5-8, 6-12, Apps, Computer Science, Science, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

Kids Can Code – and Change the World

Viney Kumar shares his Google Science Fair Project here.
Viney Kumar shares his Google Science Fair Project here.

It’s here!  This week is Computer Science Education Week.  (Check out the Google Doodle to honor Grace Hopper’s birthday, which starts CSEd Week this year!)  To celebrate, you are invited to participate in an Hour of Code – a global event during which schools are committing to teach students how to program for at least one hour during the week.  There are TONS of resources on the CSED website, and I have blogged about those and more in the past few weeks.  You can also look at my Programming for Kids Pinterest Board for even more ideas. For up-to-the-minute ideas, join the #kidscancode Twitter chat every Tuesday at 8PM EST.

Kids usually associate programming with video games.  As you know, though, it can involve so much more.  In one of my posts last week, I mentioned a video that showed how a homeless man was taught to code, and how that man is now using his skills to create an app to help the environment.  But our students do not have to wait until they are adults to design apps – or to change the world.  To inspire your students, you can show them this video of a young man named Viney Kumar.  At 14 years old, Viney developed an app to increase the reaction time to emergency vehicles in traffic with the goal of making it less likely for emergency responders to be stuck in a gridlock.  He shares how he got the idea and a brief summary of its development. He ends with, “Think about how the world works – or doesn’t work.  You can make a difference.”

You can find Viney’s video, as well as 9 other examples of “Kids Changing the Tech World” in this article from Buzzfeed.

3-12, Careers, Education, Independent Study, Motivation, Research, Science, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

2013 Google Science Fair

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The 2013 Google Science Fair is open for entries, and its theme is, “It’s Your Turn to Change the World.”  Before you get too excited, please be aware that you must be between the ages of 13-18 in order to enter.  According to the Google Science Fair site, “This is a great opportunity for teenagers to explore ideas they’re passionate about, learn about science, and maybe produce a world-changing idea.”

Don’t despair, though, if your child/student does not meet the age requirements.  Visiting the site to see the past winners and their projects can be very inspiring.  One part of the site exhibits “Science Heroes”, such as Alexander Graham Bell and Ada Lovelace.  I think it’s great to see a good representation of women on the page.  In addition, there are downloadable posters for the Science Heroes.   I also love the video featured on the main page of the Google Science Fair site.  This video is very uplifting and motivational, and I have embedded it below.