Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

Equal opportunities through chocolate sprinkles and business loans

We let a group of children program us to make a sandwich. You won’t believe what happened next!
Daniëlle Liplijn
Daniëlle Liplijn
Aug 26, 2022
jinc floryn

Every student deserves the chance to prospect on the job market. Unfortunately, not every student gets the same opportunities. That’s why Floryn participated in an equal opportunity event organised by JINC. For primary school students aged 10 to 12, we facilitated a programming game and a business case to assess a loan application.

Let's program!

A lot of trial and error

How do you explain programming or algorithms to kids? I struggle explaining it to my parents when they ask me about my job. Programming is writing instructions in small steps in order to obtain a goal. These small steps are written by humans, since robots are not smart enough.

With a programming game we asked kids to program us to eat a sandwich with chocolate sprinkles in only ten steps. This didn’t go as the childern expected - but it probably did go as YOU expected: “put butter on bread” resulted in me putting the buttercup on top of a stack of bread. The students got to experience in a fun way what we experience every day in our jobs: programming consists of a lot of trial and error.

A business case

After the programming game it was time for business. We explained loans and got some great questions, such as “why would you loan 1000 euros, if you need to pay back the same amount?”. One smartypants asked “why not pay it with black money?” Cash transactions are indeed something we take into account when we review a loan application.

We gave the students a business case: two loan applications, one from a vlog company and one from a game company. The students had to decide which company to lend the money — and how. The students came up with reasons why it was a good or bad idea to extend a loan. Some started calculating the money they needed to divide; others tried reading graphs to spot trends, such as high expenses at McDonald’s that we don’t want to finance; others were brainstorming the risks involved, such as the game not going viral and a YouTube vlog receiving hate comments. So, if you’re ever in doubt about kids’ knowledge level, then make sure you pick a topic they are passionate about. They will know.

Example of bank balance data of subjective vlog company

Conclusion

Being part of an equal opportunity program is something I can recommend to all companies. The day brought so much joy, since the children were enthusiastic and engaged about even the smallest things. In terms of preparation it was very low-key since we made some slides and kept the format very open so that we had lots of time for interaction and improvisation. We gave every kid a stage to present their programming skills and the business case. It was cool to see their confidence level boosted by the end of the day.

The day was not only about showing kids what programming is like; we do it in the context of equal opportunities. Showing them how it is to work with data which is something they otherwise would not have known about. I am certain some kids also want to work with data. Mission accomplished 🙂!

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Floryn is a fast growing Dutch fintech, we provide loans to companies with the best customer experience and service, completely online. We use our own bespoke credit models built on banking data, supported by AI & Machine Learning.

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