Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Volunteering for ScriptEd

For the past few months I’ve been volunteering once a week with ScriptEd, a non-profit organization that offers programming courses to students at schools in low-income communities in New York City. I co-teach 5 students at Harlem Village Academies for 2 -3 hours every Wednesday. So far, we’ve been covering HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

What’s cool about this group of kids is that they are self-selecting (yes, I see how this is also a short-coming, but it’s early days yet). ScriptEd is an after-school activity, rather than part of the normal curriculum, so they are really into learning how to code. They have stuck with it, through exams and SAT prep and baseball games.

This past weekend, ScriptEd had its first student hackathon. We had 11 students from 3 different schools and at least 12 volunteers (I lost track, since more people kept showing up over the course of the day) in addition to the regular teachers. We formed 6 teams, with 2 students and 2 volunteers each.

Our theme was CIRCLE, SQUARE, TRIANGLE.  We challenged the students to use their imaginations and create something awesome with these shapes — for example, students might decide to make the shapes bounce to the beat of a song, or have the shapes divide every time the user clicks on a shape.

The results were incredible. I was so impressed with what these kids came up with and were able to build with their rudimentary skills. It was really rewarding to see how excited they were to actually put their skills to use and build something they could show off.

Here are some of the projects our students came up with:

http://scriptednyc.github.io/Hackathon/harlemshake/shake.html

http://scriptednyc.github.io/Hackathon/colorblock/block.html

http://scriptednyc.github.io/Hackathon/memory/memory.html

http://scriptednyc.github.io/Hackathon/blackhole/hole.html

April 22, 2013 | Comments Off on Volunteering for ScriptEd | Categories: Posts | Permalink

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