creative coding FAQ

Why Computer Science?

This program is NOT intended to make every child a programmer or a future Google executive.  It is intended to be a fun intro into the thinking and language behind computer programming, and the creative process involved.  There are several pros to being exposed to computer science... 

Learning basic coding skills offers kids the tools they need to become makers in the digital world.  It moves beyond a passive relationship with technology, and inspires them to be creators. The curriculum in this particular program promotes project-based learning, enhances STEM learning outcomes, helps develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, and provides a foundation in programming fundamentals. The projects and learning involved help to build confidence and self esteem, encourage risk-taking, making mistakes, and breaking problems into smaller approachable puzzles to solve. Moreover, it's fun. 

Kids have remarkable imaginations, and creating computer programs is an amazing way for them to express themselves.

What will be shared online? 

Depending on the class, students will register on the applications Hopscotch, Scratch or Lightening Lab.  They can share their work with other application community members and can access their accounts from a home computer or iPad (depending on which program we are using.) Your child's identity will not be shared online, only their application User Name. 

What programs will be used?

For this course, we will be using block coding elements based on the C Programming language and / or Java Script, but designed with a colorful, graphic interface made for young learners. The simple coding interface is accessible enough for younger students, but has enough potential to challenge more advanced students. The most common applications we will use in the camps include Hopscotch, Tynker, and Scratch. In some classes (especially "Bring on the Bots!") we will be bringing Sphero and Ozobot programmable bots into class, creating art projects using coding and robots.

Will projects be saved and accessible after the program?

All projects we work on will be accessible online after the program as long as the student saves his/her work.

It’s summer in Bend. Will you be going outside?

Yes. Weather-permitting, we will take short breaks outside, and will take a long lunch session each day, plus 10-15 minute breaks in the afternoon.  Students should bring their own lunch and snacks, as we will have multiple times for re-energizing throughout the day.

Enough screen time already. 

This is a common concern, and one we don't take lightly.  The goal of programs like this one is to encourage young learners to become creators of technology, using their time on screen to be imaginative and creative, rather than passively consuming screen-based entertainment.  It can alter their relationship with technology in a positive way. That said, we will have outside time, off-screen projects, and interactive problem solving with good old pen and paper (or, white board.)

We don’t have an iPad to bring (applicable only for 8-10 year old camps.) 

That's okay!  We will have several loaner iPads for use.  Many projects will also be partner-based, so, we should have plenty to go around.

What is the curriculum?

For most of the camps, the curriculum will be based loosely on the Creative Computing Guide developed by Harvard Graduate School of Education, and modified to meet the needs of each individual class, duration, and the programs we are using. At the end of this course, participants should have a general comprehension of what coding / programming is, how it works, its varied real-world applications, the ability to write simple code in block-format, create visual results, and share their work. In the intermediate segments, we will work together to create individual or partner projects,  and take the thinking and coding language a few steps further. Other take-homes will be a general experience of constructive thinking and problem solving, exposure to coding and real-world examples of what you can do with it. Kids should have a lot of fun constructing things and making outcomes of their own design happen.

 

Can I donate to the program?

Yes!  Donations will go toward scholarship funds, equipment, facility costs and other expenses.  Any and all donations are highly appreciated.