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I'm looking to increase the amount of exposure teens like me (17) have to coding and computer sciences so they can take it into account when thinking about their future like I'm doing. What could be the best way to do so?

I've thought about this a lot and I think organizing a workshop in schools that do not include computer science courses in their curriculum is the way to go. During the workshops, students will be taught to program in certain languages by experts, although I still nee a lot more planning.
I am also interested in hearing out suggestions from experts like you guys as well! :)
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14 answers


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Dhairya’s Answer

Hi Maria,
If I understand your question correctly, you are looking offer coding classes to students at schools which do not offer it. I think it's awesome that you are interested in creating educational programs for students, especially around computational literacy.

Before trying to build out a more established program, I'd suggest creating a study group to walk through coding exercises or a class. The easiest way to do this is talk to your school or the public library and see if you can get a access to a room with wifi and computers for 1-2 hours a week. It will help your case if you have a clear study plan with learning goals written out. For example, you want to use the room to learn how to code Python, and you'll be working through a Udacity course with the goal of learning Python The course is 5 weeks long and requires 1 hour of work a week. If you prepare a presentation with why need the space and the learning outcomes, most school and library administrators will do their best to help accommodate you.

Once you have a study group going, you can try to find mentors to help you and the other students. These mentors can be teachers at your school or professionals in the community. One suggestion would be to go Meetup.com and look for coding meetups and see if you can email the organizer to see if there are volunteers that may be able to come to your study group.

Finally, in terms of what to study, there many great classes available for free online. For your study group, I'd suggest brainstorming what you hope to learn. Try to focus on finding a class that closely aligned to things everyone is excited about like making an iphone app, learning to program a video game, etc.

In terms of free classes, here's few sites to get you started:

Udacity: this site contain many free courses that are industry oriented. They usually have project you will learn to build. Use the free course filter for the link below to find their free courses. https://www.udacity.com/courses/all

EdX (https://www.edx.org/): If you're looking for a more college style class that has lectures.

Harvard's CS50 (https://cs50.harvard.edu/college/2019/fall/): If you're looking for a challenge but want to strong in-depth introduction to computer science

Free Code Camp: https://www.freecodecamp.org/

Hi Dhairya! Thank you so much for your answer! It helps immensly! Maria R.
Wow, this was a great answer. I gained a lot of insight into different resources to learn computer science as well! I look forward to completing the Harvard cs50 course. All the best! Aun M.
Excellent response! Support it! Gulshan Batra
Free Code Camp is awesome! Meredith Lewis
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Esther’s Answer

Hi Maria. It's so great to hear that you are interested in coding! You an learn a lot from coding and apply it in so many different ways. I'm not a programmer but I know students who are. They started by joining the robotics club in their school. The club teaches you how to code, build robots and work with team members to get it done. You'll also get to meet other students who are interested in coding/tech as well. A few of the students I met didn't know anything about coding until they joined the club and are now creating apps for people to use on their mobile devices!

Here's an article about robotics club (https://www.idtech.com/blog/should-your-child-join-a-robotics-team) It's written for parents but it has links that will be helpful.

You are about to join an exciting world. Please go in the direction of your interests.... even if family/friends may not be that supportive. It will lead you to many opportunities!

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William R’s Answer

Hello Maria R.,
Congratulations for putting such great thought into the future for yourself and those around you. There are so many free sources of great knowledge out there - More being created every day.
I applaud Dhairya for creating such a well thought out ,extensive, list. Use it, and also seek to add your own to that list as more and more resources come on line everyday.
Scan those resources and create a unique syllabus that fits your unique needs and wants.
This will give you additional skills in Content Analysis, Project Management and Resource Assessment. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due and document your sources!
Best of Luck!

Respectfully,
William R. Hart
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Sharmila’s Answer

Most high schools offer Introduction to computer science or programming , try those courses. Community colleges also offer coding classes, take one to see if it's right for you.
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Rich’s Answer

Great question, Maria R. A lot of good ideas have been posted here. Two other thoughts I'd add:

* Consider coming up with a concrete problem to solve, and soliciting help from students with it. For example, maybe you want to create a website for your community to map out where local medical testing centers are, or build an app to help students collaborate on homework. Students might not get excited about "programming", but once they see what they can _do_ with programming, it might give them just the nudge they need to reach out.

* If you do end up creating a study group or club for students, check out https://exercism.io. It's a site that pairs up junior engineers with more experienced mentors to get help with programming.

Good luck!
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Bhavya Raju’s Answer

Maria,

That's a great question. I am very happy you are taking an interest at this young age. And I am glad because I am a woman in tech in MTL ( I work as a software quality assurance engineer) and we need more women to build better software.


Dhairya answer is great. To add to that - there is a couple of more things which you can look at:

1. Looking at meet ups and turning up when the topics are interesting. And I get how intimidating it is. But this is a field where everybody's starting at ground zero in some topic everyday. This also gives you a chance to seek out mentors.
2. Looking at organizations like https://djangogirls.org/ and keeping an eye out on their workshops. They are very beginner friendly.

Keep us posted.
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Austin’s Answer

Hello Maria,

A good idea would be to start a "coding club" at your local high school or recreational area depending on the state that you live in, and ask a local professor at a community college or university to help teach you all some coding mechanics, and let everyone get some hands-on experiences with it. I hope this help!
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Mario’s Answer

You can also look at starting an e-sports team. The team would start by getting into games and would quickly learn about computers and graphics.

If you were then able to expand on that, you would be able to bring in guests who would show programming and challenge them to create small apps.
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Pooja’s Answer

Hi Maria!
I used to be a part of the ACM student chapter when I was an undergrad, and then even through post-grad. ACM has an amazing program called the Hour of Code, that encourages us to propagate Computer Science to people who otherwise don't have the exposure to it.

For two consecutive years, we conducted activities in the nearby school, where we gave the kids a ramp up on computer science, and had them do fun coding exercises through games on code.org

You can find an ACM chapter near you, from their website (acm.org) and get in touch with them to help you conduct some activties. (not necessarily the Hour of Code)
This will help build interest of students in the CS domain.

Once enough students are encouraged and excited about this field, you can follow through with ideas in the other answers, seeking out mentors, getting together a coding club, there are many great and informative ideas on this forum.

Good luck.
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Renee’s Answer

Entice them (________________)!

With high salary knowlwdge

The ability to travel

Being able to work at a Company they favor

Stability of earned income and its ability to afford them what they want to atrain

Renee recommends the following next steps:

Add scholarship links
Add school links
Add coding class links
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Lynn’s Answer

I now work in the tech field, but I was once one of those teenagers who would have never ever signed up for a coding class or club. I think it's smart of you to take a different approach to try to interest a broad group of students. Here's what I'd do. I'd create a club or a class to accomplish a certain goal (build a portfolio website, analyze your social media reach, create a video game, make a phone app), and then people will become organically interested in coding. And definitely pull from all the great/free resources mentioned in the other comments!
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Candy Pollock’s Answer

Marie R, great question and you got some great answers so far. If you need a little more hands on approach from an expert I suggest going on LinkedIn and finding someone in your area passionate about teaching that has already experienced success in the industry. Maybe they would help you design a curriculum or better yet someone that teaches professionally and has it already developed. Reinventing the wheel can be a waste of time.
Are there any colleges or universities in your area that have a degree program? Maybe even a student if not a professor?
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Austin’s Answer

Hello Maria,

A good idea would be to start a "coding club" at your local high school or recreational area depending on the state that you live in, and ask a local professor at a community college or university to help teach you all some coding mechanics, and let everyone get some hands-on experiences with it. I hope this help!
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Jeff’s Answer

Awesome that you want to take initiative teaching the love of coding to others. Reach them where they are.. start a youtube channel showing beginners how to code, making it fun.
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