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Do You Want To Code With Elsa and Anna?

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What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a two year old non-profit organization that focuses on expanding the knowledge of computer science to everyone.  Hour of Code makes the tools for learning programming and computer science easily accessible.  More than 59 million students have participated in the Hour of Code.  This foundation is bringing in a lot of diversity into the STEM fields.  41% of the students taking online courses are girls.  In the high school classrooms, 34% of the students are girls and 60% of them are African American or Hispanic.  The courses are available in more than 30 languages.

Completing the tutorials

I decided to work independently on completing the tutorials so I could finish them at my own pace.  The first tutorial I completed was “Creating a Winter Wonderland”.  The theme of it was the movie Frozen.  I thought this was a really cute and easy way to start learning coding.  It had you use blocks to write lines of code.  The lines you created made Elsa and Anna skate around a pond tracing snowflakes.  My little cousin loves Frozen and I bet just the theme of the lesson would make her  want to learn how to code.  It is so simple to do!  To complete multiple tutorials it is quite lengthy.  There is an average of 20 lessons per tutorial.  

Where can I use the tutorials?

The courses work the best on computer.  I tried using it on the iPad but it just directed me to multiple apps that I can learn how to code on.  Code Academy is a good iPad app for learning how to code.  I used that previously to the Hour of Code.

Levels of Difficulty:

The Frozen tutorial was definitely the easiest.  All you had to do was drag and drop the pieces together and write lines of code that said things like, “Spin 180 degrees” and “Move 100 pixels”, etc.  The hardest tutorial was the Javascript one.  Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.30.54 AM

 

The tutorials gave you hints on what to do.  They were really easy to follow and you could move along at your own pace.  The Javascript had a screencast that you are supposed to watch, however, it is a harder topic to learn so the video was also harder to follow.

I am more interested in exploring the Computer Science field now that I tried the Hour of Code.  My advice for students next year is to allow for more time to complete the tutorials.  I would also suggest new comers to start out with the easy tutorials like the Frozen one, or Coding for Beginners.  That way the users can learn the very basics of what coding does and means before coming up with their own lines of code.

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Massachusetts Conference for Women

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“Courage is recognizing what you’re afraid of but acting in spite of it”- Lupita Nyongo

Life is Good

Wow! This was such an amazing experience.  On December 4th Mira, Mrs. Scheffer and I (along with a few other girls) went to the Mass Conference for women.  We could not be more thankful for our peer, Nathan Rippin.  He had an interview with a woman at Bentley University and told her about Mira and I and our help desk experience.  The woman he spoke with is not only the president of Bentley University but she is also the president and founder of the Massachusetts Conference for Women.  Gloria Larson sponsored all six of the young women who went to this conference.  It was an extremely generous thing to do.  We were one of the few groups of high school girls that attended.  There were around 10,000 women all in this one room.  After receiving our badges we walking to the escalator and looked out to the conference.  It was filled with vendors talking about all sorts of things.  Felicia and I had the opportunity to speak with a woman about doing charity work for Cradles to Crayons.  We went into the ballroom to listen to the founder of Life is Good speak about how you do not have to do something but you get to.  This speech was very inspiring to me and helped me look into life in a whole new way.  It was very motivating.  He told stories about how his t-shirts affected other people.  The most interesting story was about two brothers who had disabilities that changed their life.  One boy was missing a leg and the other brother was blind so they obviously face different struggles in life.  The message on the Life Is Good shirts helped them stay in a positive mind set.   life-is-good

Follow Your Passion

It was one of those stories that really made you stop and think about how grateful you are and that life IS good.  Life is fun and exciting and we should cherish every moment of it.  It really made me focus on the glass being half full, not half empty.  After we listened to John Jacobs we went to our first seminar of the day.  The first seminar was about following a passion.  There were three speakers through this presentation. One of whom being Jessica Bacal.  She wrote a book about mistakes people made and how it helped them move forward.  She interviewed many women to compose a wonderful book filled with useful knowledge.  The other two speakers were two young girls.  One of them started their own jewelry making business named Em John.  Her name is Emma Johnson and she is only seventeen!  Listening to her speak made me think how that could’ve been me, and still CAN be me.  The other girl was a college student who travelled the world.  Her name is Wendy Darling.  She was a curator for a gallery in Germany and she is a awesome artist.  It was crazy to hear how independent someone only a few years older than me.  It was so inspiring to hear and makes me want to push myself to make my own amazing experiences and travel the world doing what I love.  After the three women spoke at the breakout session girls were able to go up and talk about their dreams and passions that they want to pursue.  We visited some of the vendors that were working with companies that we would be intrested in connecting with.  Felicia and I want to be engineers and we went to booths that were science related to look into companies that we could potentially work for in the future.  The Keynote Luncheon speaker was Hillary Clinton.  She talked about women in the work force and a little bit about the government and how they spend their money.  Overall it was a really cool experience.  As a high school student, there is not many opportunities like this.

Thank You

Lastly I want to thank Gloria Larson for this wonderful opportunity and for providing us with the tickets but also a thank you to Nathan Rippin for telling Gloria about the girls in Help Desk.

Mrs. Scheffer, Mira and I at the conference.
Mrs. Scheffer, Mira and I at the conference.
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Mira and I with big smiles on our faces, thankful for our experience!