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STEM Education Popular and Important

codeing kids
codeing kids

STEM Education

STEM education is growing in popularity as more people understand its importance in our society. As the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic fields grow, and as there is a higher demand for capable individuals, you are going to see more and more people learning about these fields. Getting in early can help kids to grow up skilled and knowledgeable, capable of getting into the field fully prepared for the work and challenges ahead. If you are hoping to prepare your children for this difficult field, or if they have expressed a desire to get into a STEM field, consider the STEM TechsCool MIT Scratch Programming Coding education learning experience.

STEM TechsCool offers the MIT Scratch Programming Coding to anyone hoping to learn more about programming in a way that is effective and entertaining. It is for students in 4th grade up to 9th grade and it helps them to learn more about programming. It keeps them challenged and entertained, and it continues to provide exceptional education learning. It is a vital tool in the growth of children who are considering the STEM field because of how it can improve their skills without losing them to boredom. On top of its effectiveness, there is also the high retention rate when using this program as opposed to others.

Throughout this program, kids learn things like iteration and conditional states, along with other important programming concepts. As kids develop their skills and grow with this program, they are able to do more difficult work and see greater results. Since it is fun and engaging, kids find it easy to start learning. They are going to go through each of the projects, learning along the way, and actually retain the things that they learn. When they are faced with real world problems or when they are learning these things in class, they are going to be prepared.

This program is widely available to students. It is used in over 150 countries and it is in over 40 languages, ensuring that everyone is going to learn without restrictions. Your child can make use of this program and its exceptional learning experience without trouble due to the language, translation, or availability, which is what makes learning so difficult with other programs. With the importance of STEM education being global, having this available to everyone allows growth of the field in all areas and with all students, regardless of where they are.

why-programming-teaches-so-much-more-than-technical-skills

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/05/why-programming-teaches-so-much-more-than-technical-skills/

 

Why Programming Teaches So Much More Than Technical Skills

 | May 23, 2013 | 45 Comments

Kids-computers1

TB

 

If your local school system offers computer science courses, chances are those courses are electives that won’t count toward core science or mathematics credit. The implicit message is that, while those skills may prove important for some students’ futures, they aren’t as transferable to a wide range of occupations as, say, Algebra 2 or Biology.

But students like Sam Blazes and Wilfried Hounyo, two winners in the 2012 National STEM Video Game Challenge, say they see their passion for computer programming is potentially leading them into a wide range of future professions.

“There’s no specific place you can plan on going because there are so many different things you can do with programming,” Blazes told an audience during a panel discussion at The Atlanticmagazine’s Technologies in Education Forum earlier this month. “You can do pretty much anything with it that you can program.”

That’s because computer programming is a study of languages more than of technology or mechanics. And command of those languages allows programmers to control the functionality of anything that is driven by a computer.

For example, Blazes and Hounyo, both now high school students in the Washington, D.C. area, each won acclaim for helping to design educational video games. But they both said they initiallyembraced programming through school robotics clubs, where students not only build robots, but work to write code that can control robots’ movements and reactions. And as Blazes pointed out, the same skills could also be used for a wide range of career purposes, such as constructing meteorological simulations, making financial predictions, or creating personalized online learning curricula.

Yet in most secondary educational settings, programming is treated as a primarily technological pursuit with a far narrower potential application. One reason may be a simple lack of community exposure, said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in a separate conversation at the May 15 event.

“It’s really easy in a town like Rochester, Minn., where you can see you can get a two-year degree (in computer science) and you can get a job at IBM or (the) Mayo” Clinic nearby,” said Klobuchar, referencing one industrial town in her state where there is widespread need for employees with programming ability. “They see a connection. That doesn’t happen all the time with inner city kids or kids in small towns.”

Blazes and Hounyo say they have experienced a range of academic and extra-curricular benefits as a result of their pursuit of programming:

1. SUBJECT MASTERY

A primary use of programming is to lead a user through the acquisition of knowledge, whether it’s through a traditional lesson or an educational game like those created by Blazes and Hounyo. To lead a user through a range of possible options requires a coder to understand all those options and their implications. Blazes, for example, had to master the basic principals of genetics before creating his game, while Hounyo’s team had to learn about the principals of electricity.

2. SYSTEMS THINKING

Whether writing code to lead a player through a game or a robot up a pyramid, the programming process requires an understanding of how possible inputs and outcomes effect one another. Further, as students move from their first programming language to others, they also learn what organizational elements are universal and what elements may be specific to a particular coding language.

“They’re all sort of the same grammatical structures, and there are sort of different dialects, key words, or quirks to them that you sort of have to learn,” Blazes said of the coding languages he’s learned.

3. COLLABORATION

Most programming projects are multiple-person efforts because the pursuit lends itself well to specialization. For example, if a group of students are creating an educational game, one may have a firmer grasp of the subject matter, while another may be the head coder, and the third may be the visual artist. Some students are actually drawn into programming because of collaborative environments.

“I joined my school robotics team, and we did an awesome first season, and I got hooked to robotics ever since,” Hounyo said. “There are students and mentors working together, and they program the robot to do different tasks, from basic to higher levels.”

4. PASSION

Both Blazes and Hounyo pursued programming out of their own interest, and suggested not all of their school classmates would be engaged by a formal computer programming education. But they also said the constructive nature of programming allows students who are passionate about it to harness that interest and take it as far as they might dare.

“Programming is fun to me,” Blazes said. “It’s something that I can sort of do and have fun and work on, and I can feel a sort of sense of accomplishment when I start working on stuff and even finish something.”

Explore: 

Educate our youth in STEM fields

 

 

What will your children grow up to be? Where is this country’s economy heading?

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We all want our children to have good paying, stimulating jobs.

 

Do you know that in the last 10 years growth in STEM jobs (7.9 percent) was three times as fast as employment growth in non-STEM jobs (2.6 percent) in the United States?

 

TechsCool is dedicated to providing an interactive, hands-on experience for the kids to create awareness, excitement and understanding of ≈, science  engineering and mathematics otherwise abbreviated as ( S.T.E.M)

 

One of our primary tools in the after-school programs that we deliver is MIT’s Scratch Programming Language.

 

Scratch is an easy to use, drag an drop type of programming platform ideal for kids from 4th grade through 9th graders.

 

By using MIT’s Scratch language to build interactive games, kids learn important programming concepts and creative thinking.

 

The curriculum is project based and fun. Studies have shown that when kids are having fun, the engagement level is higher the retention of material is higher as well. This is known as Stealth Learning.

 

Many educators felt that games help meet different learning styles, teach critical thinking skills and increase student engagement.

 

Regardless of whether your child becomes an Engineer or not, these critical thinking and collaboration skills will serve them their whole lives.

 

I’m Gregory Beutler, Director of Techscool

 

Please join with me and many others across America to educate our youth in STEM fields. This will keep America’s Technology Prowess at the forefront

 

President Obama knows that we simply cannot, as a Nation, expect to maintain our run of ingenuity and innovation—we cannot maintain that stream of new and different ideas—if we do not broaden participation in STEM to all Americans.

 

STEM based education will enable our children to have good paying, stimulating jobs

 

Will you join me?

 

 

The-Gears-of-Gamification-in-Education-Infographic

 

 search for us on  Facebook  at the top search bar ,

type in  ‘T-E-C-H-S-C-O-OL’Cool.org

Kickstarter- Tiny hands inventing Inventors- last 12 days!!

Khine Engineering Lab, UC Irvine says:

Hey Gregory,

We just wanted to say thank you so much for backing A Hundred Tiny Hands and give you an update on how we’re doing. We have raised $27,000 so far, but we’re not done yet! We still need your help to reach our goal of $50,000. Because we don’t get any of the money unless we reach our goal, these next 13 days are CRUCIAL to the success of our kickstarter campaign.

The more people that see our Kickstarter, the more likely we are to succeed – so this is where you can really help us out by spreading the word.

We created a special link to make it easy for you to share on your favorite social media platform!

http://bitly.com/1o0DekF

Please do whatever you can to help get the word out, and together we can make sure all our efforts result in success!tiny_hands

Techscool offers MIT’s Scratch Programming Language

scratch_game

 

 

Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create interactive stories, games, and animations – and share your creations with others on the web.

 

“Along with the traditional thinking skills, it is now essential to add:

Many media, creating, making connections, approaching a subject sideways, or solving a problem from the inside out– in other words, the kind of thinking fluent enough to come up with the innovations  the future will demand”

=Marcus & Monday 2009-

 

 

 

Scratch Day is coming!!!

http://day.scratch.mit.edu/

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Attend an event

Scratch Day is a worldwide network of gatherings, where people come together to meet other Scratchers, share projects and experiences, and learn more about Scratch.

In 2013 there have been 188 events in 47 countries. Explore the map or check out the events list to learn more about Scratch Day events being planned around the world.

Here’s the Scratch Day 2013 welcome video from members of the Scratch Team to you and your Scratch Day participants.

Please share pictures, videos, and projects from your event!

You can also see the maps and events from 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

Organize an event

You can plan many different types of activities for Scratch Day. For example, you could organize:
hands-on workshops to introduce newcomers to Scratch
exhibitions to showcase projects by local Scratchers
sessions where educators share Scratch experiences
informal gatherings where Scratchers can share ideas
This site was created to support people in planning Scratch Day events – big or small. There are resources to help design activities, and forums to discuss and ask questions.
What will your Scratch Day look like?

Kids GAME Writing Class @ OCC

OCC Class Teaches Youngsters to Write Computer Games
8-Week Series Begins February 11

scratch_game

Orange Coast College Community Education is offering an after-school S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program that will introduce youngsters, ages 9 to 15, to creative computing with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Scratch programming tool, using a design-based learning approach.

“Learn How to Write Computer Games” will be offered for eight weeks on Tuesdays, February 11 through April 1.

Sessions are one hour, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Computer Center 109.
Registration fee is $149.
Sign up online at orangecoastcollege.augusoft.net or call (714) 432-5154.
Registration can also be completed at the OCC Bursar’s Office at (714) 432-5880, x1.

Class presenter, Greg Beutler, was a systems engineer for 26 years and has a BS degree in electrical engineering. He is enthusiastic about kids and learning.

What: Learn How to Write Computer Games

When: Tuesdays, February 11-April 1, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Where: Orange Coast College Computer Center 109
2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa

Registration: $149, register online at orangecoastcollege.augusoft.net
or by phone at (714) 432-5880

Contact: OCC Community Education
(714) 432-5154

What to expect in the 1st Scratch class??

scratch_game

 

In this session, students are introduced to computational creation with the Scratch programming environment by viewing a collection of sample projects and engaging in an exploratory, hands-on experience.

Objectives

The students will:

  • understand the concept of computational creation, in the context of Scratch
  • be able to imagine possibilities for their own Scratch-based computational creation
  • become familiar with resources that support their computational creation
  • Introduce the concept of computational creation and the Scratch environment
  • Show sample Scratch projects
  • Review design processes
  • Explore the Scratch interface

Session activities summary

Session description

~Min. Activities
15 Planning: What is creative computing?

  • Ask students:
    • What are the different ways you interact with computers?
    • How many of those ways involve you creating with computers?
  • Explain that over the next several sessions they will be creating their own interactive computational media with Scratch.
  • A basic demo of Scratch, either through a live demo or through the Scratch overview video.
    • You build projects by snapping blocks together, just as you can build things in the physical world by snapping LEGO bricks together.
    • There are more than 100 blocks in 8 different categories.
    • As a small example, let’s make the cat do a dance.
    • Start by dragging out the “move 10 steps” block from the “Motion” blocks palette to the scripting area. Every time you click on the block the cat moves a distance of 10. You can change the number to make the cat move a greater or smaller distance.
    • From the “Sound” palette, drag out the “play drum” block. Click on the block to hear its drum sound. Drag and snap the “play drum” block below the “move“ block. When you click on this stack of two blocks, the cat will move and then play the drum sound.
    • Copy this stack of blocks (either using the Duplicate toolbar item or by right-clicking the stack and selecting “duplicate”) and snap the copy to the already-placed blocks. Change the second “move” block to -10 steps, so the cat moves backward. Every time the stack of four blocks is clicked, the cat does a little dance forward and back.
    • Go to the “Control” blocks palette and grab the “repeat” block. Wrap the “repeat” block around the other blocks in the scripting area. Now when you click on the stack, the cat dances forward and back 10 times.
    • Finally, drag the “when Sprite clicked” block and snap it to the top of the stack. Click on the cat (instead of the blocks stack) to make the cat dance.
  • Show the range of projects they will be able to create, by sharing some sample projects that students will find engaging and inspiring. The Scratch website (http://scratch.mit.edu) has many interesting examples.

 

15 Planning: Defining the processes of computational design

  • Introduce students to the other tools that they will have access to during their design activities:
    • Design notebook, for recording their ideas and plans, as well as for responding to the per-session design notebook question
    • Resource library, for accessing other forms of support, such as Scratch cards, or reminders of strategies for getting unstuck
    • Scratch website, for storing their projects and finding inspiration and help

 

10 Exploring: Something surprising

  • Give students 10 minutes to explore the Scratch interface in an open-ended way. One prompt is: “You have 10 minutes to make something surprising happen to a sprite.” Students are encouraged to work together, ask each other for help, and share what they are figuring out during the 10 minutes.

 

20 Reflecting: Our discoveries

  • Ask for 3 or 4 volunteers to share with the entire group one thing that they discovered.
  • Optionally, after the volunteers have shared, offer several challenges to the students:
    • Did anyone figure out how to add sound?
    • Did anyone figure out how to change the background?
    • Did anyone figure out how to access the help screens for particular blocks?