How one 11 year old schoolboy is teaching Preston how to code

An 11 year old boy from Preston is on a mission to teach the city how to code.

By Aimee Seddon
Friday, 17th June 2022, 12:30 pm

Jay Mehta, a pupil at Queen’s Drive Primary School in Fulwood, wants everyone to learn about programming and has been teaching children, teenagers, and adults about coding and robotics since he was just 7 years old.

So far Jay has run over 60 free sessions in Preston and all over England, and has taught over 1,000 people how to get started with coding and physical computing.

Jay, who hopes to study Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said: “When I go out and teach, I love it so much. It helps me build my confidence, it helps them to discover, to learn, to create, and it’s really fun.

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11 year old Jay Mehta is on a mission to promote coding in Preston. Image: The Raspberry Pi Foundation

"It gives me a lot of satisfaction to think that one day any of the people I have taught will go on to do something great or simply take it up as a hobby. Through the workshops I have conducted, hundreds of children have now become very interested and excited about coding and Robotics because they find it very enjoyable.

"In the beginning, I was very nervous when I saw adults in my workshops but as I gained more experience I began to become very comfortable and now I am able to teach and interact very comfortably with adults. My workshops at the local Raspberry Pi meet helped me a lot in this matter."

Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity which helps young people, like Jay, realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. .

As well as sharing his passion for robotics and coding with other people, Jay has created many of his own tech projects at home.

Jay with his family, including his father, who inspired him to build his own ventilator.

This has including building a ventilator rom recycled materials, something he was inspired to make during the COVID-19 pandemic after his dad was hospitalised and placed on a ventilator.

Jay has now shared his creation, called called Oxy-Pi, with the world at Coolest Projects, the global online tech showcase for young people.

His dad, Biren, commented: “With robotics and coding, what Jay has learned is to think outside of the box and without any limits. This has helped him achieve amazing things.

"My journey as Jay’s dad has been immensely satisfying and challenging at the same time. It is incredible to see Jay starting to learn coding as a 5-6 year old and then to start teaching others at a Raspberry Pi meet in Preston at the age of 7. I do feel proud of what Jay has achieved over the years but I am also very relieved that Jay has shared his skills and knowledge to empower and enrich other children's learning journeys as well."

Jay has been teaching people of all ages about coding and robotics since he seven. Image: The Raspberry Pi Foundation

Jay started to experiment with code to make his own games at a young age, and attended free coding groups in his area, such as CoderDojo — a community-based computer programming club for children and teenagers.

He now holds regular coding sessions at Queen’s Drive Primary School, and headteacher, Mr Aspinall, said: “Jay’s been doing teaching and coding sessions in classes for the last 4 or 5 years, he’s very competent at it and we utilise his skills wisely. The teachers learn a lot from him, not just the children.”

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Jay teaches regularly teaches at his school Queens Drive Primary School.