STEAM

5 Vidcode Projects That Have Taught us About Science

Guest blog post by our summer intern Olivia, a rising senior at Marymount.

1). This first Vidcode project, coded by Candace Miller, teaches students about the digestive system in a fun and simple way. Great job, Candace!

2). This second Vidcode project, coded by Olivia Miller, allows viewers to see what the sun may look like in space. Since we cannot actually go to space and observe the motion of planets and of the sun, it is great to see animations of them online when studying astronomy. Great job, Olivia!

outer space coding project

3). This third Vidcode project, coded by the Earth Guys, gives us tips on how to minimize our environmental impact. Great job, Earth Guys!

climate change coding project

4). This fourth Vidcode project, coded by Vidcoder, shows us all that global warming is a serious issue which must be stopped.  If we do not take measures to prevent global warming
from happening, the earth will burn one day. Great job, Vidcoder for bringing awareness to global warming in such a clear way!

global warming computational thinking


5). This fifth Vidcode project, coded by Vidcoder, brings awareness to global warming once again. Given that there are multiple projects on global warming, maybe it is a sign that we should start doing something as soon as possible to prevent global warming from continuing! Great job on your project, Vidcoder!

global warming coding project

Teaching Students to Code at the 92Y

Starting in the summer of 2015 and continuing through 2016-17, New York’s 92nd Street Y teamed with Vidcode to introduce the educational tool to local children with a passion for technology as part of their workshop program.  While aimed at younger students, many adult teachers were quickly grateful for the fun lessons that they, too, are able to take part in.

photo 3.JPG

“Personally, I am always looking for ways to use technology creatively,” said Kelly Saxton, an educator who oversaw the Vidcode classes.  “Any time you give students a voice, or an opportunity for self-expression, the learning outcome is incredible.  If, for example, you enable a student to learn through creating something from their own mind, they will retain that information easier and stronger.  It immediately becomes more real, eliminating the drudgery and replacing it with creativity – and I love that.  With Vidcode, that esthetic was at work, and I think that the kids gravitated towards learning [the coding programs] because of it.”

   
The Vidcode summer intensive workshop launched less one year after Vidcode became available.  Educators associated with the camp were immediately drawn to the app’s functions and quickly joined forces to meet their own initiatives: teaching Javascript, “the "language of the web," through creative video projects.  Located on Lexington Avenue in the heart of New York City, the week-long intensive was comprised of five core lessons – and was successful enough that the organizers again teamed with Vidcode the following year.

“The 92Y already offered other creative programs, such as comic art and sculpture,” Saxton continued.  “But Vidcode offered something unlike we had ever had before. I had been teaching digital media for some time and was excited to try their ‘pre-existing framework,’” which you could then turn into anything you’d like, for myself. The students immediately loved the Vidcode modules which showed how animation works, and proved to be an amazing introduction for the kids to learn code.”

Vidcode’s learning curve is primarily based on teaching Javascript in a fun, game-like way.  The app’s state-of-the-art interface teaches the Javascript coding language through lessons built around creative art projects.  Once viewed as a sophisticated and difficult tech language to comprehend, Javascript is instantly demystified by Vidcode’s unique program initiatives – creating video filters, JavaScript libraries, and HTML5 to control how each user’s video will look.  

By playfully creating music videos, short animation clips, and movie special effects, kids and adults alike instantly pick up the skills needed to learn sophisticated coding practices. All of the young students who participated in the workshops stated that their favorite elements of Vidcode’s the user-friendly modules included movie-making, stop-motion animation, and the opportunity to instantly view their final projects in the app’s interface.  

photo 4.JPG


Thanks to the program, all of the students walked away from the experience, eager to learn more advanced techniques in coding and application creation.  


“The kids were able to understand pretty sophisticated concepts immediately,” Saxton added.  “Normally, it would take a little while for anyone to learn the syntax and more-advanced technology of coding and animation, but with Vidcode, they were hands-on and able to create things within in minutes.  I thought that it could even be an amazing learning tool for adults, as well.”


As an education tool, the young students – all of whom were novices in the world of coding and digital creation – quickly learned such necessities as variables, arrays, and various application functions, while retaining the advanced information due to Vidcode’s almost video-game like appeal.  

Why Role Models are Instrumental for Getting Girls Into the Tech Field

Originally posted as part of our Huffington Post blog series.

“A role model is a person whose serves as an example by influencing others,” says the American Academy of Adolescent Psychology (AAAP).

To see yourself somewhere, and in order to make it easier to set a future path, the most useful and motivating tool is a role model; they give inspiration and guidance. This is why role models are instrumental in getting more women into technology fields. It starts from girls.

While celebrity and known business people are the most obvious, and most attractive choice, an easily accessible, in-person role models are also good and useful to girls.

One of the main elements of the DNA at Vidcode is women in tech. Getting women and girls, who have traditionally been underrepresented in this area, into the field of tech and computer science is something that runs deep here, at our wholly female owned and operated tech company, and one way to do that is through role models that have made it into the tech fields.

While role models that have achieved a “celebrity” status are great, such as Karlie Kloss and Marissa Meyer, role models that can be interacted with are most effective for long term success in the field.

According to a study published in the medical journal, Psychology Women Quarterly “Both boys and girls may identify more with the role model whose success seems to be the most attainable—that is, the role model whose success is explained by efforts.”

The study also shows that “students identify more with a role model whose success in math is explained by hard work than with a role model whose success is explained as natural talent or whose success is not explained.”

This is why an in-person role model is important, as opposed to an out of reach celebrity. 
The study’s findings also show that kids benefit more from a role model they can directly identify with, such as a female working in tech, for girls.

An Accenture study said “We can not emphasize enough the importance of role models in identifying women with leadership goals. Our findings show a strong correlation between having a role model and having C-Suite aspirations. “

But finding a role model for yourself or children might seem difficult. So how can you go about this?

A great way is for through clubs, groups or after school activities that are tech based. These groups will have someone in charge who is knowledgeable about the field and most likely has contacts in the industry. Also groups like big brother big sister, or cultural organizations often have professionals that volunteer to generally mentor or teach new skills. Ask for a volunteer that works in the tech industry.

There are many great organizations whose mission is to further women (and girls) in tech, such as The Grace Hopper Organization,Women In Technology International, and the Association for Women in Computing,the Anita Borg Institute, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), that are trying to get more women and girl interested in technology,and can provide role models.

Announcing the Winner of our Girls Code 4 Climate @EDU Award

Vidcode is excited to announce the winners of the Girls Code 4 Climate @EDU Award! Created in partnership with Millennium@EDU Sustainable Education as a contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the contest invited students from around the globe to create, edit, and submit short videos about the Earth's climate.

So – without further ado – we'd like to congratulate the winners, Sudhiksha, Eilene, and Alyssa for their video “Less Paper = Less Climate Change.” In their video, which they coded and edited in the Vidcode app, they explain the simple things people can help do to help combat climate change every day.

code for climate change

 

Their efforts have earned a new tablet computer, a science lab, and a premium Vidcode account for their classroom. Congratulations, Sudhiksha, Eilene, and Alyssa! 

Congratulations are also in order for our runners-up, whose videos you can view in the Contest Gallery, for their outstanding work in the categories of Research, Concept, Creativity, and Composition. Each category winner won PRO Vidcode accounts, .

The Award is intended to empower students to talk about climate change through art and technology, learning both about the critical environmental issues facing our planet, and about the methods of communication and innovation that will one day help solve them. To participate in this contest, students chose a topic related to climate change, researched that topic and then recorded a short video sharing their research, bringing art, education, and technology together to help change the world. 

 


If you missed the Girls Code 4 Climate competition, fear not! We will be hosting a GirlsCode4Energy@EDU contest in the spring. Sign up below for updates, and we'll see you soon!



Project Tutorial: Galentine's Day Video

It's February, and you know what that means: Galentine's Day is coming up! As Leslie Knope describes it February 13th, or Galentine's Day, is when "my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home, and just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies."

I used Vidcode to make a Galentine's Day video. You can follow along with the steps below to make your own Galentine's Day video with code!

 

Vidcode Takes CES 2016 on the Diversity Spotlight Stage!

The first week of January tech took over Las Vegas as the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show came into town. The Vidcode team came to Vegas with the rest of the techies, as the Diversity Spotlight presentation at the Intel booth! 

Vidcode co-founders Allie and Melissa, experiencing a virtual reality roller coaster at CES 2016!

Vidcode co-founders Allie and Melissa, experiencing a virtual reality roller coaster at CES 2016!

Laina, an eighth-grader and talented Vidcode user, ran the presentation. Laina is an artist, and loves painting, drawing and playing her cello. As a student in middle school, her favorite subjects are math and science.

She was so excited when she found Vidcode, a platform she could use to combine her artistic and technical interests. She used Vidcode to create a computer vision project, using code she wrote herself and a video she had filmed. 

A coding tool for high school girls

Laina presented her beautiful computer vision project on stage alongside Vidcode co-founders Allie and Melissa. "I'm shocked that I learned a new skill through something I love, and it was exciting to see what goes on behind my favorite apps," said Laina after showing the crowd what she had made.

Watch the entire presentation below.

Computer Science Education Week with Girl Scouts of Greater New York and Vidcode

Computer Science Education Week takes place this December 7th to the 13th. It's a week to build and learn with code - anyone can do it. Only 5% of schools nation-wide offer students the opportunity to take a rigorous CS course. CS Education Week is meant to provide a time for schools, teachers, and communities to set aside a small amount of time devoted to exposing students to a greater realm of CS opportunities.

For this year's Computer Science Education Week we've built a special Tech Jam and Hour of Code in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater New York

Our partnership is centered around a shared commitment to give teen girls leadership and STEM opportunities.

 

 

Take part in Computer Science Education Week by giving your students access to Hour of Code, or go beyond Hour of Code by running a Tech Jam with your community, Girl Scout troop, or classroom. There's no previous experience required, you can run an Hour of Code activity, or an entire Tech Jam, even if you've never coded before!

A Tech Jam is a model event for a community or school to celebrate computer science. The Tech Jam that Vidcode and Girl Scouts of Greater New York have created includes an Hour of Code, discussion questions, off the computer activities, and badges and certificates to win and share! It's free, and doesn't require signup OR prior experience.

By the end of the Tech Jam participants will have an understanding of the fundamentals of programming with JavaScript, and they'll have created a Bestie Video Greeting Card (like the one below) to share with their family and friends.

 

How to run a Tech Jam

Find information on running a successful Tech Jam in the Volunteer Guide, or print out the Participation Guide Booklet for you and the other volunteers.

You can mix and match Tech Jam steps to fit your needs, staff and schedule. For example, if you don’t have a volunteer or teacher to lead the event, the “Bestie Video Greeting Card” Hour of Code is a self-guided activity for students.

Other activities include Unplugged Activities to teach Computer Science Fundamentals without computers or even internet connection, volunteer led discussions before and after the Hour of Code, and a 'Hall of Fame' where participants can view their videos and code, and the projects of other participants! See a more detailed activity list and schedule.

To get started now, register your troop or class to get your event added to our events map. We'll also send you tips and resources as Computer Science Education Week gets closer!

 

How can you help 

You can help by spreading the word and getting your community involved! Tell teachers and Girl Scout Troop Leaders who might be interested in Hour of Code, or in running an entire Tech Jam!

Visit our Spread the Word page for resources to share your event. There are descriptions of the event, social media messages, graphics and banners for you to use to share to get your local community excited about Tech Jam, Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week!

 

 

Get Ready for Computer Science Education Week

Computer Science Education Week starts December 7th and ends the 13th. Get students excited by telling them about the certificates, Hall of Fame award and Hour of Code patches they could receive!

Still have questions about running your Tech Jam event or using Vidcode? We'd love to hear from you! Contact us at leandra@vidcode.io

We can't wait to see what you and your students create!

Hour of Code for teen girls



Empowering Students to Talk About Climate Through Art and Technology

Vidcode is excited to announce the Girls Code 4 Climate @EDU Contest created along with Millennium@EDU Sustainable Education, as a Contribution to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The contest encourages students to use the skills (or as we call them, superpowers) they learn in computer science, art and media classes in new ways. 

To participate in this contest, students choose a topic related to climate, research that topic and then record a video sharing their research. Topics include:

  1. Climate changes and its effects
  2. Public responses to climate change
  3. How climate changes impact your everyday life
  4. What actions participants can take to make a difference

Once they've recorded their video, students add effects and graphics with JavaScript. They can use the graphics that Vidcode provides in creative and relevant ways, or they can create and upload their own. One student, Anna, created and coded a video using a yellow lawn in the background as an example of the drought she refers to and added graphics and effects in the scene to emphasize the lack of water.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 5.23.52 PM.png

We created a guide to help participants get started choosing and researching topics. It includes more information on the topics they can choose from, important climate terms and examples of how other artists are responding to climate change in their work.

Empowering students to show their point of view through art and technology is powerful. Art is a way to connect people with ideas that they would otherwise not be exposed to and gives artists a voice to say something they might not otherwise have been able to say. Alongside art, technology offers new media to create artworks, like creative coding, and new channels for messages to spread and be shared.

And this is important, historically art and technology combined have made a real impact. For example, Judy Collins took recordings of humpback whale songs and included them in her 1970 album Whales and Nightingales, which exposed millions of people to the beautiful and complex songs that whales use to communicate. These whale songs inspired the 'Save the Whales' movement, and in 1982, hunting whales became banned internationally.

We hope that this contest is a starting point for students to have conversations, and to research and create their own projects about climate and climate change, even after the contest ends. The top 5 winners of the contest will get full access to the Vidcode platform, offering them more tools to create projects with code and videos. And the overall winner will receive, in addition to full Vidcode access, a computer device designed for education and a science lab complete with sensors and software, so they can continue their research of the world around them.

Learn more about the contest and submit your own video, or use our Teacher Guide to bring coding, art and science into your classroom. The contest runs until November 15, 2015.

Coding and art for climate change

Getting Started with Vidcode for Educators (without a Computer Science background)

Starting a "learn to code" class or after school program can be overwhelming, especially if you don't have a computer science background.

But with the right tools and support, you can keep your students engaged and excited about making with code.

Starting a learn to code program in school

Starting off a coding club with Vidcode introduces JavaScript in a familiar way. Students already used to editing photos and videos see that code relates to something they're already familiar with. 

Students learn more advanced concepts as they make more complicated projects, learning about arrays, functions and if-else statements.

 

Don't worry! As you get into these more advanced lessons and concepts, there's additional curriculum, lessons, off-the-computer activities, worksheets and presentations that go along with the lessons Vidcode has available online. 

Vidcode provides advanced computer science curriculum, teacher training and technical support to help get your club or class set up and running smoothly.

students learning advanced computer science concepts through art

Vidcode also helps make coding a fun and social experience, students can share their code and videos with their class and see what all their classmates are working on. Each class and coding club is part of its own Vidcode group and gallery, where students can show off projects they're working on and share things they've learned with the rest of the group.

Are you thinking about starting an after-school coding club, but aren't sure where to start? Check out our Vidcode classroom roadmap! And learn more about the classroom support and curriculum Vidcode offers on our groups page or get started now at app.vidcode.io!

We Spent a Week With Hoboken Vidcoders!

Vidcode spent the week of June 15-18 at Stevens Coop School. Sixteen students spent four days learning the fundamentals of coding with JavaScript, and making some amazing videos!

Elise, our amazing instructor, spent the first day going over the elements of JavaScript, as students used them hands-on in the Vidcode editor.

They used objects, properties and numbers to add effects to their videos, and strings to change the color of the videos they'd shot.

They learned about and created variables to hold their number and string values!

   They worked with some very original variable names.

 

They worked with some very original variable names.

The next day, the class moved onto learning about how to create and manipulate arrays.

They used this knowledge to put photos they took into arrays, and iterated through them to create stop motions videos. 

Once they learned how to create simple stop motion videos, they went out with clay and paper to create more elaborate videos, including this one below titled 'The Big Blob Attack'. Check out the code that was used to put it together!

Stop motion with JavaScript arrays

Later in the week, students moved on to some more advanced lessons, and used functions and variables to make their videos change over time. Sam used these coding skills to make a video of a plane look like an old movie!

HTML5 canvas effects
video effects with code at summer camp

The last day was spent on everyone's final projects, and getting ready for final presentations! Students spent the day making new stop motions, music videos, and other creative projects, and then adding their final effects in Vidcode using everything they had learned about JavaScript that week.

Final presentations were great! Students showed off their final videos, and talked about the coding concepts that they had used in their final edits.

learn to code summer camp for middle school students

You can see all the videos the students made this week in our gallery!

Interested in having your own Vidcode workshop in your summer camp or school? Find out more about our group programs!

Maker Faire Vidcode Station (and a Blue Ribbon!)

Maker Faire Bay Area blue ribbon booth

We spent the weekend of May 15 to 17 in San Mateo at the Bay Area Maker Faire! We set up a stop motion station and a Vidcode coding station, and we're so excited about all the vidcodes that people of all ages came up and made! They're all on display in our Maker Gallery.

Maker faire video with code

Like this vidcode, by our awesome volunteer Cynthia!

Maker faire dragon video

Or this adorable dragon by Morgan!

stop motion video with code

And (our absolute favorite!) this Vidcode heart by Lilaine

Blue ribbon Maker Faire Bay Area

We are also SUPER excited to announce that we received a blue ribbon! We had so much fun meeting everyone at the Maker Faire, and can't wait for the next one.

 

Girls learning to code