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Student of the Week: From drag-and-drop to NASA

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Lauren Egts
10th grade
Beachwood, OH

A guinea pig  yes, a guinea pig got Lauren into computer science. Her very first project was building a game called “The Great Guinea Pig Escape” with MIT’s Scratch. From there, she experimented with Raspberry Pi and discovered her passion for also introducing younger kids to computer science!

At last year’s Cleveland Maker Faire, where 9th-grade Lauren was sharing her skills with other students, she stumbled upon a computer scientist from NASA who invited her to help out his team. Last summer, she worked exploring the potential of low-cost computing devices for NASA. This year, she’s taking AP Computer Science and recently won a NCWIT Ohio Affiliate Award. Wow.

What’s next for you?
I know that I want to work with computers, but there’s so many different applications of computing that I flat out don’t know what to do! I’m on a robotics team and I’m having a lot of fun programming the ‘bot in Java. I’ve worked at NASA on a Raspberry Pi Video Wall and I got to use a good amount of hardware and software there. I liked them both equally! That just makes it harder!

What would you tell other students about computer science?
I would tell them that it’s a lot of fun, because it is! If you see what cool projects people have come up with, it’s easy to get inspired to create something with code!

Even a quick search of YouTube can yield amazing videos of the awesome things that people have done! Maker Faires are especially great because there you can meet adults that are successful computer scientists and potential mentors. Don’t be afraid to talk to people and tell them what you can do.

Even if you don’t know a lot about programming, it’s easy to get started with a visual programming language, because you don’t have to memorize a ton of syntax and commands. Use your intuition and get started right away!

We’re sharing this story as part of our new Student of the Week series. Kids in cities and towns around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach a rockstar student? Nominate them to be a Code.org Student of the Week.

All ages, all experience levels. Anybody can learn. 

All ages, all experience levels. Anybody can learn. 

Q

celalongun asked:

I have a K8 class consists of 26 people. k8 completed a course of six people, but I can not get certificates. What do I need in order to reach the K8 certificate. thanks

A

If you have a teacher account, you can print certificates out using the link on the teacher dashboard homepage that says “Print certificates for students who finish this course”

Huge thanks to Atlassian for giving a home to our tiny San Francisco engineering team. 

We’re so excited to launch Code Studio today. Read about it on techcrunch and try out the courses and apps: http://studio.code.org

Announcing Code Studio!

I’m proud to announce the launch of Code Studio, Code.org’s new open-source learning platform designed to teach students the basics of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten. 

The Code.org vision is to bring computer science to every student in every school and today marks our latest step towards that vision.

We believe passionately that every child who has an opportunity to discover the world around them through a smartphone should also be given the learning capabilities and tools to build their own app. Code Studio enables even our youngest students to learn to build a basic animation or app in elementary school, and then share it to a friend’s phone within minutes.

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The Code Studio tutorials enable students to cover programming topics such as repeat loops, conditionals, and functions, as well as broader concepts such as how the internet works, or the role of digital citizenship in modern society. Code Studio expands on Code.org’s previous online tutorials which have already been used by over 30,000 classroom teachers and tens of millions of students. Any student can sign up for the beginner courses at http://studio.code.org.

Make a simple app, send it to you phone
Within Code Studio, we’ve developed Play Lab, where elementary students can create and send apps or animations directly to a cell phone, just by typing in the phone number. This is a first in education for kids, made possible through a collaboration with
Twilio.

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To help new teachers integrate the system into their classrooms, we are also launching free, one-day professional development workshops in more than 60 cities throughout the US, aiming to prepare 10,000 teachers.

Any elementary school teacher in the US can sign up for a local workshop at http://code.org/k5. More workshops, offered through 100 Code.org Affiliates nationwide, will be available in every region of the country soon.

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Code Studio works on any modern browser or tablet, with no install needed. It’s free for everybody, and available in dozens of languages. Start learning with a loved one today!

- Hadi Partovi
founder, Code.org

It’s never too later to start learning to code

Best Of: Podcasts for Aspiring Programmers

thinkfulfilled:

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When I decided to start learning web development, I took a “total immersion” approach. I listened to programming podcasts at the gym, filled my inbox with web development newsletters, and made HackerNews my homepage. Thinkful’s “Best Of” Series aims to help you do the same, by guiding you to resources that will bring you up to speed with the world of web development and inspire you to keep learning.

This week, we’ll share our favorite podcasts. Topics range from freelancing and business to mobile development!

Design and Front-end:

The Big Web Show

Host: Jeffrey Zeldman

Zeldman interviews a new guest each episode, covering a variety of tech topics with a particular focus on front-end design.

Boagworld Web Design Show

Hosts: Paul Boag and Marcus Lillington

A web design podcast that’s also “quintessentially British,” this show aims to provide useful information for web designers and developers at a variety of levels.

How to Hold a Pencil

Host: Reuben Ingber

Every week, Reuben interviews a self-taught developer or designer. Each story aims to help people explore different paths towards their programming education. Shout out to Episode 14!

Read More

Monday Inspiration: If you agree with Meg Whitman, reblog this and sign our petition on Code.org.

Monday Inspiration: If you agree with Meg Whitman, reblog this and sign our petition on Code.org.

Happy Monday! We love seeing pictures like this. Share yours!

Happy Monday! We love seeing pictures like this. Share yours!

thinkfulfilled:

Current student, Cathy Bechler, perfectly describes the thrills and mental anguish of programming in the student community. 

thinkfulfilled:

Current student, Cathy Bechler, perfectly describes the thrills and mental anguish of programming in the student community. 

3 little bubbles changed everything about texting
via nytimesheadline

Today, we’re celebrating teachers who are giving their all this fall. Join us.

Today, we’re celebrating teachers who are giving their all this fall. Join us.

Teacher of the Month: One teacher in a robot costume single-handedly launched computer science at her school

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Elizabeth Bacon
Los Angeles, CA

Ms. Bacon teaches several computer science classes but she isn’t a teacher, exactly. She’s a counselor whose school didn’t offer computer science a few years ago. She proposed the idea for a course and offered to write the curriculum and teach it herself.

Today, Ms. Bacon dives into fractals, recursion and breadth-first-search with her advanced class, has her students start out with coding Homer Simpson’s head in binary and helped one 10th grader make Nicolas Cage’s face appear in every image of her friends browser as a prank!

One student, who came into high school excited about technology, but couldn’t find an outlet for her interest, said she “might’ve abandoned it forever, if not for Ms. Bacon,” who provides extra help in her free time and overall started a trend at her school, kicked off with two-week Computer Science Education Weekend celebrations aimed exposing younger students.

Why did you take on teaching computer science?
Computers are a huge part of kids’ world today, and it’s crucial to help them build their understanding of that world. Computer science is great because you get to see the results of your work right away, and you can really take control of the technology in your life.

What’s the coolest your students have built with computer science?
One of my classes made a multi-level game that including video clips, music and original animation. They worked together to make something none of them could have done on their own. I don’t think I even taught them how to do half of the things. I’d look at a student project and say, “Wait, how’d you know how to do that?”

What would you tell a student who might think computer science isn’t for them?
If you’re creative and have ideas for how people can use technology to make their lives better, you should give computer science a try. Every cool thing on your phone or the web was made using computer science.

How can other teachers bring computer science into their classrooms?
The Hour of Code was a great place for our younger kids to start. Our middle school students were literally bouncing in their seats when they learned that they’d be programming Angry Birds. Teachers with absolutely no experience were able to supervise the lesson. That first hour is a great way to get a feel for teaching computer science.

I’m looking forward to participating in this December’s Hour of Code [Dec. 8-15]. We’re going to do some unplugged activities, and I get to dress up as a robot again!

We’re sharing this story as part of our new Teacher of the Month series. There are teachers around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach with a rockstar teacher? Nominate them to be a Code.org Teacher of the Month.