FWSIM Helps Kids “Code for a Cause”
Members of Fairfield/Westchester SIM’s STEM Outreach group have found a rewarding way to give back to the community while encouraging local students to explore a career in technology. They are volunteering with local nonprofit Random Hacks of Kindness Junior (RHoK Jr), whose mission is “to empower students to use technology to positively impact the challenges facing nonprofits in their communities.”
Through RHOK Jr’s “Kids Coding for a Cause” program, middle school students are paired with Computer Science mentors and nonprofits to develop apps in one-day Kids’ Hackathons. CS mentors guide the students through the basics of brainstorming, ideation, and app design to build a prototype mobile application with MIT App Inventor. The hackathon concludes with a poster session where the kids get to demonstrate their creation.
The partnership between FWSIM and RHoK Jr is part of the FWSIM STEM Outreach program initiated two years ago by Lucy Tancredi, member of the FWSIM Executive Committee. Lucy and the FWSIM STEM Outreach members have participated in a number of RHoK Jr hackathons, primarily as CS Mentors but also representing non-profits. They have also worked with other organizations and schools throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties, e.g. serving as judges at high school science fairs. Last year they served as a speaker’s panel at an Engineering Conference hosted by non-profit Amazing Girls Science, answering questions about a career in technology for over 150 girls. These events empower children and instill in them a passion for technology, demonstrating how technology can be used to solve real world problems, as well as being a lot of fun.
If you are interested in learning more about FWSIM’s STEM Outreach program, please contact Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org.