Learning to code has been a hot issue since President Obama announced the Computer Science for All initiative. But many kids, especially kids from underserved backgrounds, have yet to write their first line of code. We are addressing this disparity in Pasadena with our free Foo-tastic Game Design Camp for 18 elementary school girls from low income families. The 4-day course teaches girls how to design, build, and program their own games using the coding and game creator app The Foos.
Campers will learn basic programming concepts such as sequencing and loops, while also diving into game design topics like the selection of a game mechanic, prototyping and giving constructive feedback. The camp was influenced by research that shows a strong correlation between the study of game design and later confidence in the use of technology. The camp culminates in the girls designing and presenting their own games in a “demo day.”
Wynter, mother to one of the campers says: “As a single mom of four, it is rare when programs like the Foo-tastic Game Design Camp are offered to a brilliant minded up and coming scientist such as my middle daughter Madison.”
The camp is a joint effort between STEAM:CODERS, codeSpark, and Coding For Treasure. STEAM:CODERS recruited campers through local Pasadena schools; all campers are from an African-American or Latin-American background. The Foo-tastic Game Design Camp will be located at San Marino based coding center Coding For Treasure. codeSpark is contributing game design curriculum. We’re hoping that after testing out our camp, we can offer our curriculum on our website so camps like this can be offered all over the world.