Taking a Bite out of Apple

by | Apr 30, 2018 | Chicago Public Schools, News, STEM, Technology

Spring Break 2018 Introduces 15 CPS students to Coding

Chicago Public School had Spring Break from Monday, March 26 to Friday, March 30th. A group of fifteen motivated high school students from the west side attended a Apple Coding Boot Camp. All fifteen students had 100% attendance!  This boot camp was geared towards freshmen and sophomore students where they sharpened their coding skills during the week-long coding club boot camp. Each day was filled with coding and app development projects using Swift with XCode. The camp was a great foundation!

Culminating Event at Apple Store in Lincoln Park

The culminating experience for the Apple Coding Club Boot Camp was a field trip to the Apple Store in Lincoln Park. The visit was shared by Apple! After the trip students were able to reflect on their entire week and present their key takeaways from the camp during Friday’s award presentation. Students read from their journals and described their experiences. Darnell shared that he “..was able to really experience something that will help me in my future career. I am going to become an engineer and coding will be helpful for that. Thank you to everyone here and the instructors”.  Elton shared, “thank you to the instructors and thank you to my peers. Everyone here helped me make it through this week”.

Reflections from Project Exploration Facilitators

Two Project Exploration instructors, Maximilian and Kyle described the Coding Boot Camp.  

“The [West Side STEM Learning Center] coding bootcamp was an awesome opportunity to introduce, or reinforce, coding concepts to a diverse group of learners, from a variety of experience levels. I got to see them work through exercises designed to engage their problem solving skills in ways that would give them the foundation to further develop their software development skill-sets. The coolest part was seeing some of the students mentor other students who weren’t as adept, because the web development profession is built on this kind of collaboration. This was a great first step towards incorporating more immersive code development opportunities, and I’m confident that this will give students the freedom to realize their own potential in this field” (M. Esthammer-Fic).

“Coding has an extremely high learning curve. I remember my first coding class in college left me and other A+ students feeling hopeless. When it finally clicks, however, it makes everything you do on your phone, tablet, and computer possible. The teens in the [West Side STEM Learning Center] Coding Boot Camp pushed through the difficulties of the curve. Now they have limitless power to turn their ideas, needs, and daily routines into apps that can make the world simpler, smarter, faster or more fun place in the future” (K. Reid).

Coding Camp Student Reflection

Nearly 90% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they are glad they participated in the Spring Break Coding Boot Camp. 100% of participating students enjoyed their experience at the Apple Store in Lincoln Park, 90% of the students appreciated the PE Facilitators and and 90% felt that they could use coding in their future.

Project Exploration is thrilled to be a part of this partnership with Apple, CPS, and LRNG as we collectively work to empower our students to be 21st century learners and prepared for the growing technology workforce!

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