Inspiring The Kids!
Today my coworker and I had a chance to attend a local elementary school event called "Imagine That Day" and speak about what we do along with many other companies/fields. The sessions were about 45 minutes and we had the pleasure of working with quite a few classes today.
It was somewhat of a challenge to figure out what we wanted to talk about as the subject of programming, web design and development can be quite broad. So we decided to go with the KISS (keep it simple stupid) approach by leveraging animations and interactivity to keep them interested in the topic.
We also thought it was important to tie the artistry aspects to the web world to pique interest and leave no kid behind. So to do that I brought my notebooks, pens, etc. and showed the students that were interested how a logo is made, an idea turned into a sketch which is made into a graphic and then handed to the developers. I could see kids that had otherwise dismissed programming, take a new interest. That was probably the best part for me.
We ran the students through a session on code.org to keep the lesson in scope while not reinventing the wheel. The code.org stuff is amazingly well done and we were able to interact with the students explaining concepts, fixing bugs, etc. Some of these kids, at 10 & 11 are awesome programmers already so I hope they keep at it!