Alisha
Alisha Software Engineer at CSIRO's Data61, Python, Javascript, ReactJS, Scala

Code Camp - September 2020 edition!

Code Camp - September 2020 edition!

Code camp​ is a 2 - 4 day coding camp for kids aged 5-14 where they code, create and develop their very own app, with help and support from instructors and assistants. This time I participated in the code camp held at Waverley College, Sydney from 29th Sep - 1st Oct. The classes run from 9am to 3.30pm with a recess from 10.45 - 11.15am and a lunch break from 12.45-1.30pm.

There were four different classes for the kids to choose from:

  • Spark​ - Spark class is for kids aged 7-12. They learn how to design games (including heroes, coins, swords, lives, different scenes like beach, castle etc.) using drag and drop code and logic to connect the elements with each other in a level or a scene. All the games are developed on the Code Camp World platform. It involves coding visually which makes it easy to understand the role each function playing their game, hence helping enhance their creativity and cognitive abilities at the same time. The following picture is from the spark class:

spark

  • Ignite​ - Ignite class is the next level after completing the Spark class. The kids still design and develop games using drag and drop, however it also includes some basic javascript coding. The games are more advanced than the games designed in the Spark class.

  • WebBuilders​ - Web builders is for kids aged 8-13. This is a fairly advanced level and is recommended to be done after Spark and Ignite classes. The kids learn how to create a simple website (for eg: portfolio, calculator, tetris game) using HTML, CSS and Javascript. They have full control over what they want to create, so their creativity has no bounds! The following is a picture from Web builders class: web

  • Youtube Creators​ - I wish there was a youtube creators class when I was a kid! With the advent of social media apps like Instagram and Tik Tok and video streaming platforms, creating videos has become an essential skill. This class is very new and was offered for the very first time during these school holidays (Sept’20) and still had a lot of kids registered for it!This class is for kids aged 8 -13 and as the name suggests, they learn how to plan, design, shoot and edit their videos including how to cut footage and add music, different video effects and transitions etc.

I mainly assisted in teaching the Spark and Web Builders classes this time.

Some observations:

  • Most of the kids were very happy and really interested in creating games and websites, while some were clearly pushed by their parents and sent to the camp to learn coding.
  • Most of the kids had already participated in these coding camps in previous terms and were excited to do the next level (Web builders > Ignite > Spark)
  • The kids also spent some time working on their games and websites out of the class, which is very encouraging! (P.S. they can access it using the Code Camp World platform anytime)
  • Although code camp provides laptops to work on, many kids brought their own laptops and were quite good at using it, which means they are already tech savvy!
  • Although code camp markets these camps really well and within diverse communities, on an average the male to female ratio was 2:1 and there were not a lot of kids from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. (This might vary on the location and city)

And one last picture taken during the recess! (It was a beautiful day.. :) )

final pic

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