Teaching Kids Project

Encouraging kids to create computer software and hardware by providing support and curricula and inspiring grown-ups to help them. This was a very active project in the early years of our organization and we are now seeking a leader who would like to facilitate the project. If you are interested, email us.

Who this is for:

Here are some stories of volunteer projects and other notes about teaching kids:

Railsbridge Teen Organizing Tips

24 Mar 2015

Last year Panama City, FL offered the first ever “Railsbridge Teen” and it turned out to be an amazing experience. Most of the effort planning a teen Railsbridge paralleled the organizer cookbook preparation used for a traditional workshops, with just a few exceptions:

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RubyConf Kids Track

06 Nov 2010

At RubyConf 2010, a group of RailsBridge volunteers created an innovative kids program with the goal of sharing with the kids a fun experience of programming. Many thanks to RubyCentral, the organizers of the conference who provided the room, and our sponsors, Wealthfront, JumpstartLab and Blazing Cloud who helped us purchase supplies.

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Why Teach Programming?

13 Sep 2009

I believe that today learning to program is a life skill. Kids should learn to program for the same reasons we teach them biology, chemistry and algebra. Part of the reason is so that they have career choices as adults, but we also value a basic understanding of these fields even for the kids who don’t grow up to be biologists, doctors, chemists or mathematicians. We teach kids basic science and math, so that they will understand the world they live in.

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Teaching Ruby to High School Girls

15 Aug 2009

by Sarah Mei

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Hello World!

11 Aug 2009

Hello World! is a delightfully approachable first programming book. It provides a thorough introduction to the Python language, but it is really about teaching programming in general. I read the book from the perspective of teacher, rather than student. I know many programming languages and teach programming workshops to both kids and adults. Based on my experience, I would recommend this book for teens or adults on their own. There’s a lot of reading for younger kids, but I think the exercises would be suitable for ages 8 and up if led by a grown up or older kid. Of course, I also believe that a truly motivated kid can do anything, so if yours is avidly into computers and a good reader, “HelloWorld!” could be a great adventure at any age. I like the vibrant mix of hands-on experiential learning, discussion of concepts and historical context.

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Fifth Grade Shoes

20 Jul 2009

At the end of the school year I taught a series of beginning programming lessons to a class of 30 fourth and fifth graders. Only one or two of them had ever programmed before. I chose to teach the Ruby language in the “Shoes” platform which provides rich graphics and native user interface controls. I’ve written up my experience of each class, including a fun physical demonstration of light as an introduction to RGB color:

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Why Shoes?

20 May 2009

The first RailsBridge teaching project is a short series introducing a 4th/5th grade class to programming. We decided to use Shoes and the Ruby programming language.

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What’s this about?

19 May 2009

There are a few reasons why it is important to teach kids how to develop computer applications:

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