Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, society has become more digitalized than ever. Everything in our daily lives runs on brand-new, innovative technology. Although we constantly rely on these new tools, not many people understand how they are programmed and maintained.
With the new generation more exposed to the digital world than ever before, it is important for students to build these new technology skills and adapt to our current society. The Ministry of Education observed this emerging literacy gap in the current school curriculum and has been trying to find a way to implement technology into the school system.
But there has to be an alternative and additional way we can help educate our children on STEM concepts outside of school in a fun, healthy, and engaging manner.
To inspire families to come out of the pandemic with in-person programming that would be relevant in today’s time, Upper Canada and Hillcrest Mall sponsored community workshops that STEM Minds ran throughout the summer.
Our collective goal was to give students an opportunity to learn new and exciting concepts through hands-on experiences that they would not get in a school environment.
Throughout the sessions, our ambitious participants were able to test out different tools and software for the very first time. We used a wide variety of tools to accomplish technology-based projects on concepts such as animation, music creation, and robotics.
Below is a list of programs we hosted for the age groups of 4-7, and 8-14. For participants in the age group of 4-7:
- Coding with Kodable: Participants learned the first steps in the world of coding with Kodable.
- Coding with Scratch Jr.: Participants created their own animated stories through coding with Scratch Jr.
- Video Game Design: Participants designed their own fully playable video game as they learned the fundamentals of video game design.
- 2D Design: Participants made their very own 2D poster while learning important concepts related to digital design.
- Circuits: Participants worked with hardware and circuitry to discover the relationship between the digital and physical worlds and explored all the exciting things you can do with circuitry!
- Robotics: Participants learned the fundamentals of code with the lovable BeeBot and Dash robots!
- Animation: Participants used digital tools to create animated stories as they learned about the principles of animation.
- Computer Music: Participants explored Chrome Music Lab where they discovered how to write their own music and learned the fundamentals of music theory.
For participants in the group of 8-14 years old:
- Coding with Scratch: Participants created their own digital stories as they learn to program in Scratch
- Coding with Arduino: Participants worked with hardware and circuitry, and explored all the exciting things you can do with coding!
- Video Game Design: Participants designed their first-ever video game as they explore the fundamentals of successful video game design.
- 3D Design: Participants learned important concepts related to digital design in 3 dimensions as they created their very first 3D-printed project!
- Coding with Python: Participants explored new skills and exciting activities to advance their understanding of computers and programming all while learning a new language
- LEGO Robotics: Participants learned the fundamentals of coding and robotics in a hands-on challenge-based environment.
- Animation: Participants explored how to use WickEditor to create animated stories while learning the principles of animation.
- Computer Music: Participants explored how to use SoundTrap to create electronic music while writing their own music and learning the fundamentals of music theory.
Over the course of this summer, we had almost 400 ambitious students join our workshops. Participants enjoyed learning in a new and interactive way and parents were very happy with their children’s accomplishments. STEM Minds is very happy to be able to support so many curious and creative students to achieve goals and find passions in areas that they haven’t had exposure to yet. By helping stimulate their creativity and build new skills, students will have the foundation they need to thrive in their future studies and careers.
A big thank you once again to Upper Canada and Hillcrest Mall for helping bring these workshops to life and encouraging learning throughout the community!