Kauai North Shore Community Foundation’s (KNSCF) inaugural Code Camp was held from July 8th through 12th at the Anaina Hou Community Park classroom in their lower campus. Kids enrolled to learn how to program Altino Cars to perform basic maneuvers. The enrollment fee was $50 per student.
Sean McHugh, a teacher at Hawaii Technical Academy (HTA), led the class with the assistance of Noelle McHugh, KNSCF After School Programs Administrator, and Jaden Hamid. The students, ranging from 5th to 8th grades, participated in team-building exercises and learned to download the necessary software, connect with their individual cars, and write the coding language that directed their cars through simple actions.
The Altino cars, valued at $500 each, were loaned to us by HTA’s Robotics Department.
“This program is another opportunity for families to help their children in STEM learning,” said Sean McHugh. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM programs blend these subjects to teach the next generation of innovators.
“Altino cars make learning fun and fulfilling while at the same time help children grasp basic skills required to write computer code,” continued McHugh.
The idea for a code camp came from one of the Foundation’s extraordinary volunteers and a software programmer, Rosemary Vali. She visited the last day of Code Camp and shared her passion with the students and their parents. She spoke of perseverance, the terrific opportunities she had been offered because of her coding skills, and encouraged them to pursue their interests.
By the last day, the kids were taping out their courses, placing their cars at the starting points, and running them through the programming. Parents and guests were invited to watch the successful outcomes — all the participants’ cars performed correctly!
Chris Schumacher, a Kilauea School teacher, said his son had fun and learned teamwork and math skills while learning how to program the miniature cars to flash LED lights and perform various maneuvers. Joy Brahmst, the new Education Committee Chair at Anaina Hou Community Park, was impressed that the students were able to articulate what they were doing when asked – a clear indication that they understood what they had been taught.
Overall, Code Camp was a great success and Kauai North Shore Community Foundation plans to offer another session in Summer 2020. Stay tuned for details and enrollment information.