Information for Parents

Do I need to come with my child?

If your child is younger than 11: Yes, you must accompany your child to every Prewired session. If your child is very young and needs lots of support, you should be prepared to sit with them to help. You can of course ask a mentor for technical advice.

If your child is 11 or older: It is up to you. You are welcome to accompany your child if you think this would benefit them. They will otherwise be fully supervised at all times by volunteers from local community groups, companies and universities.

[Why] Should my child come to Prewired?

If your child has shown an interest in learning to code, or just always seems to be on the computer, then they’ll probably get a lot out of coming to Prewired. We let the young people guide their own learning, and support them by answering questions and pointing them at the right resources.

We have no lower limit on age or ability, so long as your child is enthusiastic about coding and is comfortable learning independently or in a semi-supervised way with a computer. (We don’t have the capacity to look after very young children who are not able to engage).

What do we offer?

Prewired provides an unstructured but supportive environment for under 19s to explore and learn about computer programming and related topics.

We have mentors from university and industry with a wide variety of skills who volunteer their time because they love to teach young people about computing.

Occasionally we run structured workshops to introduce attendees to a new topic they may not have considered before. Sometimes we hold hackathons, where the kids are challenged to meet specific goals in a set amount of time; this is a really fun learning experience, with concrete outcomes. Sometimes we form teams to take part in national events like the First Lego League or Young Rewired State.

Prewired is also a place for young people to meet peers with shared interests which they can develop together. For some, it can be difficult to interest friends and family in computing, which may lead to a feeling of isolation. It can be hard to figure out where to go next when there’s no-one you can ask. We want to let young people know that there’s a huge community of like-minded people who are waiting to welcome them.

What does your child need?

First, they’ll need to register for membership. Once this has been done, book a place for each session that they would like to attend.

We have plenty of laptops that children can borrow, but your child is welcome to bring their own computers. If they have other pieces of electronic technology (e.g., Raspberry Pis, Arduino kits, Lego Mindstorms) they want to tinker with, they can bring them along!

We’ll provide fruit juice and a few snacks half-way through the session. If your child wants to bring their own snacks they’re welcome to.

How much does it cost?

Nothing! Prewired is free, run by volunteers, supported by donations from local companies.

Why do we do this?

See About Us.

How do we deal with child protection?

A majority of our mentors have completed STEM Ambassador training and hold Disclosure. We also have adopted a child protection policy.

Any other questions?

Please email hello[at]prewired.org and we’ll be happy to answer them.