The Latest From Code Savvy
Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.
This week’s focus is Social-Emotional Learning + Coding
Computer Science is often thought of as its own subject to study in school, however the skills students learn and develop while programming can often help in other subject areas as well. Computer science can be a very social activity, and can help students develop their Social-Emotional skills to help both in and out of the classroom.
Anytime students practice computer science, they are working with a set of skills commonly known as “Computational Thinking Skills”. These computational thinking skills help students to learn things like identifying patterns, or decomposing problems to break them down into smaller parts. To see a graphic of computational thinking skills, check out the image below from www.barefootcomputing.org. Computational thinking skills help students learn how to think and solve problems, which are great skills that are used in any area – including social-emotional well being! Mental health and social-emotional learning are critical for students to help them develop healthy life skills. Why not use computer science as a means to do so? How can students apply computational thinking towards social situations, or to help solve conflicts? Could any of these computational thinking skills be used when students are making tough choices or navigating difficult situations? Helping to identify connections between computer science and social emotional skills can be a great way for students to build their own toolbox of skills!
Image from: www.barefootcomputing.org
Another way computer science can help with mental health and social-emotional skills is by offering new tools for students to use. Imagine how powerful it would be if a student was getting frustrated or upset, and was able to use a simple app that they created themselves to help them calm down ! Computers open up a variety of new tools and ways students can monitor their own well being and check in with their own mental health. Let’s also not forget that often these apps and tools can be created by working alongside others providing even more opportunities to work on their social skills.
Computer science doesn’t have to be an isolated subject area to explore. By integrating computer science with other areas such as social-emotional learning and mental health wellbeing, we can open the doors for students to build and develop all kinds of new skills, tools, and resources.
This week as you are building your own computer science skills, why not try to create an app to help yourself calm down or take a mental health break. You could use Thunkable to make your own app that can help you take a brain break, or you could use Scratch to help make an interactive game with relaxing colors and sounds. Be sure to share anything you create!
share your CS to Go projects!
Catch Up on Past Weeks’ CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration Videos
CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration with Code Savvy are our response to the current health crisis — Code Savvy’s programs have come together to share weekly youth- and educator-centered videos that focus on creating new things with computer science. You can find all CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration videos under Distance Learning on our website!
Code Savvy’s MNCodes Educator Training Program and Opportunities
21-22 MNCodes Coding in the Classroom Leadership Cohort Applications now Open!
Each school year, Code Savvy’s Educator Training Program hosts a year long cohort of educators who meet monthly to explore computer science education. The MNCodes Coding in the Classroom Cohort has been running for six years, and has partnered with teachers and districts across the state. Applications are now open for the next year’s cohort, and are due May 31st. You can find further details and registration information on the cohort website. You won’t want to miss this great opportunity to network with other educators and dive deep into computer science education!
Summer Online Courses
This summer Code Savvy is offering a number of online courses to help educators who are interested in Computer Science. Courses will take place online, and will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous work. This summer the following courses will be offered:
- MNCodes Virtual Scratch Camp for Educators – Beginner Level
- MNCodes Virtual Scratch Camp for Educators – Intermediate/Advanced Level
- MNCodes Self Paced Digital Making with micro:bit (asynchronous course)
- MNCodes CS + Content Integration
Participants will be able to earn CEU’s for their time, and Early Bird pricing is We hope to see you there!
CS Integration Curriculum Showcase
As part of the MNCodes Cohort, educators are asked to create lessons that integrate computer science with another curricular content area such as literacy, math, science, or others, and align to both CSTA and MN Academic Standards. We will use this space to regularly showcase various curriculum resources that have been created by current or former MNCodes Cohort members.
Scratch Jr. and Storytelling
This project helps younger students practice their coding skills with Scratch Jr. through storytelling. Check out the lesson resources here. To see other projects that integrate CS into core content areas, you can browse our database on the MNCodes website.
Coffee + CS Ed Zoom Call
Looking for more ways to connect with other educators interested in CS Ed? Or do you have ideas to share, questions or want to try out a resource in the company of other K12 CS Educators? Check out Coffee + CSEd Chats – every Friday at 8am, CT. Anyone is welcome to join! Details and Zoom info can be found here.
This week, Scratch is hosting a number of online activities including challenges to create and share. You can check out the Scratch Week Page for details and how to participate and share your creations!
Summer Activities for Kids
Code Savvy Summer Camps at The Works Museum
Through a partnership with The Works® Museum, we are able to offer these half-day programming camps for kids ages 11-13. These camps will take place in person at The Works Museum.
Learn to make mobile apps with Thunkable using drag and drop code blocks! You will create a variety of apps using components like translator and image recognizer, and put together clicking games such as space invaders!
Thunkable apps can be loaded onto Android or iOS phones. We will be using a simulator, phones are NOT required for the camp.
When: M-Th, July 12-15, 9a.m. – 12p.m.
When: M-Th, August 2 – 5, 9a.m. – 12p.m.
Our summer schedule is now available here. Our next virtual event is this Saturday, May 22nd! – Register Here. Hope to see many of you there. Sign up for email notices – CodeDojoTC and Rebecca CoderDojo.
Technovation Girls is hosting a coding club called the “Grandmom’s Coding Club” for Technovation girls, parents or grandparents The goal is to help students with their ideation and coding journey with a focus on climate issues.
Who is it for? Girls ages 8-18 and their parents, grandparents, guardians…
When does it start? June 1st
How often does the club meet? Weekly on Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm PST (4pm CT)
Coding Languages: App Inventor and Thunkable
You can find out more about it here and complete an interest form here.
VR Summer Camps @REM5
REM5 has opened two new summer camps in August.
VR: Entertainment and Beyond
Dive into the wide world of virtual reality with both feet in this one of a kind camp. Each day we’ll have a different theme that will expand your understanding of virtual reality and its impact on entertainment, education, sports, travel, product design, art, and more. No experience with VR is necessary because we’ll start with the basics, including how VR works and how to properly use the equipment. By the end of the week, you’ll be a VR expert.
Ages: 8-13 (suggested)
When: Aug 2-5, 9am-noon
VR Design and Creation
Virtual reality is creating new industries and disrupting businesses like fashion, art, industrial and commercial design, and manufacturing. In this camp, you’ll learn to use tools everyone from artists to engineers are using to streamline design in the real world at companies like Ford and 3M. By the end of camp, you’ll have 3D designs to show off in virtual reality, augmented reality, and even a 3D printed model! Join us and learn the VR skills and industries of tomorrow.
Ages: 8-13 (suggested)
When: Aug 9-11, 9am-noon
Best Prep Summer Offers 2021 Minnesota Business Venture Camp
Minnesota Business Venture – MBV is a virtual four-day business and career development summer camp that brings together students in grades 9-12 to learn business, leadership, and financial literacy skills.
This is a great opportunity to network with students from across the country, hear from business owners, build skills needed for your resume and future job, learn information you’ll need for college applications, and help you learn about the career you’d like in the future.
Visit https://bestprep.org/minnesota-business-venture/ for more information.
<run>:\the\world Machine Learning Virtual Summer Camp
The School of Mathematics and the School of Statistics at the University of MN is offering the <run>:\the\world Machine Learning camps, a unique opportunity to connect with other high school students who share the same interests, and learn cool programming and math techniques that make a difference in the world.
June 14-18: Girls camp (girl-Identified, nonbinary, transgender girls, trans femme)
June 21-25: All Genders Camp (people of any and all gender identities)
June 28-July 2: Advanced All Genders Camp (people of any and all gender identities)
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Location: Virtual Via Zoom
Registration deadline is May 30.
Visit https://cse.umn.edu/mcfam/theworld-machine-learning-virtual-summer-camp for more information and to apply.
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Code Savvy empowers youth and educators with the knowledge, skills, and support to create with technology while interrupting and counteracting gender, racial, and socioeconomic gaps in computing. We create opportunities for hands-on computer science learning that inspires learners to transform the future.
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