In the fall of 2018, EducAIte at North Hollywood High School hosted their first Code Night Series, which consisted of 3 events held at Victory Boulevard Elementary, Carpenter Community Charter, and Rio Vista Elementary, respectively. These events were hosted with the hopes of introducing students to programming using a block-based language developed by MIT, known as Scratch.
On Friday, November 16th, members headed over to Victory Boulevard Elementary at the end of the day, excited for the first event of the year and looking forward to seeing new faces. At 4:00 o'clock, around 20 students at the elementary school excitedly began to enter their Computer Lab. Once everyone was accounted for, the evening started off with a quick introduction of the speakers and followed by an exciting presentation on self-driving cars by our club founder and president, Emily Jin (as shown below).
After this, students learned the basic concepts of computer science, as well as the answer to questions such as, "What is computer science?" and "What is computer science used for?". They also learned about the importance of CS in every day life, learning how even seemingly simple appliances like washing machines relied on computers.
Finally, Vice President Lavanya Sharma started off the hands-on coding session by presenting the basics of Scratch and some sample projects. Afterwards, students began working on their Scratch projects, with members of EducAIte helping out students who needed assistance. The room was quickly filled with happy chatter of students working on their stories and games, choosing different sprites and backdrops for their creations.
By the end of Code Night, all of the students had successfully created their story animations using Scratch. We wrapped up the event with a survey and closing remarks, and at 6:00, parents arrived to pick students up.
Through a survey conducted at the end of the event, we found that 90% of our attendees expressed an increase of interest in coding and computer science after our event, and a similar number of them hoped to learn more about it in the future. But most importantly, all of the students had fun!!
The other two events at Carpenter Community Charter and Rio Vista Elementary were held on Friday, November 30th and Friday, December 7th. Students participated in a similar series of activities and had just as much fun! In total, we were able to impact almost 200 students, and below are some pictures from those events:
Ultimately, the 2018 Code Night Series was a huge success, and we look forward to hosting more of them! Thank you to the schools that we partnered with, the volunteers who came to help out, and the parents for supporting our events by bringing their kids! We greatly enjoyed helping them out and seeing the amazing projects they created. And finally, the event would not have been possible without the support from our partners and sponsors, AI4ALL and Allgirlithm!