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Denhac Dojo: Coding Club for Kids

  • Apr 7, 2013 · 11:00 AM

RE-SCHEDULED FROM MARCH 23!

The result of our organizational meeting in March and inspired by the code.org project, we'll be having a hands on workshop for all student age kids during which we'll be demonstrating the MaKey MaKey and then teaching kids how to code a program in Scratch to apply to the MaKey MaKey. All students 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

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  • Mathew B.

    Hello everybody. I have a 10 year old, Lilah, that is interested in this group. Due to complicated parenting schedules (divorce), she is only able to attend every other weekend, with the next weekend being on the 14th. Before I really start begging people to reschedule, will that not work with anyone else's schedule? Weekends aren't the only time that would work for me, if weekdays would be better.

    A little about me: I've been doing development and systems administration either professionally or as a hobby for at least 10 years now. I am one of the founding members of denhac, and sat on the board for nearly the first two years.

    I have taught tutored Computer Science, taught classes on programming and administration, but have never tried to teach kids.

    --mathew

    1 · April 3, 2013

    • Mike W.

      Mat I spoke with some of the attendee's at the April 7th meeting. For the most part it seemed like Sundays were just Sundays for the majority of the people. I would first suggest that we pick the next meeting date, then every other Sunday after that we will meet. I am going to propose the question on how we intend to handle the young people who are already knowledgeable and ready to move past Scratch in another thread. I hope everyone will express thoughts, comments and concerns on changing the Sunday schedule below this post.

      1 · April 7, 2013

    • Mathew B.

      Thanks for the support everyone; here and on the public denhac list.

      Lilah is dying to start programming. I just set scratch and a user account for her on the old chromebook. Can't wait to go over Jill's tutorial with her sometime this week.

      April 8, 2013

  • Mike W.

    Some things to address
    First off a big thanks to Andy Leitermann and John Dougherty for their setup, teaching and class instruction today. Second the turnout was amazing! So many kids. Third we have some children that are past using Scratch and would like to move to the next level. The level continuing with creating games is most likely Game Maker ( http://bit.ly/rSqDbJ ) which was suggested by John Dougherty. He is familiar with Game Maker and he is certain this is the next best step. He also suggested the programming language is similar to Java. Many of the kids are players of Minecraft and would like to build mods for that game. Minecraft was built using Java and that is what is used to create the mods. As far as the more advanced kids learning Java I suggested Greenfoot but having no experience with Greenfoot or Java I don't know what limitations or pitfalls that it comes with it. It would be nice if somebody that is willing to teach it could test it out and report back

    April 7, 2013

    • Mathew B.

      Maybe I am more old school with my hatred of java. But I hate it.

      I think it allows kids to miss important concepts, which might not always be an issue, but in the case of kids that seem to be so hungry to learn how to code, i say we go with a lower level language maybe?

      Maybe python at least?

      April 8, 2013

  • Mike W.

    It was also suggested that we maybe we alternate Sundays from advanced to intermediate. Please everyone post your thoughts and concerns so that we can make a proper decision in regards on how to handle both groups of kids.

    April 7, 2013

    • Mathew B.

      I've always been a fan of a mentoring program.

      April 8, 2013

    • Mathew B.

      enter does not behave the way i'd like for it to.

      shift enter works

      also, we could point kids to the irc channel, irc.denhac.org #chat (or via web interface on denhac.org) and i also have #denhac on irc.freenode.net.

      kids can always come in and ask questions. we have a lot of software folk lurking about.

      now i press enter

      April 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will not be able to make it this time. ;( Besides Boo, I had 2 other smart little ones scheduled to go, stupid snow. I did start Boo on Scratch tonight. Planning on using it as part of her science fair project this month.

    April 3, 2013

  • Kelly C.

    My six year old and I have been working a bit on Scratch already and would like to join others. We have a MakeyMakey on order!

    1 · April 3, 2013

  • Andy L.

    So after our original meeting we tentatively scheduled the Dojo events for the first and third Sunday of each month. This decision was based on what seemed to be a general consensus that 2 meetings per month was about right, and that Sunday is probably the best day of the week for most people. Recently Mat brought it to my attention that this schedule might be harder on divorced parents, since they typically divide the weekends on a bi-weekly schedule. So I wanted to bring the discussion here to get everyone's input. Would moving to a straight bi-weekly schedule be easier on divorcees, or anyone else? Should we move to a weekly schedule? We should discuss this at the meeting this Sunday, but I'd like to get peoples' input here as well.

    April 3, 2013

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