We started with just a couple of kids and quickly filled up all the devices. The teen director, Emily, knew how to get everyone interested in the club; just close the doors. You might wonder how that would work but it quickly became apparent as all the other teens were locked out of the teen center and became really curious what was this “coding club”. We let some others come in as the students were already well underway working on the Ucodemy courses which got them even more interested when they saw the fun projects they were working on.
The hardest challenge getting the club started on the first day was the varying ability, previous knowledge and interests of the students. For this class I focused on getting everyone familiar with Scratch and having the ones that already had experience diving into some follow-on scratch projects. Luckily the YMCA has a lot of lost headphones that we were able to share around with the kids so they could all work at their own pace watching the intro videos and working through the courses. We had everyone working on different courses to match up their abilities but tracking and context switching required some pretty high energy.
One of the dad’s was super excited about the club as well; coming in specifically just for the coding club as his son is pretty interested to keep learning more about coding and had worked on some coding projects at home but needed more projects and activities to keep advancing.
The stop frame animation project was a big hit; several kids made it through the first phase of it and one of the students started diving into the story telling creation (although having some previous scratch experience helped him out a lot I’m sure).
They all were pretty interested in minecraft mods so we might look at that in a week or so. Next week I’ll put up a new course that is almost ready now “cat prints”, for creating a game in scratch that they can start working through.