Holyoke Codes: Essential Skills of Computer Coding Through Community Based Education

Families Can Learn Basic Computer Coding During Computer Science ED Week

Families who are curious to learn about the basics of code can take part in Holyoke Codes, a week-long local event held as part of this year’s Computer Science Education Week.

Children who use computer-based resources for learning may have begun to wonder how the websites, search engines, apps, and programs that they use work. As they learn to navigate the ins and outs of each program, they’ll likely notice that there’s a pattern to how each one works. Just like conversations between people have patterns, a computer program’s conversations with itself have patterns, too. And each and every one of these patterns is based in code!

Families who are curious to learn about the basics of code – and to try it out themselves! – can take part in Holyoke Codes, a week-long local event held as part of this year’s Computer Science Education Week. Taking place from Monday, December 8th through Saturday, December 13th, Holyoke Codes offers opportunities for community members of all ages to explore robotics, animation, music, and games – all while learning the basics of computer coding and the language and patterns that computer operations are created with.

Holyoke Codes’ exciting week of events includes:

Hour of Code – Holyoke Codes offers two Hour of Code events, allowing community members the opportunity to participate in the global event! Participate from 4:30-6pm on either Monday,December 8th or Friday the 12th (family night).

Coding for Kids with ScratchJr – Children ages 5-7 can make their own games and stories by controlling how characters move, jump, dance, and sing! Held Tuesday, December 9th from 4:30-6pm.

Artbotics (Art and Robotics) – Create interactive, kinetic sculptures by combining art, computer science, and robotics! Takes place on Wednesday, December 10th from 4:30-6pm.

SCRATCH Animation – The big-kid version of SCRATCH allows users to program their own characters and stories, and to share them with other users online – using more complex and interesting coding and commands than ScratchJr. Held on Thursday, December 11th from 4:30-6pm.

Made With Code (Girls Only!) – A special Google coding party (hosted with support from Girls, Inc.) will be held to help girls from ages 12-17 learn the importance and creative potential of code. Participants will learn about the presence of code in their lives, and will learn to use it as a creative and constructive tool. Registration required. Held on Saturday, December 13th from 10:30am-12:30pm.

While the ins-and-outs of binary may not seem accessible to children, Holyoke Codes nevertheless includes opportunities for folks of all ages to experiment with code. Instead of starting from the ground up, participants in each workshop will use a computer-based platform in order to create using basic code. In addition to boosting learners’ computer literacy, the acquisition of basic coding skills can help to support children in learning to easily recognize patterns in numbers, letters, words, and more. Pattern recognition provides the foundation for many skills, like learning new languages, deepening number sense, and even developing a better understanding of local seasonal changes. Practice in identifying and reproducing patterns is incredibly beneficial, whether or not it leads to further computer-based learning.

All Holyoke Codes events will be held at the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center, located at 100 Bigelow Street in Holyoke. Families are encouraged to pre-register for events. For more information, contact Sarah Dunton at sdunton@girlsincholyoke.org.

[Photo credit: (cc) iStylr]

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