After a well deserved Summer break, Code Club is starting back up at Hull Central Library from Thursday 22nd September and I shall be volunteering to help assist with teaching children 9-11 years of age how to code.
Our existing “Code Clubbers” will move on to CSS/HTML and new starters will start by learning Scratch and going through a few projects together.
If you haven’t heard of Code Club by now then basically it is a opportunity for children to get together, with supervised guidance, to learn new skills. They will be learning Scratch, CSS/HTML, Python and I’ve also heard that the library have just invested in the BBC Micro:bit.
Why bring your children along?
Computers are used everywhere and there is no longer a need to be afraid of them. I would even go as far as to suggest that most people use a computer each day without realising it – When you turn on your washing machine and push a button, it is running a program and knows how much water to allow, how many cycles before it then drains the water, when to rinse and also when to keep beeping at you to tell you it has finished, usually just in the middle of your favourite TV episode.
More about the topics we teach
Scratch is software created by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) aka VERY clever people. This software can be found on a Raspberry Pi (see http://raspberrypi.org/ for more information) as well as on the Scratch website (https://scratch.mit.edu/). This software allows children to create different objects and characters and alter their environment and behaviour. To make this simple, MIT have created jigsaw type blocks that click together so that you know they are compatible and these blocks are also colour coded. This teaches children the method for object oriented programming. This is the type of programming used for Java which can be found on some phone operating systems and in Blu-ray and DVD players.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to style an HTML document. You would title different areas in your HTML document and then on the CSS file you would state certain preferences. For instance, in the “title” section, you would want to use a larger size font and have the font a certain colour.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is typically the code used behind a website. A web developer would write certain code to create a website which could be used to show off video, animations and pictures as well as forms and text. When you open a web browser i.e. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox to name a few, and search your favourite website, it will show you a nice user friendly finish which has been created using HTML.
Python is another programming language. This is being taught in Schools and even Universities. It can be used to create games and applications.
Python used with a Raspberry Pi can open up a lot of exciting adventures where you can create lots of different projects including a traffic light system with LEDs, creating a weather station, creating a music and video entertainment system and much much more.
These are the small computers that are currently being given out in Schools, they are also available to purchase from retailers now if you missed out on getting one from School and although prices change, I believe they are quite reasonably priced.
The Micro:bit has been created to allow children to design and create their own projects once again using code and also learning about hardware compatibility.
The Code Club community
We are trying to create as many Code Clubs as possible because technology will be a strong part of everyone’s future and definitely for the younger generation. We want to provide a place for them to come and explore their imaginations whilst learning some really cool stuff along the way and these are relevant skills that will help them in the future in terms of education and hobbies.
Our Code Club is currently on a Thursday evening between 6pm and 7:15pm at Hull Central Library. We do have limited places so please contact the Library on 01482 300300 to register your place.
We appreciate that sometimes children may have alternative after School activities on the same night so if you need to find an alternative Code Club, they can be found on the Code Club Website.
Hull Central Library has the following address: Albion St, Hull HU1 3TF
Or you can view the following map:
Hull Central Library Map
We look forward to seeing you soon