It’s summertime! Sun is shining, ice cream cones are dripping, and young ladies are custom designing 3D rendered products using online computer-aided modeling software. You know, the norm.
I was thrilled when Ms. Wilkens asked me to join her to run STAB Tech Camps this summer. Full days of ed tech projects, experiments, and games? Sign me up! But as usual when Ms. Wilkens is involved, I had no idea just how much I would get to challenge myself and learn. Today is our final day of the Art of Code Tech Girls Experience, our first tech camp of the summer, and I’m blown away at how much I have already learned. From Ms. Wilkens’ Tech Camp Green site, here’s a summary of what we’ve accomplished:
Day 1 – From 2D to 3D
- Explore pixels & design an avatar (Piskel)
- Will 3D printing change the world? (video)
- Turn your 2D avatar into 3D for printing (instructions)
- More 3D design tutorials from KiraKira3D
Day 2 – Plush Creature Challenge
- Design a creature
- Create a Scratch game for your creature (use arrow keys, space, WASFGH for controlling game)
- Create a pattern for your plush creature
- Sew it, attach it to MaKey MaKey & play your game
Day 3 – Code a Song
Day 4 – Code Art
Day 5 – Wrap up Projects!
At the end of each day, in true camp style, we met to share our highs and lows. Continuing in that tradition, here are my highs and lows for our week of Art of Code Tech Girls Experience (with lows going first because, ever the eternal optimist, I like to close on a high note).
- Hot weather. That late June sun made recess, walk, and four-square breaks more sweaty than campers would have liked. But hey, what can you do?
- Small group. You’ll see this on both the highs and lows list, because it was one of the best and worst things about our week! On the low side, a small roster meant that we didn’t get to share this awesome experience with more gals. At the end of the day, inspiring young women to feel confident with and excited about technology is our goal, so I wish we had reached more ladies.
- Limited time. Our time together flew by. I think we could have met for another week and still felt like we had more to do!
- 3-D Printing. This group of gals was all about designing projects in Tinkercad to print. From butterflies to iPhone cases to octopuses, our printers were BUSY this week!
- Scratch games. This week was the first time I ever created a game from nothing. Going from a blank screen to a working game is way more work than I expected! I put in multiple hours each day of the week just to create my basic game, Jellyfish Challenge. But man, it felt so good to watch other people laughing and having fun while playing the game I had worked so hard to create! It was a whole new level of accomplishment and pride.
- Small group. Having a small group was also one of the best parts of the week. With only three campers, we were able to really get to know each other. Each of us had the time and space to work on something that made us excited, and everyone felt comfortable to take big risks and make big mistakes.
- Learning so many new things. So I know this week was supposed to be about teaching the campers new tech skills, but I think I learned even more than they did! From binary search code and bubble sorting to Earsketch and art through processing, I learned tons of new skills. I had no idea that there were so many beautiful and fun ways to create art through code. I’m looking forward to using these skills and resources in my teaching…. and just for fun 🙂
There are still two weeks of Tech Camps at STAB this summer! Come hang out with us in the CS Lab and learn about all cool things tech. If you’re interested in finding out more or registering, check out stab.org/techcamp. Next week is Web Design and App Making, and I can’t wait!