Last week, it was so exiting for both TRP (The Resurrection Project) and Project Exploration; we have collaborated together to serve a community that never been served before—Back of the Yards. TRP has a new, amazing youth center in the neighborhood and parents and young kids are so excited to have this facility around them. This summer, Project Exploration brings The Codesters program to the youth that have never had a chance to experience Computer Science.
On the first day, Nigel our wonderful STEM facilitator and I were so thrilled to meet our students. We had ‘welcome snack’ ready for the students and all computers logged in for them before they came in. We began our first session by working on some of paperwork, such as student-intake forms and pre-surveys. I was so glad to talk to some of the parents and hear how thrilled they were to have their kids in this program. After we had all paperwork done, we moved onto the program preview. Mr. Nigel asked everyone what Computer Science is or what they might think it is. For a moment, everyone seemed shy to talk, but little Jesus (we have two Jesus) started mumbling something. I encouraged him to say it aloud and added a comment for everyone, “Ladies and gentlemen, please speak out. There is no right or wrong answer. We would love to hear your thoughts and response.” The girls smiled—I was so glad that they found confidence. “We are looking into computer hardware and softwares,” little Jesus finally said. “That’s good. See, please everyone, speak it out. We want to hear you.” With confidence Adrian said, “We learn a computer language.” “Yes, do you know many languages there?” asked Mr. Nigel. Some said hundred; others said thousand. Mr. Nigel explained what computer languages are and which one we are learning this summer—python.