We had a wonderful time at our Winter STEM Launch event this past Saturday! 40 students from four CPS High Schools (Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Lake View, Michele Clark, and Rickover Naval Academy) joined us on Truman College’s campus for a day of interactive coding with Makey Makey kits.
Winter STEM Launch kicked off with a brief overview of the programming language Scratch from our two workshop leaders, Mike Davis, Professor of Chemistry at Truman College, and Ryan Kamphuis, a 5th year Chemistry and Secondary Education student at IIT. After reviewing the controls of Scratch students practiced coding interactive games and their very own musical compositions. Before breaking for lunch they presented the games and songs they coded to their peers; it was great to see their creativity and enthusiasm for the program!
After lunch and an impromptu photo shoot, students split into pairs and began working with the Makey Makey kits. The first step to coding with the Makey Makey kits was connecting them to the computer and Scratch. Students connected alligator clips to the kits and non-conventional materials–carrots, play doh, tinfoil–to create remote controls to play their games and songs. Collaborating in pairs allowed the students to be more inventive. After experimenting with the kits, students shared with each other the materials they thought worked best with the kits.
It was great to see returning STEM Launch students and welcome new students to the program. We are looking forward to our program in March. Stay posted for details!