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Code Savvy - Summer Connections #10

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

This summer, we will use our newsletter to 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 organizations and want to help bring attention to their work. 

This Week’s Spotlight: Unplugged Recap

In the Spring we created nine Unplugged Lesson Plans for our CS to Go program. These activities do not require any technology to complete and are designed to build coding skills and mindsets without needing any device. Use these as great computer science starter concepts in your classes and at home.

Week 1: (Getting Active) Focus on algorithms, the steps, or rules in a process. Program someone as if they are a robot, they can only do what they are programmed to do. Use the commands: first, then, next and last to help them know where to go.

Week 2: (Earth Day) Focus on decomposition, which is taking a larger problem and breaking it down into smaller parts. Play 20 questions and use a decision tree to think through your questions and narrow down all the answer options as efficiently as possible. Use observation and data collection to look at something with detail.

Week 3: (Poems) Focus on pattern recognition to identify and use similarities in our program. Create rhyming couplets, by using pattern recognition and use lists to help you store data and information. Then use abstraction, the removal of unnecessary detail so that when something works in one way it can also work differently.

Week 4: (Appreciate Teachers and Nurses) Create an image using pixels to break down an image into a mosaic. Computers understand which pixels mean what by using binary code, where 0 is off, and 1 is on. This can be used to create a black and white image.

Week 5: (Spring/Mothers Day) Focus on computational thinking skill, pattern recognition. Looking at flowers and the patterns in their shape, you can take something complex and create something simple. Try writing step by step instructions for someone else to follow patterns and draw something new.

Week 6: (Honor your Favorite Story) Focus on abstraction, to simplify something and filter out unnecessary detail. This is used a lot in CS when you create a model or simulation to focus on the big picture. Use your hand to create a story using abstraction or create a storyboard focusing on the most important plot parts.

Week 7: (National Scavenger Hunt Day) Focus on algorithms and follow the steps to perform a task. To make a computer do something you have to tell it step by step what to do, this is known as a program. Create an algorithm in your class/house to tell someone where to go to find a prize. Make sure your instructions are clear, focusing on distance, direction, and movement.

Week 8: (AI-related for Autonomous Vehicle Day) Focus on algorithms, by following step by step instructions and using flowcharts to show how to do it. Use different approaches, such as collaborating. Work with someone else and think about what an autonomous vehicle would need, then create a model of what one might look like.

Week 9: (Fathers Day) Focus on decomposition, to take a big problem and break it down into smaller parts. Try making a card, think of your favorite things about your dad or another loved one, and continue breaking it down by making a concept map. This skill shows you how to see the smaller details you need to do.

This Week's Project Inspiration Theme: Be Kind to Humankind

August 25th to the 31st is Be Kind to Humankind Week!

Being kind is very important, especially right now when we are in the middle of a global pandemic. It's a way where you can show others that you care about them. You can use this week to reflect on what you can do to make this world a better place. Use this Scratch project to create an app that generates random acts of kindness. 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 Be Kind to Humankind Week! 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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