Hemmings House was approached by thought leaders, investors and business owners in the Atlantic Canadian tech industry to produce a film and social impact campaign that helped get computer programming, technology and the arts back into the early-age classrooms in a holistic way. Before starting this project, 2 New Brunswick companies exited in the same year creating close to 1 billion dollars of value. One of the challenges these two (and other) tech companies had as they built in the region was access to skilled talent. The solution that many people in the region have identified is getting technology into the classroom at the earliest ages, and take care that both girls and boys engage equally at these young ages.
Through a number of investments from tech executives and a broadcast license from CBC, Hemmings House was able to travel to Finland and Estonia, two countries that are pioneering this approach. Hemmings House learned that tech is integrated into all subjects of study, not just an isolated computer class. A series of interviews and a short film were brought back to Canada and shared to get people excited about seeing a change in their own communities.
Through the process of filming, a number of decision makers got involved in the story and helped accelerate the movement. After a year of filming, the documentary called Code Kids was released to the nation on CBC with fantastic feedback. People from across the country were watching what Atlantic Canada was doing as leaders this movement.
Before long, a non-profit called Brilliant Labs was formed as a direct result of the film. Brilliant Labs gives resources to schools, teachers and students who are passionate about technology in the classrooms. In the first four years of Brilliant Labs’ existence, over 100 maker spaces were set up in schools across the region.