Posts by Because Learning! :
Have you heard about the 12 -year-old who built 5 apps and is speaking at a national tech gathering?
What about the 16-year-old who made an app that does math?
These kids are special – there’s no doubt about it. But what’s even more remarkable is the skills these kids have aren’t all that unique. In fact, with the right support and encouragement, any kid could start coding like these examples.More
Science fair season is coming up. Which project would be the best fit for you?More
It’s a new month, and that means new lessons from Because Learning! This month, our lessons are based around OLED screens. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the same type of screen used in the latest smartphones like the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy 9, and more.More
If you’re like a lot of parents, you know your kid needs to learn coding to learn essential twenty-first century skills. A recent study showed over half of all top-paying jobs require coding. Another showed jobs requiring programming are growing 12% faster than the market average.
It’s clear coding isn’t just good to know – it’s essential. In fact, 65% of current grade school students will work in jobs that don’t exist yet. But only 40% of schools teach computer science and coding. How is your child supposed learn coding and other critical skills?
It can feel intimidating to know the best way to get started:
- What’s the best programming language your child should learn?
- What activities are good for beginners?
- How do you find a coding program that grows with your child (instead of one your child quickly outgrows)?
- And most importantly, how can you make this fun for your child so she or he wants to learn more?
If you’ve ever wondered about any of these questions, then you’ll want to pay attention during the first week of December. Hour of Code is coming!
What is Hour of Code, and How it Helps Kids (and Parents) Finally Learn Coding
Every year, tens of millions of students in over 180 countries participate in a global movement called Hour of Code. As the official Hour of Code site states,
The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts.
Over 200,000 educators worldwide participate, making it the largest group coding activity in the world. And this year, Because Learning is hosting a simple, easy way for your child to participate and learn coding!
How Your Child Can Participate in Hour of Code
There are two ways to participate.
- Browse the Hour of Code website, find a lesson you want to do on the main Hour of Code website
- Join Because Learning in participating this year!
As parents, educators, and coders ourselves, we at Because Learning want kids to learn these critical skills! That’s why we’ve designed lessons that are the perfect way introduce kids to coding, take their skills to the next level, and provide a framework they can follow for life.
Our coding lessons achieve three critical things for kids:
- First, they provide instant feedback so kids can experiment until they get everything just right. This provides immediate learning.
- Second, they’re customizable. This gives kids room to explore and play when they’ve completed the basic lesson instructions.
- Finally, they’re fun! Our own children spend hours and hours writing code, taking measurements, and experimenting to see what they can do.
It’s no wonder Because Learning’s Sensor Kits and coding lessons are used in thousands of classrooms all over the world. They are, hands down, the best way to introduce kids to coding for life.
But our kits aren’t just for the classroom. As a parent, you’ll like that our STEM coding lessons are based on a kit that actually grows with your child. That means no more kit you’ll use for six months before your kid gets bored and grows out of it.
What Lessons Do You Recommend for Hour of Code?
In our Lessons portal, we have hundreds of lessons your child can try to learn coding principles. Here are the lessons we think would be perfect for Hour of Code:
- OLED Display Hello World
- Can you control the styling and the message that is printed out on the OLED Display using an Arduino sketch?
- Introduction to Arduino Sketches and Leveraging Variables
- What is an Arduino sketch, and how can you use variables to simplify Arduino sketches?
- Nightlight Engineering
- Can you make an LED light turn on when a room goes dark using a sensor?
- Light Show
- Can you use an Arduino sketch to make your own LED light show?
- Knock Knock Joke with the OLED Display
- Can you alter a pre-written Arduino sketch to improve the display of a knock-knock joke?
- Spooky Fun Times
- Can you engineer a circuit that will use sensor data to trigger spooky sounds?
- Holiday Light Show
- Can you use code to make your own Holiday-themed LED light show?
- Pong with OLED Display
- Can you alter a pre-written Arduino sketch to improve the game of Pong?
- Accelerometer Warning Lights
- Can you design, build, and code a circuit that acts as a dynamic breaking system?
Sounds Great, But What do Parents and Kids Say About Your Coding Activities?
Because Learning’s Sensor Kits are used all over the world in thousands of classrooms to teach kids coding. Here’s what parents, teachers, and kids have to say:
“I’d tried to introduce my daughter to coding through DIY kits before. $150 and hours later, we still didn’t have even a blinking light. With Because Learning, we had a successful coding lesson up and running in minutes.”
– Ben, South Jordan, UT
“The big eye-opener for me is how kids just gravitate to these kits. Reading about science and technology and computer science isn’t going to get our kids where they need to be in our tech economy. … Implementing fun and engaging hands-on learning is the key.”
– Kevin Reeve, co-founder of Logan’s Cache Makers, a STEM learning club for middle and high school students.
“It’s difficult to find material that scaffolds from where my child is to where my child will be. Because Learning is something I know will grow with my child, every month.”
– Duane, Salt Lake City, UT
“We feel like the kits are helping us in laying the groundwork for that shift when it (new state STEAM standards) happens. Our favorite part about the partnership is everything they do is very exploratory in nature and there are a lot of touch points to connect to math and science.”
– Jeff Baugus
Science and Math Coordinator, Santa Rosa County Public Schools
How Do I Get Started?
Here’s how your child can participate with us for Hour of Code 2017:
- Activate your subscription. For just $21, we’ll send your child a Sensor Kit that includes all the hardware she or he needs to start coding with our web app. We’ll also give you access to our Lessons portal, where all of our coding activities live.
- Watch your email. We’ll send updates about Hour of Code activities, ways to participate, and suggestions for making this a great experience for your kid.
- Have fun and let us know what you did! When you run your experiments, we want to hear about it! Check your email for a special link with instructions on how to submit your experience.
Hour of Code is coming soon, so hurry! Subscribe today, and we’ll send your kit to you in time to participate (US-customers).
You know those baggie hand warmers you get at camping stores? With the latest lesson from Because Learning, “Hot Hands”, you and your kids can make those at home! Check out the video to one of our kids doing the experiment with our Sensor Kit:
With just a few simple ingredients, your kids can create hand warmers that increase in temperature. Then they’ll test different variables to discover the ideal ratio of ingredients to make a DIY hand warmer stay warm for the longest amount of time. Not only is this a fun activity, it’s a way for your kids to learn critical scientific principles that real-world scientists use every day. Here’s what our “Hot Hands” lesson teaches kids.
What Are Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions?
In chemistry, the terms endothermic and exothermic reactions refer to how energy is released or retained from a chemical reaction as heat.
- Endothermic reactions absorb heat, cooling the surrounding area and causing a drop in temperature
- Exothermic reactions are reactions that release heat, causing the surrounding temperature to rise
The chemical reaction that takes place in hand warmers is exothermic, meaning it releases excess energy as heat. That’s why you can mix a few chemicals to warm your hands!
Wait – Aren’t Chemical Reactions Dangerous?
In movies, the term “chemical reactions” usually means something that’s dangerous. “There’s a chemical reaction – it’s gonna blow!”
But in chemistry, a chemical reaction is simply a process where two or more substances interact and cause a chemical change. For example, rust on an old car is a chemical reaction. A burning log, Mentos and Diet Coke, and even bath bombs are all examples of chemical reactions.
That’s why the chemical reaction with the hand warmers in “Hot Hands” isn’t anything to be worried about. It’s just another example of one of the many chemical reactions happening around us all the time.
How the “Hot Hands” Lesson Teaches About Chemical Reactions
By seeing chemical reactions in the real world, kids start to realize there are scientific forces acting around them all the time. “Hot Hands” and making hand warmers helps kids understand how different amounts of chemicals change reactions and teachers them how to run a scientific experiment.
Professionals in many different fields conduct experiments just like this one, albeit with more complicated chemicals and precise measurements. New types of rubber, better batteries, and advanced computer hardware were all made possible through experiments very similar to the hand warmer lesson your kids can do at home.
This makes “Hot Hands” a great way to introduce key principles they’ll use throughout life, such as:
- Setting up experiment variables
- Measuring data
- Making hypotheses
- Testing variables and constants, then observing results
- Critical thinking
(For more information about this experiment such as NGSS alignment, pacing, essential questions, and inquiry-based teaching practices, check out the Experiment Guide included with the lesson. You can find an experiment guide at the bottom of every lesson!)
How Your Kids can Try the Hot Hands Lesson
Want to make your own hand warmers and run experiments at home? It’s immediately available to view for every Because Learning subscriber. You’ll find an ingredients list, step-by-step instructions, code for the temperature sensor, and more to help your experiment be a success.
If you’re not a subscriber yet, what’s stopping you? You get 5 new lessons like this one every month, plus we’ll rush a Sensor Kit to your home so your kids can measure chemical reactions – just like real scientists. Plus, you’ll get instant access to over 100 other lessons your child can try today. Click here to learn more and subscribe.