Coded By Kids has launched a monthly STEM meetup, held on the last Wednesday of every month. The meetups are set up to allow a community of tech professionals, parents, educators, and business professionals to come together monthly to discuss STEM education. The group held its first meetup last month and will hold its next one in December (due to the Thanksgiving holiday).
Coded By Kids, started by Iraq war veteran Sylvester Mobley, is a free weekly program that teaches youth website development basics and basic digital literacy. Currently the program runs classes at Marian Anderson Community Center on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The program also has a partnership with Martin Luther King High School, and plans to expand to Germantown/Mt. Airy-area and North Philly.
Mobley said he started the STEM meetups because he wanted an environment outside of class where Coded By Kids staff and volunteers could discuss what they’re doing and what was working and not working. At the same time, he realized that this type of service could be valuable to other people working with youth on STEM education.
“We tend to hit the same pitfalls and have the same issues,” said Mobley. “It helps all of our organizations as a whole to develop and learn from each other’s mistakes.”
Mobley said they’d also like to hold a meetup specifically designed for parents in addition to educators.
“I want to have a meetup and invite parents and the community, so we can explain to them the different options, talk about what STEM is,” he said.
“A lot of educators want to be able to integrate technology and things like that in the classroom — but they’re not prepared. They’ve never had any type of preparation or training or education. So a lot of them don’t even know what the options are,” he added.
Expanding in 2015
Coded By Kids runs a program during the school day at Martin Luther King High School and is working on a teacher training program for the teachers at the school. In 2015, Coded By Kids will expand with a new after-school program with Freire Charter School, as well as teacher training and a summer camp.
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Also launching in 2015 is a new development bootcamp for low to middle-income adults. Mobley described the bootcamp as being similar to a traditional developer’s bootcamp, but at a fraction of the cost. In turn, the participants will serve as volunteers for the youth program.
“It’s going to be as close to free as possible. We want to give people who would like get into development the opportunity [who] don’t have the money to pay for a traditional program, said Mobley. “The giveback is they volunteer as an instructor,” said Mobley.
More information about Coded By Kids is available at http://codedbykids.com/.-30-
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