The Build-A-Bike Team Workshop and Charity Event
The Build-A-Bike Team Building Workshop and charity event is a brainy and challenging program where our students are divided into five groups to solve specific challenges in order to build bicycles for young children from The Boys and Girls Club. Each group has puzzles to solve, codes to decipher, and secrets to unlock in order to acquire the resources to build. They all worked together and learned how to build a bike as well as how to build a team. In the picture, they are giving five brand-new bicycles to kids from the Boys and Girls Club. Everyone cheers!
Basics in App Inventor, Python and Beyond
Dec. 2018 - Mar. 2019
This was the third school year of our Tech for Girls program as we offered free computer programming classes to middle school girls. In a series of ten-weekend classes, we introduced computer programming and app creation; these concepts were introduced using platforms such as the MIT App Inventor. The curriculum included the use of hands-on labs and online tutorials from MIT as learning materials. We then covered the basics of Python Programming and exposed students to Virtual Reality development with CoSpaces. In addition, we invited a female senior engineer from Oski Technology as our guest speaker to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM fields in the future. By the end of the program, students gained the basic skills necessary to make useful apps and grow their interests in app development.
Summer 2018 CoSpaces Workshop
We have one-week special Workshop on Virtual Reality development with CoSpaces through several exercises. Everyone uses Google Cardboard to view her designed VR projects. Several girls are rising middle schoolers and it’s the first time they learned about VR. They did have fun to create and build their own 3D experiences in the virtual reality world.
Introduction to App Inventor, Virtual Reality with Co-Spaces
Nov. 2017 - Mar. 2018
We are excited to offer two free Sunday afternoon programs for middle school girls. 1) An introductory class to MIT App Inventor for beginners. Same as last year, students learned basic programming concepts. In addition, they practiced writing programs to control Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots. 2) Virtual Reality with Co-Space and Blockly. CoSpaces is a Virtual Reality building space. Students learned to program in Blockly and encouraged to create their own CoSpaces projects. Girl’s creativity and imagination are AMAZING!!!
Field Trip to Portland State University and Google Portland
We had an amazing field trip to Portland State University and Google Portland. At Portland State University, we visited ARC (Asynchronous Research Center) and a few other research labs and facilities. Professor Ivan Sutherland, a 1988 Turing Award winner for his pioneering and visionary contributions to computer graphics, shared with us fascinating stories about computing technology and woman pioneers. At Google Portland, researchers showed us a few awesome research projects. We are very thankful to all the professors, researchers and students who interacted with us. We are particularly thankful to Professor Fei Xie and Dr. Huiyu Liu for organizing the trip for us!
Introduction to App Inventor, Java and Beyond
Oct. 2016 - Mar. 2017
This program is offered to 20 middle school girls. The 11 2-hour weekend classes cover programming and app creation using App Inventor from MIT, basics of Java Programming, and programming with Raspberry Pi. This program is sponsored by a grant from NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) and co-sponsored by the Tech for Kids Club.
2016 End-of-Summer Conference
Reported by Russell Chai, Sunset High School
The Tech for Kids Club 2016 End-Of-Summer Conference was held at the Tektronix building on September 24, 2016, where over 60 families attended. This conference is all about the past, present, and future for Tech4Kids. The meeting included showcases of what kids had learned in the Tech4Kids summer camp, speeches on what Tech4Kids is doing now, and presentations on what is to come for our club.
The conference started off with an amazing ballet performance. The dance was a collaboration between Tech4Kids and Haiyan International Dance Academy. During the summer, a few students from each association met and practiced regularly. All of the dancers dedicated their time and hard work to provide this performance. After the dance, applauses were given and Club President, Jin Yang, gave an introduction to the conference. He talked about the huge success of the T4K summer camp and what our club accomplished in the past year.
During the summer, students learned a lot about public speaking, thus, the club presented many speeches given by middle schoolers and high schoolers. From the Middle School Toastmasters, Colin Liu and Kyle Liu each gave speeches on the importance of programming and why they like to code. Lele Yang, from the Middle School Girls Public Speaking team, gave a speech on her evolution of public speaking and how this club helped her improve her skills. Following Lele’s speech was Stanley Wang from the 8th Grade Public Speaking team. He discussed his beliefs on parenting, that it should be a combination of Asian parenting and Western parenting. Also from the Middle School Girls Public Speaking team, Jenny Duan, Annabelle Wang, Laura Qin, Angie Cao, Jennifer Zhang, and Katherine Fan gave a group speech on self-driving cars. From the High School YSL program, three open panels were given about serious topics in the world, such as feminism and the importance of veganism. Special shout out to Cate Arnold, a Beaverton City Councilor and Toast Master veteran, who donated her time to mentoring the team in Toastmasters. After the open panels, she gave a speech on Toastmasters and the importance of public speaking. Also from the YSL program, Breanna Guo talked about the Lincoln High School walkout. Lincoln High School is a very old school, about 100 years old and is said to be not safe for students. The students at Lincoln walked out of school one day to protest. The last group to give a speech is the 7th Grade Public Speech Leadership team. William Guo gave a speech on why students should take math courses online. The group together did a small play about Pokémon Go and why people should use their phones less.
The conference wasn’t just about public speaking, however. Awards and recognition were given to volunteers and workers of the club. These people gave up their time for the well-being of Tech4Kids. They are the Youth Leadership students and the hardworking parents that put their kids’ education over their personal matters. Silu Men and Aaron Sha introduced the Tech4Kids Youth board members. This group of people is board-selected students who actively help out the club. The Youth board discusses what they think Tech4Kids should do and their opinions get presented to the board members. Elaine Yang, an NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) AspireIT winner and a Sophomore at Sunset High School, introduced Tech4Girls program. This program is to help middle school girls learn the basic programming skills necessary to make useful apps and grow their interests in app development.
All in all, it was not only a successful conference but a successful year for Tech4Kids. Another special thanks to all the volunteers who contributed at the conference and the mentors who taught at Tech4Kids
2015 Winter Conference Recap
Reported by Sara Shao, Westview High School
The Tech for Kids Club 2015 Winter Conference was held at the Intel Jones Farm Conference Center on Dec 20, 2015. This year’s theme is Leadership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. Over 250 people were in attendance.
The conference featured three guest speakers. Hui Shao is a successful inventor who has solved multiple real life problems via numerous inventions and patents, including his newest twist-free water bottle. Michael Ho is an MIT graduate and a successful entrepreneur who recently led his start-up company, Varolii, to a successful acquisition. Alisha Zhao is a student from Lincoln High School and a great leader who created an organization to help educate the homeless children. All three shared what they do and why they do it, while also providing valuable advice for our club members. The conference also invited a panel of college students (many thanks to Sarah Xu, Andrew Zhao, Roger Song, Lawrence Sun and Terrance Sun) to provide insight into life in college and lessons from high school, in order to better prepare the youth in our club for their future.
The fun and most interactive part of the conference was the STEM contest, organized by our Junior Mentor Award winner, Andrew Yang. Over 50 kids ranging from 5th to 9th grade competed in two divisions in math, physics, computer science, biology, chemistry, earth science, etc. Samuel Chen and William Zhang took 1st and 2nd place in the lower division, and Kevin Shen and Marshall Xu won in the upper division.
During the lunch break, the Arduino teams, led by Guorong Fang and Jue Shi, showcased their projects and provided hands-on experiences to all kids. Several FLL teams also presented their robotics work.
The conference concluded with the award ceremony. Congratulations to all of our prize winners! Thanks again to all the volunteers who made the club a great success, the junior mentors who led and inspired other kids by example, and to all the members who actively participated in club activities.
2015 was a great start and we look forward to another year of great success!