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 World Bicycle Day
The bicycle is a crucially important invention, providing greater access to cheaper means of transportation for countless people around the world. It is often looked at as having a strong connection between human and a machine, as it can be considered a machine that makes travel and exercise easier for humans. The bicycle helps humans be able to do something better than on their own.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, once compared the computer to the bicycle in an interesting metaphor:
“I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.
And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”
- Steve Jobs
Computers not only help make things easier for humans, but also open the door to new possibilities as well. Everything from watches that monitor our health to self-driving vehicles to fun entertainment devices are made possible by the continually evolving technology of computers.
So this World Bicycle Day, we encourage you to get out and ride your bicycle and enjoy some exercise and fresh air! You can even read up on World Bicycle Day with this United Nations post about what the day celebrates. As you are riding, maybe you’ll even want to use a bicycle computer which can be used for tracking distances, speeds, heart rates, and even to give directions!
As you are exploring and practicing your own coding skills this week, can you make a project that celebrates the bicycle? Maybe you could make a fitness tracking app for bicyclists using Thunkable? Or maybe you want to make a cycling safety device using a micro:bit? Whatever you choose to make, be sure to share it!
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! – Application deadline extended until June 9th
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 currently open for the next year’s cohort, and are now due June 9th. 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.
Introduction to robots for K-2
This unit will help younger learners get introduced to another great machine – the robot! Students will begin to explore a variety of robot platforms. 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.
Summer Activities for Kids
Code Savvy Summer Camps 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.
This summer, we will have monthly sessions rather than bi-weekly. Our summer schedule is now available here. Our next virtual event is this Saturday, June 26! Registration opens June 13 when you can Register Here. Hope to see many of you there. Sign up for email notices – CodeDojoTC and Rebecca CoderDojo.
VR Summer Camps @REM5
REM5 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.
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About Code Savvy
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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