Scratch Day Chicago was a huge success! Hats off to Brian Myers for organizing the day, West Ridge School for hosting and Google Chicago for feeding hundreds of hungry tweens and teens. There was a big crowd!
Kids of all ages (and their parents) had opportunities to learn Scratch as well as build their skills and even show off a project or two. As the event tag line promised, it was indeed a day of meeting, sharing and learning.
I was part of a new Scratch Day parent block of programming. Jen Gilbert opened our session by talking about a coding club she leads for kids in K-3 at a suburban school. My boys would have loved to have a club or class in computer programming at that age.
Not only did Jen give an informative presentation, she prepared a public page with links to a few of her favorite free programs. Some of the programs have fee-based options, but it sounds like her group does quite well relying on free resources. One of Jen’s recommended programs, Tynker, is free for schools, but has a paid version for home use. You can read my review of the home version here.
|BeeBot is an example of an “unplugged” game that teaches very basic
programming concepts. See also, Robot Turtles .
I put in a plug for my new newsletter and dropped a few F-bombs, which is what I call all words beginning with the letter F, as I shared tips for parents. Want to know more? I’m available as a speaker for your next event.
The tweens and teens were busy in workshops of their own, including two sessions on MIT’s App Inventor. They also had time to check out interactive exhibits like Finch Robots, First League Robots, Unity game platform tutorials from my older teen, or a hands-on engineering challenge from Chicago Girls in Computing.
|The winner is on the lower left. I’m cautious about
posting identifiable photos of minors, yo.
If you participated in Scratch Day in Chicago or someone else in the world, tell me your favorite part(s).