15 Sep Our Cool Coding Summer Camp
In our first ever virtual two-day summer camp, SEA partnered with the iSTEM Employee Resource Group at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to teach students how to create their own phone application using the web-based program Thunkable.
On the first day of our virtual “code camp”, we reviewed the concepts and themes of programming introduced earlier in the year using the program Scratch. Simply put, a computer program is a set of instructions telling a machine to do what you want it to do. Starting with that initial concept, students then learned about variables, loops and if/else statements. They also were introduced to design principles. For example, students were asked how they could modify the interface to be visually appealing and give clear instructions to the user. At the end of the session, students were familiar with the Thunkable interface and created their own unique app that included a counter and a language translator.
The second day was focused on health monitoring and explained how specific hardware components of a phone can be used to track biometrics. Building upon their knowledge from previous sessions, students then created a heart rate calculator application. Overall, the students had fun exploring the myriad functions of Thunkable and learned valuable lessons in how to apply problem-solving skills to designing applications.