São Filipe Coding Summer Bootcamp
Coding Summer Bootcamp: technology creators and not mere users
January 30, 2023
Author: Samory Araújo, Head of Solutions Mapping, UNDP Cabo Verde Accelerator Lab
Digital garden, robotic, intelligent parking, smart home: these are projects developed by children/adolescents and young people during São Filipe Coding Summer boot camp supported by the Accelerator Lab Team Cabo Verde in partnership with the Municipality of São Filipe.
Why Coding Bootcamp for children/adolescents and young people?
On the importance of bringing young people closer to technology, the president of the City Hall of São Filipe, in Fogo Island, mentor of São Filipe Coding Summer Bootcamp, is convinced that bringing young people together of the world of technology is the main step to become to have technology creators and not mere users.
For the Sao Filipe Mayor, “in a country where endogenous natural resources do not abound to solve problems in agro-industrial or productive sectors, human capital is the main asset, and it is in it that all investments must be done, from the outset a commitment to training and training young people in areas related to science and technology.”
What skills are developed by children/adolescents and young people who learn to program?
As our world is becoming increasingly computerized, with applications and devices for various purposes, it is important to know how to speak the language of computing. Children/adolescents and young people spend a lot of time playing, for example. But what if they learned logic behind the games? In addition to having a broader knowledge of digital toys, learning to Programming develops children's cognitive ability—logical thinking, mathematical, linguistic — and would be better prepared for the job market.
Now, in an increasingly technological world, programming is key. With it, children/adolescents and young people develop crucial skills for the future job market, including soft skills. It is programming that will open the doors to opportunities and be properly integrated into society.
Every computer program follows an algorithmic logic, that is, steps to be executed, which are well defined and determine the flow of execution. Mastering this knowledge, the child will become smarter in certain areas, such as in mathematics, favoring his school performance.
TROUBLESHOOTING WITH ABSTRACTION
After learning to program, teenagers will solve problems just by thinking about them. That's because this activity requires people structure the possible ideas of solution in their heads first, to then go to the computer.
The idea of community and interaction is very strong in programming. Programming teaches interact with others, seek solutions through teamwork and developing the interpersonal communication.
Programming encourages innovation and, in order to bring something different, the child will need to run away to common sense, looking at things at new angle, look for paths that haven't yet were exploited.
The language used in programming computers is English, so when the child has contact with this universe, at the same time, she learns a little more about that language.
When the child begins to learn programming there will be an improvement in his concentration, keeping his focus on the task you are doing. This is an essential skill for the assimilation of information from different sources.
Innovative Teaching Method
During São Filipe Summer Bootcamp was used a teaching method in a fully online environment, equipped with individual computers, interactive courses, in addition to activities based on games and projects. The classes were divided into small groups with different schedules to ensure the best use in the classroom.
In classes, children and teenagers learned to program and create their own games and applications. They also entered the world of robotics and learned to see this universe with a new look. All learning was exemplified in their real life.
Technologic Fair at Coding Summer Bootcamp
At the end of the course, the children/adolescents and young people presented at a technology fair some projects developed by them, such as: robots, smart water irrigation device, weather station, cell phone, etc.
“More than developing projects, we wanted young people to develop the logic of reasoning, so that could see that the computer has the advantage of be faster than man, but that, while programmer, the human being is a “supercomputer”, the only one that can communicate with the machine to make her do what she wants”, explains Erickson one of the bootcamp trainer, pointing out the example of the digital garden, whose irrigation system can be started and stopped by man as well how to turn the hood on and off, control the temperature, air and soil humidity, light and water level.