School Break Camps - Thanksgiving
Our school break camps are a great place to try computer programming in a fun and casual setting. Students work hands-on with our instructors creating projects with Python and Java. They are free to choose the tools they wish to focus on. Have an idea to extend your project? Great! We'll help you do it.
The camp mornings are spent learning about the languages and development tools while building project-based lessons. The afternoons are flexible and leave time for students to choose what they would like to work on and continue at their own pace. They are encouraged to make their own project during camp and personalize it.
What to bring: Packed lunch that does not require heating or refrigeration w/reusable water bottle. Personal laptop (Windows / Mac), or rent a laptop for use during camp for $30.
- 8:30 am - Drop off
- 9:00 am - Morning lesson on coding tools
- 9:45 am - Project work time with coaching
- 10:30 am - Morning snack
- 11:00 am - Morning coding projects
- 12:00pm - Lunch / Board and card games
- 1:00pm - Afternoon coding projects / choice of tools and language
- 3:30pm - Individual and multiplayer gaming
- 4:00-5:00pm - Pickup
Python is an excellent starting language and is also a natural next step for students who have used Scratch and are ready to keep going. Python was designed with a clear readable code style and it eliminates some of the frustration with other traditional languages like C++ and Java. Python’s popularity continues to grow and it is used at all levels of education. Plus it's fun! Python is used universally for web development, science, big data, and simple scripting. Once a student is comfortable reading and writing Python's syntax, a jump to other languages is not as jarring or difficult.
Java and Processing
Older and more advanced students can try Processing, a coding tool designed to teach Java. It is geared toward creating visual interactive media, called “sketches”, while also being accessible to beginners as a good starting point into computer science concepts. It was designed to make it easy for anyone to create interactive art through code. The lessons begin with drawing graphics to give an interactive experience and to “visualize” the code. It is used in classrooms of all ages worldwide from computer science programs to art schools and visual arts programs. Students new to programming find it fun and satisfying to make something appear on their screen within moments of using the software.
Scratch is a good tool for beginning and younger coders and is optional during camp. It was created by MIT Media Lab and designed to be intuitive and easily learned by kids with no programming experience. Students drag pieces of code and snap them together like building blocks to see what happens. Scratch encourages users to Imagine, Program, and Share. Students share their creations and also see what other kids have done. It is amazing to see. They can even download and open other interesting projects to see how they work and then change them however they like. Understanding and modifying existing code is how most programming happens and this is a fun introduction to doing so. With our help they can extend the projects in any number of ways.