Computer Science Education Week is December 9-15, 2019! Read on for three great ways to integrate it into your Club’s programming from BGCA’s Lesa Sexton.
For better or for worse, computers have become an embedded part of our daily lives. They help us with everything from waking up on time and avoiding traffic to finding the best shopping deals to figuring out the name of that catchy song we heard on the radio.
Computer Science Education Week (or CSEdWeek) was established to raise awareness about the importance of computer science, and has now grown into a global campaign to inspire youth to take an interest in the subject. Learning Computer Science is not only valuable for the many career opportunities it offers, its also important for the skills it builds, including digital literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and communication. These are the kinds of skills that will prepare youth for the future, whether its a future as a computer engineer, entrepreneur, artist, coach, teacher, or anything else!
In 2019, CSEdWeek will be celebrated December 9-15. This is a great opportunity for youth to get some hands-on practice with coding and find out what Computer Science is all about, and the HUGE variety of fields it is a part of. Who knows – maybe the experience will unearth an undiscovered passion!
Interested in putting on a CSEdWeek learning event for your members but not sure how to get started? Here are three easy ways:
Get familiar with BGCA’s Computer Science Pathway by completing the MyFuture Computer Science online course in Spillett Leadership University (SLU).
BGCA’s CS Pathway is designed to help members further their interest and skills in coding and computer science. It features activities that introduce youth to computer science, build their computational thinking skills, allow them to create their own applications, and lead to domain expertise. The MyFuture Computer Science course in SLU provides an overview of BGCA’s digital learning platform My Future, highlights the different badges in the CS Pathway, and explains how activities can be used to engage members in coding and computer science programs. To access the 30 minute course, log into Spillett Leadership University with your BGCA.net credentials and search for “computer science.” While you are in learning mode, read this ClubX Blog Club Story to learn how staff at the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier established a successful coding program.
Even better, 10 lucky individuals who complete the MyFuture Computer Science online course in SLU between November 14th and December 15th will be entered into a raffle to win a host of prizes!
Start members coding with the latest addition to MyFuture’s Computer Science pathway – Scratch!
The Scratch badge features several new activities that expose youth to this block-based programming language while simultaneously allowing their creativity to shine. If you aren’t familiar with Scratch, it is an easy-to-use introduction to coding youth can use to create online projects like video games, greeting cards, animated characters and more, and was created by MIT. It’s free to use, and super fun.
And because we LOVE to give things away, during CDEdWeek we’ll be hosting a contest for completing Scratch activities on MyFuture! Follow the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page to get all the entry details when they are released.
Make connections to careers by inviting a local CS expert to talk about what they do and how they got to where they are today.
When people think of computer science, they may think of software developers or computer programmers, but there are a lot of other careers that use computer science. Why not invite a video game designer, web developer, robotics engineer, cyber security analyst, an IT specialist who works for a fashion company, or a data analyst for a sports team to come and share their story? This type of exposure can help youth see the many different opportunities CS offers.
If you’re not able to bring in a special guest, check out one of these inspiring videos of young individuals doing great things with computer science:
- 2019 Imagine Cup Americas Regional Final: Learn about innovative new software being developed by students trying to solve some of the toughest problems facing our world today.
- Technovation Challenge: Check out pitch videos from teams of young women from around the world who developed a mobile app to solve a problem in their community. 2019’s winners were from Albania and India, with other entries from the United States, Cambodia, Nigeria, and more! Let youth browse the entries, then think about what issues exist in your community that an app could help to solve.
- Congressional App Challenge: See your local winners of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge, in which high school students exhibit an app they’ve designed. The 2019 winners will be announced December 9!
Regardless of how you celebrate, highlighting all of the possibilities that studying Computer Science can offer is a great way to provide opportunities for youth to find their #GreatFuture.
How will you celebrate CSEdWeek this year? What are your favorite ways to introduce computer science to members of all ages? Comment below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or email ClubXBlog@bgca.org to share!