Holyoke Codes represents a collaboration between MGHPCC, Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Sweet and Fizzy, CAITE (Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education), and NERDs (New England Regional developers) offering free, youth workshops in coding, robotics, and technology. Young coders had a blast in March.
On Sunday afternoon, March 29, 2015, Holyoke Codes presented a family-oriented workshop exploring Renewable Energy using LEGO Robotics at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. The mission was to test mechanical, wind and solar energy, and, ultimately, to build an autonomous solar car! We talked about why renewable energy is important, and, hey, what is electricity anyway? We learned about generating electricity mechanically, from the wind and from the sun. We also watched a cool video about a full-size solar car named Stella. Using our LEGO kits, we built a hand crank, then a windmill, charged our solar panels, and logged some data on our energy meters to compare output. After that, it was time to build our own solar cars! Although it was a little chilly, we had a bright sunny day to try out our designs outside the MGHPCC.
Holyoke Codes held a Scratch on St Patrick’s Day family-oriented workshop on March 17, 2015 at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. Participants learned how to design and program their own interactive character with Scratch (scratch.mit.edu and scratched.gse.harvard.edu). Characters move and talk, and change costumes. The touchscreen laptops at the MGHPCC make creating easy for young kids and adults alike (although some of the adults need the most help). Naturally, given the day, there was a lot of green in the room and on our computers! At the end of the day, we shared our creations on the big screens!