Summer STEM Camp Class Spotlight: Computer Programming / Coding

The Digital Arts Experience in Westchester, NY starts Summer STEM Camp programs on July 5th.

The DAE’s classes and camps provide students with opportunities to explore digital arts and the world of technology in a fun, collaborative and dynamic environment.

scratch programming

Students at The Digital Arts Experience in Westchester, NY working on the tile-based Scratch programming language, developed by MIT.

In this blog entry, we are going to shine the spotlight on one of our most popular class topics: Computer Programming & Coding. At The Digital Arts Experience, we recognize the importance of learning a computer programming language at a young age. In this rapidly advancing technological world that we live in, having the ability to program a computer is going to be a basic essential literacy.

The computer programming languages that we teach are HTML/CSS, Java, Javascript, Processing, Python, Ruby & Scratch. Let’s take a closer look at our class description for each topic:

  • HTML/CSS
    • Web Development combines elements from both the creative and technical world. In this class, students will learn how to build a website from the ground up using HTML & CSS, and explore the design aspects of putting together a stunning and modern looking site. Students will complete the class with their very own, customized sites.
  • Java
    • An intro course that is a great start for older and younger students to begin programming using Java. Students will begin to look at Java programming and create their own games using the program, Greenfoot. These games can be either an original idea or a re-imagining of a classic.
  • Javascript App Development
    • Javascript is the life-blood of Web Development. It’s how we bring life to ordinary websites by making them interactive and engaging. In this course, you will learn how to write Javascript code, manipulate web pages, and build complex web applications. Along the way, students will be introduced to jQuery, a powerful JS library, and build at least 2 working web applications. By the end of the course, students will have gained the skills necessary to create their own web applications, as well as, implement their own custom Javascript into existing projects.
  • Processing
    • This course will explore taking programming off of the computer screen. An Arduino Microcontroller will be used together with Processing code to create interactive programs. These programs will have visual components from Processing and physical components from the Arduino.
  • Python
    • Python is the perfect language to begin programming with actual code. It is written entirely in English and does not require abstract language or terminology, so it is easy to learn & understand. Students will start with writing simple programs and work towards programming text based games that will exercise their programming skills and develop fluency with Python.
  • Ruby
    • This course will cover all of the basics of computer programming using the powerful Ruby language. Since its inception in 1993, Ruby has grown to become one of the largest scripting languages in the world, sought out by many employers. Throughout the course, students will learn how to write simple yet effective code, learning the core concepts of program creation in the process. By the end of the course, students will have completed 3 working programs, and a small text-based Role Playing Game.
  • Scratch
    • Scratch is a tile-based visual platform that helps teach basic syntax and logic concepts that drive computer programming by users stacking command blocks together. It can be used to create virtually anything: from interactive stories and animations to video games. Students create their very own games, animations, cards and stories. Basic programming concepts such as event handlers, loops, conditions, operators and variables are taught.

      Students complete class tutorials that teach and reinforce programming concepts in a way that fosters critical thinking, time management and problem solving. They also employ design thinking, creating their own games on paper and seeing them through to their digital conception.

For the Fall of 2016, we are working on curriculum for App Development using the Swift language as well as several more advanced coding classes.

Join us next Thursday, June 16th from 5-7PM for Open House where you can tour our facility, meet our instructors and view student work. Learn more about our Summer STEM programs here by visiting our website.

june_open_house

 

About The Digital Arts Experience

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) was founded in 2012 to meet the need for students to help them develop their interest in all things digital. Founder and president Rob Kissner recognized the opportunity to offer youth a collaborative, creative community, in which they could learn, explore, and share new ideas using cutting edge technology. Rob has turned this concept into a reality by bringing together an outstanding group of instructors at our 8,000 sq foot state-of-the-art facility in White Plains, New York.

The Digital Arts Experience offers students fully equipped classrooms featuring the latest creative software, a makerspace with 3D printers and scanners, a photo and video studio, a recording studio and more. In 2014, DAE launched a new mobile tech lab, dubbed The Digital Arts Express (The DAExpress), to meet the demand for after-school programs on-location in Westchester and Fairfield Counties.  The DAExpress is focused on making The DAE’s cutting edge technology and curriculum accessible to all youth in Westchester & Connecticut. The DAE provides a completely unique, personalized experience for every student who enrolls in their after-school, school break or summer programs.

The DAE’s instructors are experienced and passionate about teaching digital arts to kids ages 6 and up, and they are continuously involved with expanding the DAE course catalog with leading edge technologies and teaching techniques. DAE culture promotes innovation and engagement, and ensures each student is able to access what they need to help explore their creative passions.  DAE classes and camps provide students with opportunities to explore digital arts and the world of technology in a fun, collaborative and dynamic environment.

E-mail info@TheDAE.com or call (914) 644-8100 for more information.

 

 

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Summer Tech Camp Open House 

This summer, The Digital Arts Experience is offering some of the most unique programs in Westchester. Our camps are focused on providing kids and teens with a hands-on exploration into the digital world in a collaborative and non-competitive environment. We pride ourselves on adhering to low student to teacher ratio which never exceeds six to one. Best of all, each of our student his or her class with complete work that can be used in a portfolio or college application! Programs include:

 

  • Visual Effects & Video Production
  • Digital Photography
  • 3D Printing & Prototyping
  • Stop Motion Animation w/ Legos
  • Anime/Manga Drawing
  • Intro to Electronics w/ Arduino
  • 3D Minecraft Animations
  • 3D Animation & Modeling
  • Graphic Design – Photoshop & Illustrator
  • Web Design with HTLM/CSS
  • Intro to Computer Programming
  • Game Programming with Scratch
  • Game Programming with Java

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We are going to offering two open house dates that will provide an interactive exploration into our summer programs. Join us to learn about our classes, meet our instructors, explore our incredible facility and see real examples of student work! The open house will be trade show style – you can walk through our great room from table to table, learning about each of programs that we will be offering this summer. If you feel that the open house is a good fit and want to register, we will gladly extend a discount on enrollment just for joining us at the open house! 

 

Dates: May 22nd and June 18th from 4:00PM – 8:00PM

 

We don’t require an RSVP, just stop by when it is convenient for you and we will welcome you to our facility! 

What is Processing & Why Do We Teach it to Kids?

Written by Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations & Founding Member at The Digital Arts Experience – Friday, Jan. 24th, 2014

When I first heard about Processing 6 months ago, I had no idea what it was. Did it have to do with writing Microsoft Word Documents? Was it about typing? Is it related to my computer’s quad-core processor? Nope.

One of our programming instructors, Byron, describes it nicely in his course syllabus:

“Processing is an open source, free to download language. It was developed to initiate non-programmers into computer programming through the instant gratification of visual feedback. It is a simple language branching from Java. Thus the learning curve for future language learning is dampened by playing in this colorful environment.”

Still not sure exactly what it is? That’s okay! After reading a little bit about it, I too was not entirely sure what Processing is used for and why it exists. When Computer Science Education Week hosted “The Hour of Code”, I stumbled upon Khan Academy’s Introduction to Javascript and proceeded to take their series of lessons to start me on my journey. So wait a minute, is it Processing? is it Java? is it Javascript? What’s this all about? HELP!

Introduction to Processing.js / Javascript
Khan Academy’s Hour of Code: Introduction to Javascript

Processing is based off of Java; which is why it’s kid friendly. The syntax and code is broken down a lot more and is easier to read and write.

Processing exports into Javascript, which can be embedded into websites. Did that spark your interest?

Processing provides instant feedback. As soon as you input your code, you will immediately see what you’ve created. Colorful shapes, animations, visual effects and more.

For example, to create a rectangle, you’d simple type:

rect(200, 100, 40, 75);

rect = Draw Rectangle. The 4 numbers are the x-coordinate (200), the y-coordinate (100), the width of the rectangle (40) , and the height of the rectangle (75). On Khan Academy, your rectangle will end up looking like this:

Computer Programming for kids

    Using Khan Academy’s Computer Programming lessons, learn how to draw shapes and create art using math!
  • You can create video games.
  • You can program your computer to do your homework.
  • You can create colorful shapes and art.
  • You can create 2D animation and visual effects.

…all while using math, algebra and basics of code logic.

Khan Academy was an EXCELLENT resource for me in my first real adventure into the world of coding. It is completely free to join and their mission is simple:

“We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.”

It took me about 4 weeks to complete all of their lessons and training, but I’ve learned so much along the way. And I’ve also created some really neat programs! Want to see my latest work? Check out this simple painting app that I programmed a few nights ago. Complete with “The DAE’s” staple logo colors blue, pink, green! Additionally, I urge you to sign up for KhanAcademy for free, too and check out all of their amazing programs, tutorials, lessons and more!

Basic Painting App! Made by Cristina.

Now that you have a better understanding of the power of processing, it should be a no brainer as to why we’d want to teach this to kids! It gets them involved in the world of coding without the intimidation of some of the harder languages such as C++ or Java. It teaches them the logic and understanding behind code while allowing them to explore creative outlets. (All while using math! Wow!)

Here at The DAE, we’ll be running a number of Processing classes for kids and teens ages 8 – 17 in Westchester, Fairfield and Rockland Counties. See our upcoming course schedule below:

AFTER SCHOOL – REGISTRATION FORM

Thursdays, 4:00-5:30PM (Ages 8-12) 02/13 – 04/10

Thursdays, 6:00-8:00PM (Ages 13-17): 02/13 – 04/10

WEEKENDREGISTRATION FORM

Saturdays, 10:00AM – 12:00PM (Ages 8-12) 03/01 – 04/26

Saturdays, 12:00PM – 2:00PM (Ages 13-17) 03/01 – 04/26

SCHOOL BREAKREGISTRATION FORM

February 17th – 21st – Ages 10-16

9:30AM – 12:00PM: Computer Programming with Processing

12:00PM – 1:00PM: Lunch & Activity Break

1:00PM – 3:30PM: Computer Programming with Processing

Continued Coverage: #HourOfCode Nationwide

Continued Coverage: #HourOfCode Nationwide

White Plains, N.Y. – December. 12th, 2013 – written by Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations & Founding Member at The Digital Arts Experience

Hey Westchester! Have your kids’ schools participated in Computer Science Education Week’s “Hour of Code” yet? From December 9-15, 2013, schools all over the nation will dedicate just 1 hour to introduce kids and teens to computer programming. Suitable for ages 6-106 (that isn’t a typo!), these tutorials for beginners cover coding on modern computer browsers, smartphones, and tablets alike. Don’t have a computer or device? That’s okay! They are also offering introductory programs for those with who just have a pencil & paper!

I participated in Hour of Code yesterday by taking an interactive “Tutorial for beginners” that allowed me to write my first computer program. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Bosh, Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies were all part of the hour long session that included video tutorials and easy terminology to make learning the new concepts very simple!

When people think of computer programming, they get intimidated. It involves lots of numbers and strings of unfamiliar syntax – but the Hour of Code tutorials take the intimidation factor out completely! Going through these introductory tutorials will give you a sense of accomplishment. And in my case, a desire to go even further with what I’ve learned!

Today I plan to go through the rest of the Hour of Code tutorials which include: an introduction to Python, a tutorial for creating iOS & Android apps, and the basics of Javascript. I couldn’t be more excited!

Parents – even if your kids’ schools aren’t participating, I urge you to sit down with them and encourage them to try out any of these introductory tutorials. Go through them together! You will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

As for resources in your local community, check out: http://code.org/learn/local. I browsed it just yesterday and quickly realized that there are none listed in Westchester! I immediately applied to submit “The Digital Arts Experience” to the list of schools & camps that offer computer programming classes in Westchester and am waiting for approval. In the meantime, see what is in your area for kids and teens. Hour of Code is still in its newborn stages, and I feel that it will only grow larger as more people start to realize the importance of learning a computer language.

Just a few days ago, it was announced that a $1 million investment was granted to New York City schools to expand their computer science programs. To quote Yi Yang of The Epoch Times, “In the near future, code may become the standard second language taught in city schools.” In the article, Yi further quotes Alayzia Griffin, a 10th-grade student at PS47 who participated in Hour of Code who said, “It’s actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be. It seems kind of intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy”.

At The Digital Arts Experience in Westchester, NY, we offer computer programming and coding classes after school, on weekends and summer break for kids and teens. Starting in January 2014, we will be running Game Programming with Scratch classes for kids as young as 7.

Additionally, we will offering other coding classes in Processing, Java, and HTML for kids ages 9 and up. Check out what classes we will be offering and encourage your kid and their friends to get on board and take the initiative to learn code!

Our classes are small sized, 100% hands on, goal oriented, and designed to give real world exposure. Set up a class for your kids and their friends today! Give us a call at (914) 644-8100 or e-mail Cristina at Cristina@TheDAE.com to get you started. Come on by for a tour and learn more about our facility and programs!Image

Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9th – 15th : The Hour of Code 2013!

Computer Science Education Week Dec. 9th – 15th : The Hour of Code 2013!

At The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, NY, we are proud to offer computer programming and coding classes after school, on weekends and summer break for kids and teens. With December 9th – 15th, 2013 being “Computer Science Education Week”, we wanted to highlight the importance of the initiative as well as raise awareness in the Westchester community.

There is currently a plethora of social media coverage and support this week and the goal is to get more educators and schools involved. Not only is learning code an incredibly valuable skill, but it’s actually fun and not that difficult to learn!

According to Computer Science Education Week:

  • Computer science is a top paying college degree and computer programming jobs are growing at 2X the national average

  • Exposure to CS leads to some of the best-paying jobs in the world. But 75% of our population is underrepresented

  • 9 out of 10 schools don’t offer computer programming classes

“We need young Americans like you to master the tools and technology that will change the way we do just about everything,” he said in his video. “Don’t just buy a new video game, make one. Don’t just download the latest app, help design it. Don’t just play on your phone, program it.” – President Obama, calling on U.S. students to learn code.

We implore you to check out Code.org and learn an #HourOfCode! Take the challenge and find out for yourself that anybody can learn. Tweet your progress at @Codeorg and join the conversation with thousands of others!

In the same breath, we are very excited to announce that we have opened up even more computer programming classes for younger kids and teens. Starting in January 2014, we will be running Game Programming with Scratch classes for kids as young as 7.

Additionally, we will offering more coding classes in Processing, Java, and HTML for kids ages 9 and up. Check out what classes we will be offering and encourage your kid and their friends to get on board and take the initiative to learn code!

Our classes are small sized, 100% hands on, goal oriented, and designed to give real world exposure. Set up a class for your kids and their friends today! Give us a call at (914) 644-8100 or e-mail Cristina@TheDAE.com to get you started!