Tech We Teach

Seattle CoderDojo has been graciously hosted by Amazon.com at their South Lake Union campus since December 2013. We have also had side journeys to Microsoft, The Museum of Flight, DigiPen Institute, and the Living Computer Museum, but we mostly call Amazon home.

In our regular set-up, Amazon provides us with 4 class rooms and a small conference room, which we split up like this…

The Beginner Room

Absolute beginner through Advanced Beginner
Capacity: 25-30 children

Over the past couple of years, Code.org has built up an impressive set of tutorials, ranging from simple programming logic tutorials for early readers to an entire computer science curriculum for K-8. On top of this, they’ve partnered with a number of educational institutions and educational software producers to build dozens more tutorials to help kids get comfortable with and explore computer programming.

In this room, kids and parents are given a few suggested starting points and work on these self-paced tutorials with patient and experienced mentors on hand to help them get over any bumps in the road.

The Scratch Room

Advanced Beginner & Intermediate
Capacity: 25-30 children

Mentors Michael and Kevin run the Scratch room, teaching the Scratch IDE from MIT. It’s a great way of programming with drag and drop pieces, sort of like building a computer program with lego.

Generally there is a concept introduced early in the class with different exercises for the kids of different experience levels in the room.

Michael produces the curriculum and catalogs it at his site: makomatic.com.

The Rotating Workshop Room

Beginner through Advanced, depending on the workshop
Capacity: 25-30 children

This is where we try new technologies and switch things up, offering multi-week workshops. This is the only room that isn’t drop-in and needs a special registration for, usually because the workshops are designed to build upon one another. So far we’ve offered:

  • Minecraft Modding with JavaScript (taught by our teen mentors Aayan, Brandon, Connor, Kale, and Subarno)
  • Introduction to Python (taught by mentor Chris)
  • Android Apps with Cordova (taught by mentor Greg)
  • JavaScript Gaming (taught by mentor Avi)

We have another Minecraft Modding workshop planned for Fall.

JavaScript & Independent Study

Intermediate – Advanced
Capacity: 25-30 children

This room is where kids work on varying JavaScript lessons designed by our mentors, online curriculum like Khan Academy, or bring in their own projects. Our mentors have coached kids working on PHP, C++, C#, Python, and Java projects for school or personal projects.

Python

Intermediate – Advanced
Capacity: 10 children

Some of the children in Mentor Chris’s Python workshop were so dedicated to continuing on, we commandeered a medium-sized conference room off the kitchen area where they could continue to explore Python with Chris.

Chris maintains the curriculum for his Python workshops at python.oldonesstudios.com.

Work on your own

Learning Links – Links we like and think are useful for people wanting to learn about coding.