519 adults and 750 pupils have successfully completed the courses.
Also, thematic competitions are held in the framework of IT-education in rural areas. Using Scratch programming, children create mobile applications, games, and animations. In 2018 the schoolchildren of IT-project participated in Scratch Hackathon, organized by ASTARTA, BrainBasket Foundation and Miratech. Hackathon is a developer forum where experts in various areas of software development (programmers, designers, managers) work together to solve different problems. 14 teams from three regions developed projects in ecology, plant cultivation, healthy lifestyles, and demonstrated profound programming knowledge, ingenuity, creativity and skills in creating interesting applications, animations, and games based on Scratch.
Also, schoolchildren participated in the All-Ukrainian contest “The Masters of Scratch”. Together with BrainBasket Foundation, EPAM Ukraine, Logika, iTalent, and the UN Global Compact Ukraine, ASTARTA was a co-organizer of the contest. One of the teams of Poltava region became the prize-winner of the contest, having developed an innovative mini-agroencyclopedia “Mobile agronomist”.