Code it Local triumphs: Inspiring Computational Thinking in Early Education

Publication date: June 27, 2024

The EU Code Week – Code it Local initiative, led by Maria Tsapara and her team, empowers nursery and primary education teachers across Greece to integrate programming, robotics, and STEAM education into their classrooms. Recognised with a bronze award for innovation in teaching, the programme continues to expand, bringing new learning experiences and opportunities for educators nationwide.

Organisers and Support

The EU Code Week  – Code it Local is an initiative organised by Maria Tsapara, Anthi Arkouli and Angeliki Liapi (early Childhood educators and members of the CrInTe Lab). The initiative also counts with the support of the EU Code Week team. Morover works in collaboration with the Creativity, Innovation and Technology in Education Lab of the University of Western Macedonia supervised by Professor Tharrenos Bratitsis.

Educational Journeys Across Greece

The first educational journey took place in Perama. The participating kindergarten teachers explored methods for approaching and integrating programming, educational robotics, and computational thinking in the classroom.

The training lasted 15 hours (including in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous teaching). The participants exchanged useful practices and discovered tools and methodologies that would inspire them to incorporate programming and educational robotics into their teaching practices.

Maria explains that the initiative continued in Heraklion, Crete, where primary education teachers participated in 15 hours of remote instruction.

Additionally, they were introduced to the STEAM education approach, experimented, collaborated, and designed activities that foster computational thinking processes in the educational process. Moreover, they gained knowledge and developed skills to participate in the EU Code Week.

Adapting to Educator Needs

The third stop of the Code It Local initiative was in Ilioupoli. The organisers assessed the needs of the participating educators and was reshaped the program accordingly. The training lasted 18 hours (including in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous sessions), and involved kindergarten teachers eager to experiment and innovate in their classrooms using various tools to make programming accessible to young children.


Through this training, they had the opportunity to understand the STEAM education framework and clarify any misunderstandings. Through the Code it Local initiative, there was the opportunity to conduct smaller training sessions at the local level.

Local Training Sessions

One in-person training was held for kindergarten teachers in Athens. In this training, there were activities related to programming without the use of technology, educational robotics, outdoor learning, community engagement, and story creation were connected.

Also, the kindergarten teachers working in Eastern Attica received a designed remote training session.













During this session, we had the pleasure of discussing and sharing ideas and practices related to fostering computational thinking in kindergarten and exploring opportunities for participation in the EU Code Week.

Award-Winning Initiative

The “Code it Local” initiative was awarded third place (bronze award) in the Innovation in Teaching category in public higher education at the Education Leaders Awards 2024. This distinction recognizes the value and impact of the program in improving the educational experience and promoting innovation in education.

Our learning journey does not stop here. We are looking forward to the new learning experiences around Greece. New destinations on the way!” – Maria Tsapara


By: Maria Tsapara, Msc, PhD Cand. University of Western Macedonia, Early Childhood Educator, 2nd Kindergarten of Perama, Leading Teacher EU Code Week, eTwinning and Scientix Ambassador, ICT Trainer, Certified Educator STEAM/robotics