January 28, 2017 – February 16, 2017

It’s an awesome time for Orange County youths to get their feet wet in Computer Science! This winter, WICS has paired up with Girls Who Code at Woodbridge High School to host a series of workshops for youths to explore the field of Computer Science. Mentors spent 4 weeks with 35 eager students at Lathrop Intermediate school learning about careers in the STEM field through computing and app development workshops!

Under the guidance of 11 experienced mentors, Aspire IT students had the opportunity to practice essential coding and product development skills using MIT’s Scratch, JoyLabz Makey Makey Boards, and MIT’s App Inventor. After grasping the basics, the students worked in teams to showcase a culminating project they developed using Scratch. We also had guest speakers from Amazon to help us breakdown CS stereotypes and educate the students on real opportunities in the industry. And of course, in between grind time we had plenty of creative activities to keep us on our toes!

Between each workshop, we gathered feedback from our Aspire students. We were elated to find that the program achieved its desired outcomes. One student when asked what they got out of the experience said, “I got that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still make an app.” Not only were we successfully able to break CS stereotypes, but the students also had a lot of fun! When asked how much they enjoyed the program on a scale of 1 to 10, 88% reported 10 (or more) and the remaining reported 9. We plan to continue providing this fun learning experience for more youth like our friends at Lathrop Intermediate.

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