kickstarters

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.

These "Beyond Curie" Posters are Perfect For Your Classroom

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Originally Posted February 27th, 2017

This design project headed by design strategist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is anincredible collection of 32 women who pioneered STEM fields in one way or another.  Beyond Curie is a project meant to bring light to these women, and while not ignoring the incredible feats that Marie Curie did herself, everyone knows who she is.  This project is meant to diversify the knowledge that students have of these incredible women, and every dollar that Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya’s Kickstarter makes beyond what production costs are will go toward the Association for Women in Science.

 

Who Exactly are the Women Included?

 

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya’s design project includes every woman who has ever won a Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine/Physiology, as well as 16 other women who brought their own dose of amazing to the science table.

 

Women noted include, but are not limited to, Lise Meitner, Mae Jemison, and Maryam Mirzakhani.  Each poster has a very unique design, meant to bring out what each scientist did in her work, as well as add some wonderful color to the classroom (or even your home if you so choose — forget those boy band posters!  Put these in your girl’s room).

 

What’s the Story Behind This Project?

 

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is the founder of The Leading Strand, an initiative built on the idea that scientists and designers need to be brought together in order to help the world better understand science in the first place.  Phingbodhipakkiya has applied the same principle behind her initiative to her poster project.

 

Phingbodhipakkiya became interested in neuroscience herself when she could no longer dance thanks to a severe injury she suffered from in college.  “I desperately wanted to understand why I couldn’t move as gracefully as I used to, and began studying the intricacies of how the nervous and musculoskeletal systems work together,” Phingbodhipakkiya told me.  When she began to study Alzheimer’s, and realized that the urgency of the work was not being properly displayed, that’s when she turned to design.

 

“I realized, as scientists, we needed to be better equipped to convey the vital urgency of our work.  I gained a new sense of purpose and made it my mission to learn how to use design to shine a light on science.”  And that lead to The Leading Strand.

 

When Phingbodhipakkiya approached me, I asked her what her inspiration behind the  Beyond Curie project was, specifically.  “Like many people, I was feeling pretty upset after the [US] election,” she told me. “and thinking a lot about how I could get more involved.”  That was when one of her friends, who worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign, told her to pick a cause that she cared deeply about and support it in a way that only she could.

 

“That’s what led me to do Beyond Curie,”  She said.  “I wanted to celebrate the rich history of women kicking [butt] in STEM fields, to show that our world was built by brilliant people, both male and female and of all backgrounds, and to inspire the next generation of young women to go into STEM fields.” -- Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya / The Verge / “When Design Meets Neuroscience”

 

How’s the Project Doing?

 

As it would seem, this project has been doing wonderfully.  Phingbodhipakkiya turned to Kickstarter to fund this project, and says she’s had a great turn out.  In fact, as of the writing of this article, people have given over $18K to the project, when the Kickstarter’s goal was only placed at $1,000.

 

“…It’s been great to have people sharing their ideas and stories,”  Phingbodhipakkiya said. “Many educators have reached out sharing how they’ll use the posters to inspire young women in their schools and events.”

 

And for those who are preparing to support the March for Science, she’s created posters just for that cause as well.

 

Beyond Curie has been featured on FastCompany Magazine, and in Global Citizen.

 

Where Can You Find Out More?

 

You can find the many more of the designs at her Kickstarter, which of the publishing of this article will have about 14 more days to go. Although her project has already been funded far over what was needed for the project to begin with.

 

“I think encouraging young people, especially young women, to go into STEM fields science is so important. And one way to do it is through stories.”  Phingbodhipakkiya has a wonderful TED Talk on this subject, located here and well worth a watch.

 

How about it teachers? Will you decorate your classroom with these? I want one for home.

 
 

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.