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Code Savvy - Fall Connections #1

Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.  

Educator Program Announcement

We are pleased to announce the 2020 MNCodes Virtual Summit, this year taking place virtually on November 14 from 9 am - 3 pm. Distance is no longer a barrier to participation! We welcome educators from all over to join us for a day of virtual sessions that explore ways to expand equitable and engaging computer science learning opportunities to all students, with a focus on integrating computer science and computational thinking into a variety of K-12 curricular areas and learning formats! Early Bird pricing is now available at $95 through October 16. We look forward to connecting with educators from around the world at this exciting event!

And now offering a bundled price for our MNCodes Summit and our September 28 MNCodes Digital Making with micro:bit online training course for educators. To receive the bundled price, follow these steps:

  1. Register for the micro:bit course here at the early bird price of $100

  2. Send us an email at to let us know you’ve registered for the micro:bit course

  3. We will email you back with a special link to register for an MNCodes Virtual Summit ticket for just $75!

  4. Use the link to register for the MNCodes Virtual Summit

This Week’s Spotlight: VEXcode

From elementary school through college, VEXcode is a coding environment that meets students at their level. The intuitive layout of VEXcode allows students to get started quickly and easily. We all know that robots attract kids to learn STEM. VEX Robotics and VEXcode are providing opportunities for students of all ages to participate in learning the code that makes these robots work. VEX makes computer science come to life through collaborations, hands-on projects, and engaging experiences. From classrooms to competitions, VEXcode helps to create the next generation of innovators.

VEXcode VR is an easy way to learn computer science at home without needing a robot. The program allows you to code a virtual robot using a block-based coding program powered by Scratch Blocks. There are no downloads, and it can work on both computers and tablets. There are also pre-created virtual playgrounds to run your code and play around with the view of your robot. VEXcode VR has created many challenges and activities to get you started with either at home or in a classroom.

There are three different ways that you can code in VEXcode VR:

  • Blocks: Block based coding using Scratch Blocks.

  • Blocks+Text: Python code generated in real time while coding in Blocks with the COde Viewer.

  • Text: Text based coding with Python directly in your browser.

This Week's Project Inspiration Theme: Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th to October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month!

This month we honor the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans. September 15th is the anniversary of when Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua were granted independence. Throughout the month The Library of Congress, The National Park Services and more are holding different virtual events and providing resources that can be found here. Try using this Scratch tutorial to practice drawing the different countries' unique flags. Remember, this is just a suggestion; use your own creative genius to create a personalized project!

We hope you create a CS project in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month! If you do, please share it with us.

Share Your CS to Go Projects!

How to Share: We invite CS to Go with Code Savvy participants to consider sharing your projects publicly with the Code Savvy and greater #MNCodes community via video with Flipgrid. We can’t wait to see what you create! Please be sure to follow online safety guidelines and get adult permission before sharing. You can find our Privacy Policy here.

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