#SiliconWick: Growing the next generation of Scottish Entrepreneurs with Digital Xtra

If you’ve known us for a while, you’ll definitely have heard of Wick, a town in the Scottish Highlands where Apps for Good-famous teacher Chris Aitken from Wick High School has had more teams win our UK national awards than any other school or learning centre (you can see some of the students’ apps here and here). We think the future of tech isn’t in London or San Francisco, but in Wick – and places like it all over Scotland.

That’s why we’re delighted to announce that we’ve received a grant from Digital Xtra, funded by the Scottish Government Digital Skills Business Excellence Partnership, to help us grow our after-school activities in Scotland.

Because of Chris Aitken and enthusiastic teachers like him – such as Liz Dighton at Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh and Claire Bidwell at Lochdonhead Primary School on the Isle of Mull – great networks like Stemnet Ambassadors, and organisations that include Coder Dojo and Code Club, we’ve grown from 5 schools and learning centres in Scotland in 2012/13 to 133 last year. Along the way we’ve been able to connect to a vibrant ecosystem of businesses, universities, schools, libraries, government and other non-profits who are all coming together to help young people learn the digital skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.  We’ve been singing the praises of our Scottish students and teachers to our network from Lisbon to Little Rock, Arkansas.

Building on this foundation, and thanks to the Digital Xtra fund, we’ll be working in Scotland to train more teachers, connect with more Experts and grow our community of Fellows, as well as host our first-ever Scottish event. We want to celebrate Scottish talent and showcase it to the world.

Phil Worms, Computing and Schools Project lead at tech industry body ScotlandIS said, “The Digital Xtra Fund aims to make a real and lasting impact in the provision of extracurricular computing science related activities for young people aged 16 years and under across the whole of Scotland. Apps for Good, along with all the other amazing extracurricular activities and projects being delivered across Scotland, offer scalability, sustainability and innovation and, most importantly, encourage our young people to participate and engage in computing activities, thus developing skills which will be vital for them to thrive in their future careers.”

Follow us on #AFGScotland and @appsforgood to learn what we’re up to. Get in touch at education@appsforgood.org if you want to get involved – we’d love to hear from you!