Coast Mountain College and Actua are partnering up this summer to present Digi Camps, week-long day camps where campers aged 5- 16 spend the week exploring digital literacy through coding, robotics and various media forms.
“I really enjoyed learning how to code because it was interesting and we get to program a game, which is like making up the rules,” said Lily Salem, age 9.
Attending the College campus for the mornings of one week, participants explore various ways to learn coding, including board games.
Campers also find themselves outside playing simple playground games like Simon Says, but integrating digital and technical terms to replace actions and rules of play.
“We play board games sometimes where the players need to use deductive reasoning and logic,” says camp facilitator, Shayla Ruchotzke. “It is a great hands-on tool to help teach coding without using laptops and ozobots”
The ozobots are robots designed to teach coding creativity from kindergarten to grade 12. A screen-free model uses colour codes with markers and paper to program the robots. “They are a great way to show kids that there are so many ways to explore coding offline and it helps them to express their creativity,” says Shayla.
Digi Camps use the site code.org to teach kids the fundamentals of coding. “Through the colourful blocks that snap together, code.org uses a visual interface that is recognized by the kids,” says Arpen Jhajj, camp facilitator. “Because it also incorporates elements of games and pop culture, they really enjoy how recognizable it is.”
While Digi Camps feel somewhat like summer school, kids enjoyed the environment and the new challenges to experience.
“We had ozobots at school for an event once, but not every day,” says Travis Pereira, age 11. “The coding with the ozobots is interesting and I liked the microbots program we used.”
“I liked coming to the college and the big, wide-open space of the classroom,” says Lily Salem, age 9.
Digi Camps are happening all summer at various locations.
Visit coastmountaincollege.ca to find out more or download a registration form.