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Title: Design with Code Club: An attempt to get kids learning to code while designing solutions to everyday problems (Work in Progress)
Early in the pandemic we gathered a group of educators to create and share at-home educational opportunities for families to design and make STEAM projects while at home. As this effort, CoBuild19, continued, we decided to extend our offerings to include basic computer programming. To accomplish this, we created an offering called the Design with Code Club (DwCC). We structured DwCC to be different from other common coding offerings in that we wanted the main focus to be on kids designing solutions to problems that might include the use of technology and coding. We were purposeful in this decision for two main reasons. First, we wanted to make our coding club more interesting to girls, where previous research demonstrates their interest in designing solutions. Second, we wanted this effort to be different from most programming instruction, where coding activities use programming as the core of instruction and application in authentic and student-selected contexts plays a secondary role. DwCC was set up so that each of the first four weeks had a different larger challenge that was COVID-19 related and sessions unfolded with alternating smaller challenges, discussion around design and coding instruction that would develop their skills and knowledge of micro:bit capabilities. We culminated DwCC with an open-ended project where the kids were given the challenge of coming up with their own problem for which they might incorporate micro:bit as part of the solution. Because we were doing all of this online, we used the micro:bit interface through Microsoft MakeCode, which includes a functional simulator. From our experiences we realized that simulations are not as enticing as physical computing with a tangible device, so we set up an incentive where youth who participated in at least three sessions of the club would receive a physical micro:bit. We advertised DwCC through Facebook and twitter and had nearly 200 families register their kids to participate. In the end, a total of 52 micro:bits were sent to youth participants. Based on this success, we sought to expand the effort and increase accessibility for groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM. In spring 2021, we offered a Girls DwCC. This was a redesigned version of the club where the focus was even more on problem-solving through design. The club was run by all women, including one from the US, an Industrial Engineer from Mexico and a computer programmer from Albania. More than 50 girls from 17 countries participated in the club! We are working on another version of GDwCC that will be offered in Spanish and focus on Latina girls in the US and Mexico. In the most recent iteration of DwCC we are working with an educator at a school for deaf students to create a version of the club that works for their students. We are doing some modification of activities and recreating videos that involve sign language interpretation. In this presentation we will report on the variants of DwCC, results from participant feedback surveys and plans for future versions.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2027368
NSF-PAR ID:
10342778
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Zone 1 Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education
ISSN:
2332-368X
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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