Hopefully you all know by now that, at Create & Learn, we are very passionate about bringing the next generation of Computer Science education to students, grades K-9. SXSW EDU is a premier education conference. We are proposing a session that that will help more parents and educators understand the importance of learning these subjects and how they can teach it too! Watch the video below and help bring AI & Data Science to more students by voting for our SXSW EDU 2020 session proposal!
Sony changed how we listen to music in July of 1979 when they released the “Walkman.” If you don’t remember (or maybe it was before your time), this was this very first introduction to headphones attached to something you could take on a “walk” with you. Obviously, this idea really took off, and is definitely the norm now. But how did this one invention kickstart how we listen to music now? Read all about it here!
Harvard researchers have been working hard to have bee-sized robots take successful untethered flights, and it looks like that’s finally happened. Their “Robobee” took flight earlier this year, and it was even caught on video! But what does this mean for the future of tiny robots? And what could they be used for? Find out all about it, and watch the fascinating video, here!
Most of us grew creating our own worlds with Legos, or perhaps following the directions to perfectly create what was pictured on the box they came in. Recently, Lego launched a Braille line to help blind students learn to read, write, and do mathematics. Find out all about the simple and fun way Lego is introducing Braille here!
For some people, one pair of glasses isn’t enough. Luckily, some Stanford researchers have created “auto-focals” that can track our eyes and adjust to what we need. They’re hoping that these glasses might take the place of surgery for people who need it. Find out how this technology works, and the science behind it, here!
50 years ago, we landed on the moon for the first time. There have been countless successes NASA has celebrated, the moon landing one of the largest, but there have been plenty of failures along the way. What did this culture of learning from failure harness in the space-travel world? Find out all about it here!
Remember playing with Hot Wheels growing up, building elaborate tracks to see which cars could handle each turn? Kids today are still enjoying them, but the age at which they’re switching from physical toys to tablets is dropping, and Hot Wheels is looking to get virtual to keep up. Also new to technology are MIT’s “roboats” that are able to target and latch onto each other. And up in space, the International Astronomical Union is letting the world vote for the names of stars they find. Read all about it in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter! Join our classes to learn all about the latest technologies — coding, artificial intelligence, and more.
We all had them growing up: Hot Wheels. It’s actually still the number-one selling toy, but the time with which kids are playing with these toys is decreasing drastically each year, and technology is mostly to blame. However, Hot Wheels is looking to adapt to the times with virtual games, but what will this mean for its future? See what their plans are here!
In Amsterdam, where canals flow through the city, MIT researchers are crating “roboats” that can target and latch onto each other. These studies are in efforts to use robot technology as useful, everyday tools. In fact, collecting trash out of the water is one of the abilities of the “roboats”! What’s next for the future of these boats? Find out by checking out this article here!
It’s the International Astronomical Union’s 100th birthday, and they are celebrating by letting the world name exoplanets (everything else in the sky that aren’t planets or stars). Now, it’s not just any exoplanets, and you have to find it first, but it doesn’t mean you don’t still get to say ‘finders keepers.’ So far, some really interesting names have been suggested! (Hint: Lord of the Rings.) Read all about how you can join in the search here!
Growing up, who hasn’t been fascinated by the possibility of the existence of aliens. A new bendable telescope mirror might take us one step closer to finding the answer. When it comes to astronauts traveling through space, sleep is as important as their daily activities. How does not having a pillow change that? And back on Earth, glowing plants could possibly be what lights up our homes in the future. Read all about it in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter! Join our classes to learn all about the latest technologies — coding, artificial intelligence, and more.
What is out there, in the vastness of space? Is there life outside of Earth? These questions push scientists to continue to innovate technology that might bring us the answer, and a bendable mirror is the latest creation. This mirror will reside in a telescope, CubeSat, that will launch into space. Why this is the technology we need to get some answers to those questions? Find out here!
With all these travels into space, Mars specifically, it’s important that the astronauts feel at home. While they don’t technically needs pillows — zero-gravity does that for you — the psychological comfort a pillow provides outweighs the practicality (pun intended). And as the journeys are taking longer and longer, it’s even more important! Find out what scientists are doing to add pillows to the lineup, and why it’s so important that they do, here!
Imagine a world where, instead of light switches and lamps, plants light up each room. The vines grow as they’d like and provide a greenish light in every room. This is what some scientists hope is the future of living sustainably and have created a mock-building to show it off. Find out how these plants are able to light up, and watch an interesting video on it, by checking out this article!
You’ve been feeding your kids the broccoli that your mom asked you to eat. Here is one more reason why the fight is worth it: in a recent find, cruciferous veggies have been found to hold qualities that just might fight off tumors, but how? Jeff Bezos has been on the forefront of technology for a long time. He is now onto chips that power AI. Under the sea, scientists have just found the “platypus” of the crab world. Learn all about it in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter! Join our classes to learn all about the latest technologies — coding, artificial intelligence, and more.
We grew up thinking that an “apple a day” is the answer to good health, but brussels sprouts and broccoli might have just taken the lead. New research has found that certain compounds in these cruciferous veggies link to one of the body’s most potent tumor-suppressing genes. Find out exactly what researchers found, and all the scientific details, here!
What do karate-chopping robots, flapping drones, scientists, and sci-fi authors have in common? The exclusive Amazon-hosted MARS event, of course! At this recent conference, a new chip was presented that just might be the future of AI. This chip would replace the conventional silicone chips and would be placed in things like drones and robots. Find out more about this amazing new chip and all it’s capable of here!
It’s truly perplexing what scientists have found — a very platypus-like crab, Callichimaera perplexa. In fact, it’s unlike any other crab that’s been discovered. What is it that makes a crab a crab? That’s the question scientists are asking now after this discovery. Learn all about this unique and strange find here!
Pictures of happy kids, shiny computers, big smiles, and enticing class descriptions … this is what you see on almost every website that advertises kids computer classes. But how do you tell if your kid will really learn? Check out these 4 simple yet effective ways to tell if a program is as good as it advertises, and some of the ways might surprise you. Read on to find out more!
Samaira Mehta is changing the coding game, and she’s only 10! Mehta is founder and CEO of her own company CoderBunnyz, which is a board game that teaches players as young as 4 basic coding concepts. When she was learning to code, she noticed a gap in the education field that was much needed, and decided to create her own game. Learn all about Mehta and CoderBunnyz here!
As our children grow up, it’s inevitable that technology and the internet will become part of their daily lives just as much as our own. Cybersecurity is an increasingly important issue, but when do we let our kids know of this? And what’s the best way to do it? Learn all about it here!
Pictures of happy kids, shiny computers, big smiles, and enticing class descriptions … this is what you see on almost every website that advertises kids computer classes. But how do you tell if your kid will really learn? In fact, even after your kid has gone through the program and seemed happy, how much have they actually learned?
These are important questions because coding is a critical skill to master and schools teach very little of it. So, parents have to turn to after-school programs/camps to make sure their kids fill the gap. I struggled with these questions for years myself before founding Create & Learn. My daughter started attending tech camps in summer since age 6. But results had been mostly disappointing (and the most expensive ones often fell short the most). I spent a lot of efforts figuring out what she had learned and benchmarking. But for busy parents who don’t have time, or those who don’t have a coding background, how can you tell?
Luckily over the years, we have found some very simple but strong indicators of program quality that will only take you a few minutes to check without having to do hours of deep research. The key is to go beyond the fancy pictures and words, and get to the foundation of the programs.
#1: Class Size
Your intuition probably tells you smaller class size is better already. But do you realize it pretty much sets the ceiling for how good a program can be? Even the best teacher in the world will have his/her hands tied in a large classroom because the teacher can no longer adapt to individual student’s needs. Personalized attention is particularly important for developing students’ creativity and critical thinking skills. What we have found is that if there are more than half a dozen students per class, the teaching will likely be instruction-based following a rigid template, without sufficient attention to each student’s strength and areas of needs. For elementary or middle school students who are still learning how to learn, the lack of individual attention will fail to deliver the best learning.
#2: Differentiated Projects
When you see your kid’s projects at the end of a program, don’t just get excited about what your kids have done :). Take a look at how your child’s projects are different from those of other students’. In many programs, students produce almost identical projects. This is because instead of teaching kids coding, teachers just hand detailed instructions for building the projects to students, who then blindly follow the steps. There is little true learning, exploring, and creating. As a result, even after producing the projects, many students still don’t understand what they have done.
#3: Teacher’s Background
Most camps are staffed by high school and college students. They are great people, and some may care about teaching, but can they teach well? Teaching is a skill that takes many years to master. Think for a second examples from your own school days, of both good and bad teachers. Did they make a world of difference in your own learning? Effective teachers not only help your kid do one class well, but also nourish his/her passion for learning in general. The reverse is also true. The influence of a poor teacher can go far beyond a single class. So be very mindful about who teach your kids.
#4: Who Created the Curriculum?
Learning coding is not that different from learning skills like painting or swimming in that learning from the masters or Olympians will no doubt set your kids on a much more successful path. The experiences and accomplishments in the tech world of the people who create the curriculum determine how far the program can bring your kids. If you would like your kids to go far in the tech world, find out if the curriculum team has worked in the top tech companies and if they are insiders of both the tech and business side of the broader high-tech industry, not just someone who can code.
There you have it!
To sum up, check out these 4 things before signing up your kids for a coding class/camp:
Class size — ideally no more than 5–6 students per class
Whether students produce diverse projects
Background of the teachers — do they have extensive teaching experiences?
Who created the curriculum — do they just know how to code, or have they held important technical and business roles in top tech companies?
Here’s to all of our kids having fun, learning and flourishing! If you would like to get a taste of what a first-tier program looks like, sign up for a free class at www.create-learn.us.
With climate change seemingly at the center of the conversation these days, more sustainable ways of doing things are increasingly appealing. The creation of transparent wood just might be what our buildings need to be more energy-efficient. Scientists are also researching flatworms and their amazing regenerative qualities — is this something that we might be able to harness? And when it comes to space, NASA’s Hubble is showing us just how swiftly our universe is expanding. Learn all about it in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter! Join our classes to learn all about the latest technologies — coding, artificial intelligence, and more.
Swedish researchers, fascinated by humans’ use of wood to create homes throughout history, decided to see if there were ways to harness it for green energy. They came up with a way to modify the wood to make it transparent, and possibly more sustainable than the glass we use as windows. It just might be the future! Learn all about the technology they are using to test the wood here.
Flatworms have the amazing ability to regenerate their entire body from just a sliver of themselves. Despite many tests and theories, harnessing this unique and mysterious tool has been incredibly difficult, until now. Someone on the bioengineering team might’ve found how we can use this ability to help humans regenerate their own cells, but how? Find out more here!
NASA’s space telescope Hubble has shown scientists that the universe is expanding at a much more rapid rate than anticipated. This means that there might need to be new physics created in order to accurately understand what is happening, and how fast. Learn more about the amazing science behind it here!
See How Drones Are Helping People in Need of Critical Medical Supplies
Just past Neptune is a minor planet that’s been known by humans for over a decade, and scientists have finally decided to name it — but they asked the public for some help to do so. In another part of space, Saturn’s moon, Titan, was found to have deep lakes! What does this mean? Back on Earth, Ghana has been using drones to deliver important medical supplies, does this change how we all might be delivering sensitive products in the future? Find out in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter! Join our classes to learn all about the latest technologies — coding, artificial intelligence, and more.
What do you call a minor planet, about half the size of Pluto, that’s in the far reaches of the solar system? Astronomers didn’t know, either! After deciding that 2007 OR10 wasn’t the best name, they narrowed the choices down to three options, but asked the public to decide which one was best. Find out more about this minor planet and the names the public voted for here!
NASA researchers have been exploring Titan for some time now, hoping to glean new information about Saturn’s largest moon. Deep methane-filled lakes were found thanks to NASA’s Cassini-probe. Learn more about what these findings mean and the amazing technology used to discover it here!
Drones aren’t just for fun aerial shots now. Ghana and Rwanda have been using them to deliver important medical supplies in a push to help those that don’t live near the hospital or city-center. It’s relatively new, and the process is fascinating! Maybe this will catch on in the United States? Find out what Ghana is doing to assist those in rural areas using drones here.
AI technology advancements have created some amazing things, including the ability to create art. What does it look like when computer scientists use AI to perform jazz music? Speaking of amazing advancements, a new technique tracks brain activity 60 times faster than an MRI, but how? And when it comes to eating with the climate in mind, what’s better: a Locavore diet or a Vegetarian one? Find out in this week’s Tech News 4 Kids newsletter!
AI can do so many incredible things, like write a book, design furniture, or create art. However, some computer scientists have been wondering if AI can create improvised music, such as jazz. Find out how these questions came about, and what is next in regards to AI and music, in this article!
The human brain has fascinated scientists and biologists alike. It’s fast-reacting, and specific, neurons have been difficult to catch in real-time — until now. Researchers have found a new way to track the amazing things our brain does at such a fast pace that it’s almost like watching it happen instantly. Find out what these scientists are hoping to do with their findings, and how it all works, here!
Climate change is happening, and food plays a part in this. So, people have been doing their best to be more conscious of their food choices. This consciousness brought about a question — is it better to be a Locavore (where you only eat foods grown and harvested within a certain radius of your home) or a Vegetarian? Find out what researchers have found here!