Last week, Because Learning CTO and co-founder Kevin Cocco walked educators through one of our favorite experiments, Solar Ovens.
Missed it? That’s okay! Our replay is now online. More
With an emerging approach to STEM education – physical computing experiences – educators can help bridge this learning gap. Students have the ability to learn in multiple ways, helping students who learn in different ways to have their learning needs and preferences met. The result? Deeper engagement and learning for all students – not just those who get it right away. More
At Because Learning, we believe ongoing educator professional development is an essential key to student success.
Santa Rosa County Public Schools, in Florida, have been using our Sensor Kits for more than 3 years. But the constant arrival of new teachers makes a great opportunity for continued professional development and first-time coding lessons. More
The geographical location of a school does not have to be a determining factor in the quality of its STEM education. Multiple factors, including recent developments in technology, provide greater access to STEM learning than ever before. More
Today, children and adults alike interact with technology more than ever. Just think: how many children under 10 do you know that have their own phone or tablet?
(For us, it’s “plenty.”)
Now, how many children could explain the technology inside those devices?
Understanding how technology works, even at a basic level, gives children advantages. We’ve personally seen how making real-world connections enhances classroom engagement. Experts agree that learning to code is key to computer literacy – a big goal of many learning initiatives. This means it’s important to teach coding and computational thinking to children as early as possible.
The best place to start? Math, science, and engineering classrooms. More
How do you know if an experiment is actually valid? With so many projects, games, and lessons using the “STEM” label, telling the real thing from the wannabes can be tricky. But our newest infographic is here to help. 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).