The first CodeRED event for Central Jersey Alumnae was held on December 9, 2017 at Washington Community School in Plainfield, NJ. The event was quite a success!
The CodeRED Day of Service was spearheaded by the Eastern Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is part of a global initiative to introduce tens of millions of students worldwide to computer science, inspiring kids to learn more, breaking stereotypes and leaving them feeling empowered and motivated. Taking place on the international "Day of Code", CodeRED aims to expose more children of color, especially girls, to the world of code and technology.
The Central Jersey Alumnae CodeRED session was held during the chapter's annual Christmas party and was designed around the "Hour of Code" program created by code.org. The Technology committee set up a CodeRED station with laptops, wireless keyboards and mice, large monitors, and wireless speakers. Videos about coding played on the monitors to attract the children to the stations. Members of the Technology committee engaged the children to talk about coding and to introduce them to the games we set up for them to teach them how to code.
The games quickly captured the curiosity of the students and in a short time they were writing code. We setup two tutorial games created by code.org - one centered on Star Wars and the other on MineCraft. Later students ventured to other tutorials such as one based on Wonder Woman. The tutorials taught them step-by-step how to code with videos and easy to follow instructions, each phase of the game adding more concepts. Soon they were coding programs to make Star Wars' BB8 pick up scrap metal, to break down a wall in MineCraft or to make Wonder Woman jump over her enemies! All with wonderful sound effects!
About a dozen students and eight adults participated in the activities. Each of the students received an Hour of Code certificate upon completion of their exercise. Based on the responses from the students, the event was a lot of fun and educational.