As part of Boulder’s Computer Science Education Week (CSED), ATLAS PhD student Celeste Moreno will be teaching "Animate Your World," a workshop geared towards beginners and families.
The annual event, locally sponsored by the Boulder Public Library, seeks to connect community members with the best resources to learn computer science, regardless of age, background or previous experience. This year all CSED workshops will be held virtually because of the pandemic.
During Moreno's workshop, participants will explore Scratch, a creative coding website that allows participants to interact with their projects through their computers’ cameras. Possible projects range from a virtual drum set that participants can play with their hands, to animating a monster so it hides under a bed and only emerges after everyone leaves the room.
Moreno said she chose Scratch for the workshop’s online coding environment because those without prior coding experience can easily create games, art, and animations. It's also free and browser-based, making it easily accessible for participants.
“Scratch does a great job of supporting creativity and inspiring people to make a wide variety of personally meaningful projects,” she said. "It makes coding and computer science fun, creative and personal."
The workshop is part of Moreno’s graduate research in the Department of Information Science’s Creative Communities group, funded under an NSF award (NSF-2005702) titled, “Tinkering and Making Strategies to Engage Children and Families in Creating with Code.” Creative Communities’ group of researchers, students, designers and educators explore how they can engage young people to create, play and learn together.
This is Moreno's third year of leading a CSED workshop at Boulder Public Library. She hopes workshop participants "will find moments of joy in their coding experience, and that they leave feeling empowered to make something exciting and meaningful with code."
"Each year CSED is an opportunity for me to share what I think is amazing about code, computing and technology with a local community of curious minds of all ages,” she said. “They learn what is exciting and new.”
"Animate Your World" runs Feb. 24 from 5-6 p.m. The workshop is free, but reservations are required.