San Antonio is a city full of bright, curious, and ambitious children who have a desire to embrace the opportunities of the technology-focused 21st century. This ambition is increasingly important because, from 2015 to 2016, tech jobs in San Antonio grew by 20%, a number that we can only imagine will increase as our city continues to play a role in the information technology/ cybersecurity job sector.
While Texas has established K-12 computer science standards, there is a lack of strategic planning and funding to implement these goals in schools, according to code.org. San Antonio children, particularly ones in underserved areas, do not have access to the vital resources necessary to fill the jobs that will be available to them 10 years from now.
The DoSeum’s Summer of Tech initiative aims to empower children ages 11 and younger with the fundamentals of computer science skills. We want to provide San Antonio children with the skills necessary to face the emerging tech landscape and thrive. Through our summer exhibit digiPlaySpace, our initiative Kids Coding Challenge, and our outreach programs, The DoSeum is creating accessible opportunities for all San Antonio children to become future techie trailblazers.
Caregivers sometimes feel trepidation toward the prospect of teaching young children to code – Should we really be putting toddlers in front of computer screens and expecting them to understand lines of HTML? Of course not. The DoSeum, in partnership with Youth Code Jam, is redefining the way we think about teaching kids the skills required to excel at coding. Instead of having children open up a document and memorize HTML tags, The DoSeum is helping them understand algorithms, improve their critical thinking skills, and feel comfortable navigating a computer.
The Kids Coding Challenge is a series of activities that children can complete both online and offline,at The DoSeum or elsewhere. The initiative gives children the opportunity to learn how to code and think like a coder, putting them on a path to creating games and robots of their own. One of the core principles of the Kids Coding Challenge is that it is accessible to all. Kids can complete the “Unplugged” sections at home, gaining insights into pattern-making, critical thinking, and understanding code, without ever looking at a screen. Children can visit The DoSeum for free twice a month during H-E-B Free Family Nights (1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 6:30-8:30 p.m.) to use The DoSeum’s computer help lab for the Plugged activities.
Throughout the summer, The DoSeum has engaged more than 1,700 underserved children in Kids Coding Challenge activities through community outreach efforts. Kids have created their own algorithms, programs, and foundations for online games through partnerships with the Ella Austin Community Center, BiblioTech, Leon Valley Library, and more.
Our goal for this summer was to empower as many children as possible with the resources, foundations, and excitement necessary to succeed in the future. Children can still participate in the Kids Coding Challenge by clicking here.
On Aug. 12, The DoSeum is hosting its Future Now! Tech Fair, where kids will have the opportunity to engage with local technological innovations and showcase their work this summer through DoSeum camps and programming. Demonstrations of innovative technologies will be provided by event partners Youth Code Jam, Alamo FIRST, Southwest Research Institute, Synaptive Medical, and ACELabs. Parents will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of integration of tech and education in The Doseum’s Tech Education Pathways talk with David Heard, co-Founder and CEO of Tech Bloc. Future Now! is made possible by the contributions of event partner, USAA, which has committed to supporting The DoSeum’s initiatives of bringing STEM opportunities to the San Antonio community.