Ridgewood High School's after-school computer camp for students in grades 5th-12th is an excellent opportunity for students to learn and grow their Computer Science skills in a supportive and collaborative environment. This program has participants from four different school districts, making it a great opportunity for students to connect with peers from other schools and broaden their horizons.
One of the highlights of the program is the use of Earsketch, a platform that allows students to create music using code. This is an excellent way to introduce students to coding concepts while also allowing them to express their creativity. In addition to Earsketch, our after-school camp has used other tech tools such as CMU CS Academy and TinkerCad to teach coding and Computer Science principles. Tinkercad is a 3D design and modeling tool that allows students to create prototypes with a drag-and-drop interface. Additionally, students can print their models using 3D printers.
Spheros and Micro:bits are fantastic physical devices that offer a fun and interactive approach to teach coding, design, and programming skills. Spheros are robots that the students program to move and light up, while Micro:bits are small programmable devices with sensors and components that teach coding and electronics skills. Students can have fun creating projects, games, and devices that interact with the environment while easily learning coding and design concepts.
The theme of the camp is CS for good, meaning the students are encouraged to use what they've learned to complete a final project that helps improve the world. To guide them in their project, the students will work towards the United Nations' sustainable goals. This is a great way to teach students the importance of using technology for the greater good and to make a positive impact on the world.
Ridgewood has partnered with LatinX DLN on this project and has used a grant to support the camp. This grant has helped provide access and equity, making the program free for all students. Additionally, the camp has built-in support for EL students and students with special needs, ensuring that all students can participate and thrive.
Overall, Ridgewood High School's after-school computer camp is an excellent opportunity for students to develop their computer skills, connect with peers, and make a positive impact on the world. By using innovative tools like Earsketch and partnering with LatinX DLN, the program is helping to build the capacity of students and prepare them with the knowledge and skills needed for the future workforce.
Written By Eric Lasky, Assistant Principal, Ridgewood High School