Code Fun – CS Education Week @ the MGHPCC

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Local elementary & middle school students solved problems, designied projects & expressed themselves creatively all the while exploring computer programming during a week of fun coding activities.

Pictures from the event are on the MGHPCC Flickr page

Holyoke Codes kicked off national Computer Science Education Week on Monday, December 7, 2015, with two sessions of Scratch Jr, one dedicated to Girls Inc. and the other open to the public. With ScratchJr, kids ages 5 – 7 can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process they learn to solve problems, design project and express themselves creatively on the computer. ScratchJr, a free introductory programming language that runs on iPads and Android tables, is inspired by the popular Scratch programming language used by millions of people ages 8 and up. People can share their ScratchJr and Scratch projects if they wish to. For more information, and to see shared projects, please see http://www.scratchjr.org and https://scratch.mit.edu/.

On Tuesday, a group of middle-schoolers from Holyoke’s Connections after-school program explored many of the Hour of Code tutorials provided by Code.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding computer science education. Kids and adults can solve puzzles, create animations and stories, and make their own games while being introduced to both basic coding and essential computer science concepts. The tutorials present a series of challenges – successful completion earns a certificate! Hour of Code tutorials are always available at https://code.org/learn.

Wednesday, Girls Inc middle-schoolers each created their own webpage, programming in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and a little bit of Javascript to make them interactive! Several participants presented their work. It was great to see what they accomplished in just an hour or so! Later, we enjoyed a Girls’ Hour of Code, trying out more of Code.org’s tutorials in a family-oriented girls-only workshop.

Thursday found another Holyoke Connections after-school group, this time second through fifth graders, exploring the Hour of Code projects and tutorials. Many more certificates were earned! In the evening, a family workshop taught how to create “mods” for the game Minecraft using Javascript. Minecraft is an on-line environment that incorporates building, adventuring and competing, at various levels of difficulty. “Mods” enable the player to creatively add their own elements to the game.

On Friday, a group of about twelve adults enjoyed Coding and Cocktails at Gateway City Arts. Aided by Holyoke Codes guides, participants explored several topics in an unstructured environment, including an intro to Python programming and developing a webpage.

Over 150 area elementary & middle school students solved problems, designed projects & expressed themselves creatively all the while exploring computer programming during a week of fun coding activities.

In all, over 150 youth, plus a few dozen parents, teachers and guardians, participated over the course of the week.

Related

Massachusetts Schools Mark Computer Science Education Week with Activities UMass News & Media Relations

Hacking with Holyoke Codes MGHPCC News

Story image courtesy Girls Inc.