Today I went to the Squarespace offices here in NY for a CoderDojo Teach Kids to Code event. All the kids who participated were around ten to twelve years old and it was a blast working with them.
I was a “mentor” at the coding area where the kids were creating with Scratch, a graphical coding language designed by the MIT Media Lab that is to programming what legos is to architecture.
I use the term mentor loosely because I had only seen Scratch once before today. I was absolutely blown away by what the kids were coming up with using it.
The little boy I worked with for most of the time made his own version of Flappy Bird with 8 levels, score keeping, and some hand-drawn (well, mouse-drawn) backgrounds and sprites. He knew exactly what he was doing and my role turned into something more like interviewer or sidekick, asking him questions about his process as he worked through making the game.
Before the event ended, a number of kids went up and presented their creations to everyone in the room. We saw a light-up robot, a choose-your-own-adventure website, and some kind of email service (!?), among other things. It was a nice end to a fun event.
A interesting side effect of having gone to this event was that I left reinvigorated about programming after an intense week of learning databases and Node server routers at Fullstack. I was once again reminded of the bigger picture and the sense of wonder and curiosity that starts us all to pursue our passions in the first place.
Big thanks to my buddy and Fullstack sempai Wenson for telling me about this event. He volunteered at the Little Bits station, which also looked quite fun.