Weekly News Roundup 7th August

In this week's news we discuss the popularity of digital pocket money, the Festival of Code and a new hackable prosthetic limb from Lego.

Digital currency replaces pocket money

Parents are increasingly choosing to pay their children in digital currencies rather than giving pocket money, according to a recent survey. The survey finds that over a quarter of parents have paid their children in digital currencies to be spent on gaming sites such as Minecraft or Moshi Monsters, or in online stores such as iTunes. Approximately four in ten parents say they never give their children pocket money, but instead transfer funds to a savings account in their child’s name. A third of parents say they prefer to transfer money to the child’s spending account. These findings reflect, to a large extent, changes in children’s spending behaviour as they increasingly appear to prefer digital subscriptions or downloads, to physical toys and sweets.

Festival of Code helps to prepare children for their future employment

27th of July was the start of the Festival of Code, a week long event allowing young code writers to come together and collaborate, with the aim to showcase their talent to the rest of the country. With 66 festival centres across the UK, and over 1,000 young people expected to take part, the festival hopes to highlight the best and brightest young coders of today. Although the festival is UK based, with the final showcase being held in Birmingham, it is open to international entries through online submissions; young people from the USA, Germany and Kosovo have travelled to the UK to take part. Organisers and sponsors of the festival argue that these events are vital to promote the development of coding skills among young people since coding and an understanding of computational thinking is expected to become an ever-increasing part of everyday life, and a key skill for the future work force.

Lego’s Future Lab designs prosthetic arm for children with disabilities

A new mechanical prosthetic limb for children has been created by Lego’s Futures Lab, in collaboration with the award winning designer Carlos Arturo Torres. The IKO prosthetic can be customised and allows a child to build and attach Lego based mechanical elements to it. According to Torres, the prosthetic aims to combat negative connotations and reduce the feelings of isolation or embarrassment children living with prosthetics may experience. Torres aims to help these children explore their creativity and create something they are proud of through using the IKO limb. The designer is hoping to convince other companies such as Nintendo, Mattel, Marvel and GE to create similar products and accessories for the prosthetic arm in order to help children with disabilities .

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