Using robots to help preschoolers love STEAM

In the spring and summer of 2020, Brooklyn Preschool of Science closed down for six months due to COVID-19. During those same six months, almost 300,000 people left New York, so there are certainly fewer families in our zip code than there were in March.

Even so, our independent preschools are back to serving 300 families at three locations, offering in-person classes for students ages 2 to 5. Parents are trusting us with their children not just because of the safety precautions we’re taking, but because of our pedagogical approach, which begins with a spirit of inquiry and ends with students who have a lifelong love of science.

An inquiry-based, hands-on approach…Read More

Blackbird Releases K-12 Computer Science Pathway

PORTLAND, July 13, 2021 – Blackbird, bridging the gap in Computer Science curriculum, today announced the availability of their K-12 Computer Science Pathway, designed to help school districts prepare students with the computer programming skills necessary to enter the workforce – or continue their education at the university level. Designed specifically for districts who have not yet implemented a comprehensive computer science course pathway, Blackbird’s pathway highlights tools and lessons from Code.org, Blackbird’s own intermediate code education platform, and the College Board. This pathway outlines CS opportunities at every grade level while providing students with the skills, facilities and options they need to become professional developers.

To download Blackbird’s K-12 Computer Science Pathway, please visit: www.BlackbirdCode.com/pathways

“This pathway was designed to enable students to graduate High School with the computer programming skills necessary to enter the workforce, or continue their education at the university level,” said Mike Lynch, Director of Education, Blackbird. “The pathway starts students early in elementary school with basic concepts and games, then to text-based programming using Blackbird in middle school, and ends with two years of advanced programming utilizing a hybrid of Blackbird and other platforms in high school.”…Read More

imagiLabs brings coding to teenage girls’ phones with imagiCharm wearable accessory

imagiLabs is the all-female founded Stockholm-based startup that aims to bridge the gender divide in coding with its imagiCharm: a device which can be visually customised by coding into an accompanying mobile app.

The imagiCharm’s 8×8 matrix of LEDs can be customised to display tens of thousands of different designs, such as flowers, rising suns, animals etc., based upon the Python code written by the user into the imagiLabs iOS or Android apps, which connect to the device via Bluetooth.

By using Python to change the appearance of the accessory, girls are shown the real-world applications and possibilities of programming and what physical manifestations of code can look like. …Read More

Early Education Grant Provides STEAM Learning for Jewish Day Schools

The David Lear Sulman Fund provides over 50% off research-based KIBO robot kits

(Waltham, MA) June 10, 2021 – KinderLab Robotics today announced a partnership with the David Lear Sulman Computing, Science, and Engineering Fund, which is offering the Limudei Code-Esh Curriculum (LCE) for Jewish day schools and Jewish supplemental schools. LCE is an integrated curriculum for students in grades K-3 (adaptable for preK-Grade 5) that was created to engage them with Judaic studies as they begin their journey into coding and robotics. With this program, Jewish schools can implement the free LCE curriculum while receiving a 10% discount on KIBO Robot Kits from KinderLab, and an additional 50% off the remaining price of the KIBO robots with the generous grant from the David Lear Sulman Fund.

This initiative includes curriculum and two STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational technology platforms, KIBO and ScratchJr. Students use these tools as they explore themes in the Jewish holiday cycle while expressing their ideas and understanding through building, coding, and art activities.…Read More

Coding instruction should follow educational principles

A programming language is math. It’s a system for writing human logic in a way that a computer can work with.

A computer program is a list of instructions written using the programming language’s mathematical system. When a computer runs a program, it’s called software. Because computer software is so important these days, it’s vital that we teach our kids to code.

A programming language is a mathematical tool for creating software. But programming languages are designed for software engineers and professional programmers. They were not built for and are not suitable for middle and even high school introductory courses. If you make a mistake, a programming language will not tell you what it is: It will just sit there, with a cryptic message on the screen (“RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded”) and wait for you to fix the problem. How does this apply to learning to code in today’s middle and high schools?…Read More

Blackbird Announces First Ever Educational Version of JavaScript

First Educational Version of a Programming Language Enables Middle School Code Education – Bridging the Middle School Gap

PORTLAND, May 12, 2021Blackbird today announced the official release of the world’s first educational version of JavaScript. Blackbird’s Educational Version of JavaScript, for the first time, makes it feasible for middle school students and teachers to learn to code – and forms the foundation of Blackbird’s online system for middle school-focused code education.

“Traditionally, code teaching systems use unmodified programming languages. These are engineering tools, and are very unfriendly to beginners,” said Ness Blackbird, cofounder of Blackbird. “Our educational version of JavaScript enables middle school students and teachers to learn real-world coding skills in a supportive, educational environment – all while having fun making their own games and animations.”…Read More

.Tech Domains Partners with Code.org & Domain Industry Giants to Bridge the Widening Gender & Race Gap in Computer Science

100% of .Tech Domain Sales Made Through Domain.com, GoDaddy Pro & Namecheap to Go Towards Enhancing K-12 CS Curriculum

 .Tech Domains, the leading new domain extension for the tech ecosystem, is today announcing that it is collaborating with Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools, and several other domain industry leaders to address the widening gaps that exist when it comes to young women and students from underrepresented communities participating in computer science.

The collaboration, which includes domain registrars Domain.com, GoDaddy Pro, and Namecheap, will facilitate a campaign through which .Tech Domains donates all sales proceeds for every standard one-year .Tech domain registered through any of the participating partners during the program period to Code.org.

The campaign comes as the rapid acceleration of digitization compels all industries to embrace innovation, increasing the importance of coding skills and overall investment in STEM. In particular, advancements in computer science have been nothing short of a lifeline during the COVID-19 crisis, empowering technologists to expedite the delivery of vital vaccines whilst supporting heroic healthcare workers to do more with less on the frontlines.

However, Code.org data shows that as of 2020, less than half of high schools in the United States teach foundational computer science, despite the fact that the number of job openings in the space have been multiplying year over year. This lack of access is something that has disproportionately affected students from already underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, especially during COVID-19 when millions of students and teachers have been placed in remote or socially-distanced classrooms.

“We are proud to join forces with Code.org to support its mission of ensuring that everyone has access to the type of education and skill sets that will set them up for future success,” said Suman Das, Sr. Director of Brand Operations, .Tech Domains. “This is something that closely aligns with our own vision at .Tech Domains, as we continue to strive to build a more sustainable and inclusive tech ecosystem of the future.”

“The fields of software, computing, and computer science are historically plagued by stark underrepresentation by gender, race, ethnicity, geography, and family income,” said Hadi Partovi, Code.org CEO and co-founder. “We are grateful and excited to collaborate with .Tech Domains on this campaign to engage a top level domain used by startups and developers to help bridge this gap and drive our mission to increase diversity and equity in K-12 computer science.”

Built around the theme of #MyStartinTech, the campaign is designed so that people can not only contribute to the cause by buying a .Tech Domain, but also by helping increase awareness about the lack of access to computer science education. Individuals from the tech industry can participate by visiting http://www.startin.tech and sharing how they got their start in tech and the role computer science played in their journey, as well as the importance of increasing access to computer science, especially for young women and students from marginalized communities.

For more information on the partnership, how to donate to Code.org or participate in other ways, visit http://www.startin.tech.

About .Tech Domains
Launched in 2015, .TECH is a leading new domain extension for the tech industry. Over 300K domains and 5 years later, .TECH is in use by some of the world’s most cutting-edge startups and businesses; as well as widely-known industry leaders, content creators, and tech communities. .TECH is owned and operated by Radix, one of the world’s largest registries for new domain extensions. For more information, visit http://www.get.tech or @dottechdomains.

About Code.org
Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by young women and students from other underrepresented groups. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science as part of their core K-12 education. The leading provider of K-12 computer science curriculum in the largest school districts in the United States, Code.org also created the annual Hour of Code campaign, which has engaged more than 15% of all students in the world. Code.org is supported by generous donors including Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, the Infosys Foundation, Google and many more.

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SAM Labs Launches Successful Teacher Accelerator Program

The program includes group workshops with like-minded educators, one-on-one training with our Senior Education Consultants, training on how to implement SAM Labs, and resources to teach STEAM and coding in the classroom across various skill levels. The STAR Program is designed to expand our community of support and knowledge, while continuing our practice of investing greatly in our customers and their success. Through efforts like this, we aim to use our solutions to power outstanding STEM, STEAM and learn to code education. Future ‘STARs’ will join our growing community, have customized solutions based on their specific use-cases and learn from the foremost SAM Labs experts in the world.

SAM Labs is unified by our values, such as ‘fight to delight’ on behalf of customers. We have always taken a deep interest in our customers, sharing and implementing educators’ insights across our team. From how we design our curriculum and software to providing the right resources for educators, SAM Labs wants to be the standard bearer for educator centricity.

The STAR Program is the next step on our journey working with educators to reduce their workload, increase their confidence and strengthen learner engagement. Through this initiative, we’ll enrich our understanding of STEM, STEAM & coding initiatives in classrooms across the United States. The in-depth knowledge and implementation of the STAR Program will lead to a new level of granular insight into the impact of these initiatives. After all, we are a company whose success means and relies on the success of both educators and learners – which is why we do what we do. As a result of this initiative and others to follow; SAM Labs will further entrench educators at the center of our mission: To equip educators with the tools, know-how, and mindset to reach learners’ potential for computational thinking. Put into words by our founder and CEO, Joachim Horn; “We hope to learn from educators about best practices that we can then share with the rest of our educator community, increasing the number of students who acquire 21st-century skills through Coding and STEAM.”…Read More

How to teach coding and robotics from home

When our school shut down in March, initially, it was for a two-week period. I thought, “Well, this isn’t too bad, we can do a few coding activities from Code.org or maybe put together some Google Slides presentations for when we return.”

Then, two weeks turned into the end of April and my plan had to change.

As the technology teacher in our district, I felt I was adept at communicating with my students online (we are a Google Apps for Education school, and I’ve been a Google Classroom user since its beginnings), but I knew others in our district weren’t quite as tech savvy. I put together a few tutorial videos on how to use Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Zoom for our staff members to use to reach out to their students.…Read More