Today I went to Albemarle High School to volunteer at CoderDojoCville. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was going to be like but I had a good time. There were two sessions (9-12, 1-4) with students from about 2nd grade to 9th grade were there doing a number of activities, some which were new to me. I was familiar with using 123D Design, Scratch and Arduinos, but some kids were using Kodu and some music program that I can’t remember the name of. There were also kids making wearable circuits out of felt and wire as well as a group of kids who were 3D printing their designs from 123D using two MakerBots that were set up in the library. I enjoyed walking around and talking to some of the kids, and they were more than eager to show me what they were doing. One student evIMG_2142en said “it’s nice to have someone to talk to about what I’m working on.” That made me a little bit sad, but he was having a really great time working with his friends to create a Scratch program where he made a working boom box.

One little girl that I worked with in the morning session on the Arduino and 123D wasn’t able to come back the next day, so I made sure that her little table was printed in the afternoon and will deliver it to her elementary school this fall. I found out that another boy, who is also the 3rd with his name like I am, lives in my neighborhood and plays with my next door neighbors. In the afternoon, I got 4 little 2nd grade ESL students absolutely hooked on Arduino (which I will be buying for my nephew for Christmas). It was a rewarding day watching kids make and create all day with technology that is free to them (save for the Arduino boards and the MakerBots). I’m happy to be a part of a group of educators who provides experiences like these for kids. Hopefully some of these students grow up knowing how to think creatively and problem solve effectively as a result of experiences like this when they were young.

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