TECH for GIRLS
Introduction to App Inventor, Java and Beyond
In 11 2-hour weekend classes, we will introduce programming and app creation using App Inventor from MIT. This will include the use of hands-on labs and online tutorials from MIT as learning materials. We will then cover the basics of Java Programming, and expose students to programming Raspberry Pi. In addition, we plan to invite a female senior manager from Intel as our guest speaker, and have a field trip to a local company or college. By the end of the program, we hope that the students will have the basic skills necessary to make useful apps, grow their interests in app development and becoming makers. Each student who completes the program will bring home a Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate kit.
This program is sponsored by a grant from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) AspireIT with Tech for Kids Club as the partner and co-sponsor.
Elaine T Yang, Sophomore, Sunset High School
Andrew T Yang, Senior, Westview High School
Russell Chai, Freshman, Sunset High School
Jin Yang, Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation
The classes are held on Sundays 3-5pm at the Tektronix Beaverton campus at 14150 SW Karl Braun Dr, Beaverton, OR 97005. 20 girls from different middle schools in the greater Portland area are attending the classes.
October 16, 2016
Thank you all very much for a great turnout! We gave an overview of the program, watched a short video on Grace Hopper, and went over some of the beginner's App Inventor tutorials at http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/ai2/beginner-videos.html.
October 23, 2016
We watched a short video on "Computer Science is Changing Everything". We also watched a short video on "Hedy Lamarr", an Austrian and American film actress and inventor of frequency-hopping spread-spectrum. At the end of the class, we also showed the Raspberry Pi 3 kit we are going to use for the last part of the program.
For the App Inventor, we covered unit 0-3 "Hello Purr App", units 1-1 and 1-2 on "I Have a Dream App" from the CS in SF: App Inventor" curriculum at https://sites.google.com/a/sfusd.edu/app-inventor/
October 30, 2016
We watched a short video on "Computer Science and Entertainment" and one on Ada Lovelace, the pioneer of scientific computing.
For the App Inventor, we covered unit 2 on building a "Paint Pot" app from the CS in SF: App Inventor" curriculum. All students completed unit 2-1 on the first half of the app, and a majority also completed unit 2-3 on the second half of the app. We also covered conditional statements and variables.
November 6, 2016
We covered Unit 3: animation (3-1 to 3-7). We learned how to (1) animate sprite movement using canvas, use clock and image sprite components, (2) program random movement, (3) change variable values, (4) build a countdown timer, (5) create a score label, and (6) define and call a procedure.
In the class, we also watched a short video on "Computer Science and Environment" and a TED talk by Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits on "Building blocks that blink, beep and teach".
November 13, 2016
This week we covered the rest of Unit 3 on the Pong app (3-8 to 3-10), and learned ways to move the ball, move the paddle, bounce the ball off the edges, the paddle as well as make sounds. A few students also started Unit 4 on the Magic 8 Ball app.
In the class, we also watched a short video on "Computer Science and Medicine" and a TED talk by Professor Fei-Fei Li, Director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and Stanford Vision Lab on "How we're teaching computers to understand pictures".
November 20, 2016
No class due to Thanksgiving break.
November 27, 2016
We completed the "no texting while driving" app from http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/no-text-while-driving-ai2.html. It responds to an incoming text by sending an automatic text response, and also using Text-to-Speech to read the message out loud. It is a very useful app for moms and dads on the road.
We also watched a short video on "Computer Science and Communication" and a TED talk by Cynthia Breazeal on "The rise of personal robots".
December 4, 2016
Professor Li Liang gave a guest lecture on introduction to Java Basics with BlueJ. We had a few issues with the Chromebooks as they do not support BlueJ so we had a few pairs of students sharing laptops. At the end we covered basic Java programming skills.
December 11, 2016
Class canceled due to snow.
December 17, 2016
We started the class with an inspirational speech by Mrs. Jeanne Yuen, an Intel VP. Mrs. Yuen not only shared with us her journey over years, but also taught us a brief history of computers and showed the bright future ahead of us.
Afterwards, we had a visit by last year's FTC World Championship team Hot-Wired. We saw a few competition videos and everyone got the chance to drive the robot!
And finally, we had lots of snacks and drinks to celebrate the winter break and our accomplishments so far.
February 12, 2017
It was great seeing you all again after the long winter break and finals. We started the class with Julia and Olivia talking about their own apps(thank you!) and after, everyone successfully built a Raspberry Pi computer and got it up-and running after installing Raspbian OS!
The latest and most powerful Raspberry Pi 3 Model B consists of (1) a 64bit Quad Core CPU at 1.2GHz and 1GB RAM, (2) on-board WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 as well as a 10/100 LAN Port, (3) a full size HDMI port and 4 USB2 ports, (4) 40 Pin GPIO, and a few other features. In addition to the RPi, everyone has received, in the box, electrical components that we will use to do some interesting "experiments" in the next couple of classes.
February 19, 2017
Everyone learned how to connect the Raspberry Pi to the breadboard through the GPIO cable and breakout. Although we did not have enough time to build circuits and control them with our Raspberry Pis, we got BlueJ up and running, and reviewed Java basics by completing a couple of short programs. We also went over some basic components of electronic circuits.
February 26, 2017
No class due to FTC Oregon State Championship
March 5, 2017
We covered three circuit and programming labs. The first lab was to control a LED with a Java program from Raspberry Pi (RPi). The second lab was to program a switch to turn the LED on and off. The third lab was to program the switch to control an array of three Christmas lights: red, yellow and green. Most of the students completed the first two labs, please finish them at home. We also encourage every student to explore more after our class with the Raspberry Pi. You can find tons of tutorials and kits online, such as (https://pimylifeup.com/).
March 12, 2017
No class due to FTC Super Regional West