engineering

Never Have Trouble Finding Places for Science on Your Vacation Again: Sci Sites!

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In January 2018, Dr. Lakshini Mendis launched a website for the purpose of inviting science to come along on your vacation.  While just about every large city in the United States, as well as across the world, typically has a science-related museum, or other science related activities to do while you’re visiting, sometimes they can be hard to find.

 

 

Dr. Lakshini Mendis is a trained neuroscientist, and now is a full-time science writer and editor herself.  After she gained her PhD, she traveled abroad a lot.  While she was abroad, she wanted to find these “STEM-related places” that she knew absolutely existed.  Finding them, though, was an entire adventure on its own.

 

 

Dr. Mendis found it to be a little frustrating and not very convenient that there wasn’t a place on the internet where you could go to see every science activity or public area in the location you were visiting.  Of course, you could Google things all day long, but the convenience just was not there. She wanted a “one-stop STEM related travel site”.  

 

 

VISIT THE SITE

 

 
 
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Sci-Sites.com is exactly that.  By noting where she has been on her science filled trips, and asking others where they have been, Dr. Mendis has created an easily-accessible space to fit her goal.  This site includes guest posts about these places, so that you’re not going in blind — as well as suggests science related spaces for every continent. No matter where you’re going on vacation, Dr. Mendis is making it so you have no excuse to not add science into the mixture.

 

 

Another wonderful thing about Dr. Mendis’ site is that it aids in visibility for not only STEM, and STEM-related public spaces, but also for the scientists and employees involved.  By allowing guest posts, scientists who have worked for specific museums and other STEM-related places can bring awareness to those said areas, as well as to the work that they do for that specific place. 

 

It’s another way, that’s totally different and completely unique to the current world of Science Communication, to get the science communication ball rolling.  It’s a great way to get the entire family involved with STEM and the people directly involved in STEM fields in a fun and relatable way.

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of all things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.

Code Angel: A New Kickstarter Campaign to Teach You and Your Children How to Code

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Since the original publishing of this article, CODE ANGEL was successfully funded, and can be found here

Learning to code has never been easier than with a Raspberry Pi computer.  These computers, the size of a credit card, are designed specifically to teach children how to code.  In this day and age this is, of course, something incredibly crucial to learn, considering how much we use computers every single day.

 

Schools in the UK have used Raspberry Pi in their classrooms, but there isn’t always enough time to actually teach coding properly.  However, with Code Angel, your child can learn to do this on her own, at home, on her own time using the Python programming language.

 

What is Code Angel?

 

 
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Currently, Code Angel is a Kickstarter project that launched today at 15:00 GMT, or 11am EST.  It was founded by Mark Cunningham, who had the idea to teach “the principles of computer programming through 12 amazing game projects”.  The game projects include (but are not limited to) an Alien Invasion Game, Tic Tac Toe, and Mini Golf.

 

 

When you purchase Code Angel (which will be about 25£ — about ~$32 — at the time of its release) it comes fully loaded with everything your child (or even yourself) will need to learn how to code these games.  The code of each game is explained by computer science teachers via video, teaching your child beforehand how to code the game so that they can learn as they go along.  And learning how to code games specifically should keep your child more engaged than a typical coding course.

 

What if you’ve made a mistake, and you can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong? Code Angel themselves will explain how to fix your bugs if you upload the code to their website.

 

Every graphic needed for the game, and every sound needed, are already availiable with Code Angel when your purchase it — all you have to do is implement the code.

 

There’s two different ways you can purchase Code Angel as well.  There’s Code Angel in a Box, which gives you your own personal Raspberry Pi computer and everything else you need to start right from the box.  There’s also Code Angel Digital, which is perfect if you already have a Raspberry Pi.  This form of the program allows you to download and stream the content from Code Angel’s website.

 

Mark Cunningham decided to do this project out of a place of passion.  “Code Angel is not gender specific,”  He told me.  “[But] as a Computing Science teacher and father to [two] girls I am passionate about getting girls into coding/computing”.

 

In his press release for the project, he goes on by saying: “Computer programming is a key 21st Century skill, but it should also be fun and give the learner a sense of achievement.  With over 20 years of  experience of teaching computer programming in schools, we know what motivates learners and we know what causes barriers to their learning. We also believe in developing computational thinking skills.”

 

You can visit their Kickstarter to support them here!  There are a lot of great perks if you decide to help fund the project.  You can also visit their Twitter account here to get more updates on the project as it moves forward, and also check out their website!

 

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.