Groups to offer ‘Cool Coding’

Some people talk in code, but writing it takes some skill.

The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and community partners will offer “Cool Coding Awareness Week” Oct. 24 to 30, featuring sessions on basic computer coding skills for youth and adults.

A Carmel-based nonprofit organization, Eleven Fifty Academy, will visit area schools, the Bartholomew County Public Library, kidscommons children’s museum and the Fish Tank at the chamber that week, offering a variety of classes about writing code. The Fish Tank is a co-working space for entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers offered through the chamber.

The academy’s mission statement says the organization is attempting to close the nation’s growing technology gaps by creating an ecosystem of coding talent that benefits the individual, their employer and their community.

The nonprofit is leading “Cool Coding Awareness Week” in 20 different communities across the state with a goal of reaching 80,000 people.

The weeklong event in Columbus will be an opportunity for students and adults to learn about coding as a concept, and a possible career, chamber president Cindy Frey said.

An introductory weekend coding course intended for ages 17 and up will also be offered Oct. 29 and 30 at the Fish Tank. Enrollment is limited to 25 people.

Frey said the focus of the week-long event is on young people to give them an age-appropriate introduction to technology in a way they can understand.

Students as young as kindergartners and first graders in Bartholomew County will learn about different computer languages and the technologies they support.

Central Middle School Students will learn basic scratch computing by developing a game with mini-computer processors known as Raspberry Pis. Scratch is a computer programming language helping individuals to create interactive stories, games and animation.

Students from four elementary schools — Mt. Healthy, Lincoln, Smith and Taylorsville — will use an online coding website to learn basic programming through a gaming exercise similar to Minecraft.

Ivy Tech Community College will host a workshop giving parents a chance to see what their children are learning in the coding sessions, Frey said.

About 50 Columbus Signature Academy —New Tech High School students will complete a personality assessment to learn their aptitude for coding and different technology careers available in the field.

The public library will launch a computer programming club known as CoderDojo to give children ages 7 to 17 a chance to learn about coding, build a website and create applications or games. It will meet monthly starting at 4 p.m. Nov. 16.

“Kids who get excited about this can keep learning more,” Frey said.

Registration for the weekend session, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, is available on the chamber’s website. Scholarships are available for people who may need financial help with registration fees.

Participants are asked to bring a laptop computer with them, but anyone who doesn’t have a laptop can use one that is provided, Frey said.

For more information: Call 812-379-4457 or visit columbusareachamber.com.

Computer coding activities for students

Raspberry Pi workshops at Central Middle School: Students will learn basic scratch computing by developing a game with mini-computer processors known as Raspberry Pis.

Information technology careers discussion at Columbus Signature Academy: Fifty high school students will complete a personality assessment to learn how well suited they are for different technology careers and talk to experts in the career field.

Hour of Code: Students from four elementary schools — Mt. Healthy, Lincoln, Smith and Taylorsville — will learn about coding using exercises from an online educational website. They will learn basic programming through a gaming exercise similar to Minecraft.

Programming Languages ABC++: Kindergartners and first-graders will be exposed to the idea that different languages drive technology tools they work with daily. A book will illustrate languages and reinforce letters of the alphabet.

Coding@kidscommons: Students will learn how computer processors gather data from remote-control cars during a hands-on programming experience.

CoderDojo: The Bartholomew County Public Library will offer a community-based monthly programming club for ages 7 to 17 beginning at 4 p.m. Nov. 16 that will allow participants to learn how to code, build a website, create an application or game and explore technology in an informal, creative and social environment.

Computer coding opportunities for adults

Workshop for adults: Adults may enroll in an introductory coding class during a Oct. 29-30 workshop at the Fish Tank, 500 Franklin St., inside the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. Cost is $40, with participation limited to 25 people ages 17 and up. To register, visit columbusareachamber.com.

Parent night at Ivy Tech Community College: Parents of middle school children who want to learn more about why learning to code is an important skill for their children can attend a session from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in Room 214A. Individuals will also do some coding using tutorials. Participation is limited to 15 people with reservations being made to Pam Schlmelz at pschmelz@ivytech.edu.