This year 2023, Ashpot’s annual Summer Code Camp for kids and teens once again provided an enriching educational experience for children aged 6 to 13, and those ages between 14 to 18 years. This specialized camp, designed to introduce youngsters to fundamental programming languages, took place from August 7th to August 25th. This code camp is an offshoot of the Ashpot EarlyStart initiative.
What is EarlyStart?
In 2020, Ashpot launched a program that aimed to produce the next generation of tech leadrs and innovator by training ten thousand kids in a space of ten years. This program runs in partnership with schools to teach such tech skills like python programming, scratch, web development, mobile app development, basic electronics, robotics and artificial intelligence. About six schools have partnered with the company on this initiative and about one thousand four hundred lids have been trained since 2020. The company is currently seeking collaborations and grants to scale the program.
In pursuing this objective, the company created the Summer Code Camp so that even who are not in our partner school can acquire these skills during their long vacation.
This Year's Curriculum
The comprehensive curriculum for this year included instruction in scratch programming, mobile app development, python programming, chess training, hardware maintenance, and basic electronics/robotics. To address the different needs and abilities of the participants, the children were organized into two distinct groups: Group A, comprising children aged 6 to 9, and Group B, for those aged 10 to 13.
Each group followed a unique timetable tailored to their specific age group and learning objectives, with classes being conducted simultaneously. Group A primarily focused on Scratch programming, while Group B in Python programming and app development. Additionally, both groups partcipated in Chess and Basic Electronics.
Classes were held on weekdays, from Monday through Friday, spanning from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM, with a designated break time from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM. A total of 12 children participated in this summer code camp.
In the immersive Kids Summer Code program, the Class B participants dived into the world of Python programming with enthusiasm and curiosity. Over the three weeks, the kids grasped fundamental concepts of coding using Python, a versatile and powerful language. They began by understanding the syntax basics, gradually progressing to more complex topics like variables, loops, and functions. Through hands-on projects and interactive exercises, the children not only learned to write and comprehend Python code but also gained insights into algorithmic thinking and problem-solving. Witnessing their creations come to life, from simple scripts to creative games, highlighted their newfound ability to apply programming principles in practical scenarios. The kids emerged from the program not just with coding skills but with a deeper appreciation for the logical structure of programming languages, setting the stage for their continued exploration and growth in the dynamic world of Python programming.
Throughout the three-week Kids Summer Code program, the Class A participants delved into the fascinating world of Scratch programming, and the results were truly remarkable. The kids acquired a solid foundation in coding concepts, mastering the art of creating interactive stories, games, and animations. They honed their logical thinking and problem-solving skills by navigating through Scratch's visual coding blocks, learning to sequence commands, control characters, and implement loops and conditional statements. Moreover, the kids gained an understanding of the creative possibilities that coding offers, as they designed and brought their imaginative projects to life. From creating animated characters to designing their own games, the children not only learned the fundamentals of coding but also discovered the joy and empowerment that comes with turning their ideas into digital reality. The Summer Code experience not only equipped them with tangible coding skills but also fostered a love for exploration, innovation, and collaboration in the exciting realm of programming.
One of the objectives of this year's code camp was to provide a solid electronics foundation for the kids, so both classes embarked on a journey into the fascinating realm of circuits and automation. Throughout the three weeks, the kids delved into the fundamentals of basic electronics, gaining hands-on experience in constructing circuits, understanding components like resistors and LEDs, and exploring the magic of electricity. They were introduced to the exciting world of robotics, learning how to assemble and program simple robots using user-friendly kits. The children not only grasped the principles of circuitry but also cultivated problem-solving skills as they troubleshooted and debugged their electronic creations. Witnessing their robots come to life, responding to programmed commands, was a testament to their newfound understanding of the synergy between hardware and software. The program not only equipped the kids with foundational knowledge in basic electronics and robotics but also sparked a sense of wonder and curiosity that will undoubtedly propel them towards further exploration in the dynamic field of technology.
In the Chess training program, participants from both classes were trained on not only the fundamental rules of chess but also delved into advanced tactics and strategic thinking. They honed their understanding of chess openings, middle-game strategies, and endgame techniques through interactive lessons and engaging gameplay. The program emphasized not just the rules of the game but also the development of critical thinking, decision-making, and concentration skills. Witnessing the children apply learned strategies on the chessboard and engage in friendly competitions highlighted their evolving proficiency and passion for the game. The Kids Summer Chess program not only equipped them with a solid foundation in chess but also fostered a love for the intellectual challenges and timeless allure of this classic game, setting the stage for a lifelong journey of strategic exploration.
Mobile App Develoment
Frr the Class B, In the dmobile app development using App Inventor was part of the curriculum. The young participants embarked on a thrilling journey into the world of creating their own interactive mobile applications. Over the course of three weeks, the kids gained a hands-on understanding of app development by utilizing the intuitive App Inventor platform. They learned to design user interfaces, incorporate multimedia elements, and implement functionalities through visual coding blocks. Through engaging projects, the children not only acquired the technical skills required for app development but also honed their creativity in envisioning and realizing their own app ideas. Witnessing their apps come to life on mobile devices provided a tangible sense of achievement and empowerment. The program not only instilled a foundational knowledge of mobile app development but also nurtured a passion for innovation and technology, setting the stage for these young minds to explore the limitless possibilities of creating their own digital solutions.
The Grand Finale
On the final day of the program, which fell on Friday, August 25th, a special presentation took place. All the parents of the children and teenagers who attended the summer code camp were invited to watch as their young ones showcased and discussed what they had learned over the course of the three-week program.Students from each course were carefully chosen to make presentations during the event.
As the sun set on the last day of Ashpot's 2023 Kids Summer Code Camp, there was a palpable sense of achievement in the air. Over the course of three weeks, a group of 12 enthusiastic children had embarked on a journey of discovery and learning, and the results were truly remarkable.
The closing presentation on Friday, August 25th, was a testament to the hard work and dedication of both the students and the instructors. Parents and guardians filled the room with pride as they watched their young ones confidently talk about the programming languages they had mastered, the apps they had developed, and the intricate moves they had learned in chess.
Group A, consisting of the younger children aged 6 to 9, wowed the audience with their creative Scratch projects. From animated stories to interactive games, their proficiency in this foundational programming language was truly impressive.
Group B, the older kids aged 10 to 13, showcased their prowess in Python programming. Some had even designed their own simple apps, demonstrating a remarkable understanding of coding principles.
But the camp was about more than just programming. Chess training sharpened the children's strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, while hardware maintenance and basic electronics/robotics sessions sparked their curiosity about the inner workings of technology.
In the end, what made Ashpot's Kids Summer Code Camp truly special was its ability to address the different needs and abilities of the participants. Each child had the opportunity to explore their interests and develop their skills at their own pace, all under the expert guidance of passionate instructors.
As the camp concluded, it was clear that these young minds were leaving with more than just technical skills. They were leaving with a sense of confidence, curiosity, and the knowledge that they could be the innovators of tomorrow.
So, as we bid farewell to the 2023 Kids Summer Code Camp, we look forward to the bright futures that await these young learners, armed with the knowledge and inspiration they gained during this enriching educational experience. They are indeed the future of innovation, and we are at peace because we know the world is in good hands.