Technology Club volunteering

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Technology Club volunteers have gathered at NR Computer Learning Center headquarters every Saturday beginning Nov. 10 to help kids ages 8-12 explore technology and computer science.

“I think it’s really easy to get intimidated by just raw code, and getting interest in the concepts early on makes it more approachable,” Technology Club President senior Pranati Kuppa said.

The event is currently in its second level of the club’s program, Kids’ Coding Camp. In the first level, volunteers focused on teaching kids the basics of coding through simple games built in Scratch, a visual programming language that allows users to code using “blocks” to create online projects. The second level integrates both software and hardware with a program called Scratch for Arduino, in which kids can use Scratch to code for responses from an Arduino One board customized with lights, sensors and other peripherals.

“The best part of the event was seeing the kids finally understand a concept and experiment freely on their own,” Kuppa said. “It’s the most gratifying thing to see the kids get excited about a concept, and really makes us as teachers and the creators of this course feel that our purpose has been fulfilled. It motivates us to continue enhancing this program to hopefully inspire others.”

Through volunteering, the club has also helped kids find individual passions early on so that they can better plan and pursue their goals in computer science.

“Rather than volunteering, I consider it as a pleasurable and relaxing experience,” senior Dyllan Lui said. “The kids were constantly energetic and eager to learn. The best part was when a boy, after 20 minutes of rearranging chunks of code, finally got a mini-fan to work. He was really happy. And we all know this won’t be the last thing he builds.”

Technology Club’s overall aim is to provide exposure to various coding languages and opportunities to get involved in the community through sharing technology skills. The club meets every Friday at lunch in Room 1125.