My “Hour of Code” recap
Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in/facilitating several events to celebrate the Nationally celebrated Computer Science Education Week. I centered my attention on topics and events related to Code.org’s first-ever “Hour of Code”. So, from Monday, Dec. 9 through Friday Dec. 13 I joined thousands of contributors working to “demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics.”
Among many of the participating organizations was Mozilla Webmaker who have a continuously growing set of free resources for learning and teaching code. Some of the events I took part in incorporated these resources and/or many others. Below is a recap of my Hour of Code experiences, which include links to many free/cheap resources made available throughout the week.
Here is my week in a nutshell:
- Game Jam @ The Iridescent Studio
Iridescent Learning kicked off the week with this awesome free event that brought together several youth, parents and educators. It was a NY Hive sponsored event and was a highly collaborative effort between multiple Hive organizations, including Iridescent, MOUSE, GlobalKids, Museum of the Moving Image, and Eyebeam. Kids and parents from throughout the NYC area, but especially from the represented organizations, were welcome to attend.Each participating organization ran a station that participants could visit throughout the day. These stations included many tools and strategies such as Scratch, The Fluid Ether, Frogger, Flora, Hackable fashion and Tic-Tac-To Remix.
The diversity of skills and interests kept the youth fully engaged. I would even say they were excited and eager to participate in all the activities. Although I could not stay for the whole day, I understand they had a show and tell at the end, where all the kids presented what they worked on to their parents, which I think is a great way to showcase all those new skills and experiences.
- STEM Fair, hosted by PASE & Barnard College
On Wednesday, PASE hosted a free resource fair for adults interested in STEM education. Many organizations were represented at the fair including American Museum of Natural History, NYC Parks and Rec, Google, The After School Corporation and The Intrepid. I was there on behalf of Hive NYC and Mozilla Webmaker. The combination of these resources was great to be sharing within this community. Many of the visitors were eager to get involved with Hive NYC and inclined to bring Webmaker tools to their organizations. I demoed the tools to nearly everyone, which gave them an idea of all the free teaching resources and templates available to them through Webmaker.
- Gina Tesoriero’s Computer Science Club Maker Party.
Gina is a Special Education and Computer Science teacher at MS 104 (Simon Baruch Middle School) in NYC. This fall she got permission to start the very first Computer Science club at her school, which is called Code Scouts. This summer she interned with Hive NYC and learned many new tools she is now applying in her classroom. There is an incredible interest from the students at her school to participate in this club. She organized events all week, invited guest facilitators and even ran out space for all the kids that wanted to participate! For this specific event, she and I facilitated 2 separate webmaker workshops that were each 45 minutes long. Gina focused on a webmaker tool called Thimble and I focused on a Webmaker tool called X-Ray Goggles. An organization called Hopscotch (a Hive NYC member) also came to demo a playful Ipad app that teaches coding skills to youth. In total we (4 adult facilitators and 2 adult assistants) spend about 2 hours using these tools to teach code to about 30 students. It was a great afternoon that ended with a lot of really fun new ideas and web remixies. Here are few (NOTE: these are unfinished):
- Mozilla Webmaker Remix
Hour of Code was a huge success for me. It created a reason to focus on gaining skills, expanding teaching methods and learning strategies related to code. I look forward to the next one and hope that this celebration becomes more of a regular occurrence.