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the latest from code savvy

Our newsletters highlight a variety of people, organizations, and resources that are doing work to broaden participation and expand equitable and engaging computer science and STEM opportunities. We are honored to work in this space along with so many talented and passionate individuals and want to help bring attention to their work.

This Week’s Spotlight and Project-Inspiration: Black History Month

Spotlight on Black History! This week's focus is "Change Makers"

For the next several weeks, we will shine our spotlight specifically on Black History. We recognize that history is a topic that is largely whitewashed and only told from the perspective of people in power to further certain ideas. Black History Month is an important reminder that there are large parts of history that generally go untold in schools, and that should be shared all year long. For the next several weeks, Code Savvy will be focusing on a different aspect of Black History each week and making connections through stories, experiences and achievements, to computer science.

This week, we shine our spotlight on Change Makers, both past and present. A “Change Maker” is someone who is willing to stand up and take steps towards making change for the greater good, even if the cost is high. Black History is filled with important, brave Change Makers in all areas - education, politics, sports, STEM, literature, entertainment, and beyond. During President Biden’s inauguration last week, the world was introduced to 22 year old Amanda Gorman, a Change Maker using the power of poetry to spread her message of learning from our past to help create a brighter tomorrow.
We are inspired by the words and power in Amanda Gorman’s poem. Ms. Gorman closes her poem with the words: 

When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it
If only we're brave enough to be it”

These words inspire youth to look for ways to make change, and we believe computer science can be a powerful tool to help students problem solve and share their thoughts and feelings in ways that would not otherwise be possible. This could mean helping students to create new devices or apps to help solve current problems, or it could mean helping students to use computer science to share their feelings in ways that reach a much wider audience.

It is Code Savvy’s goal to continue to help empower and develop the youth of today to become the change makers of tomorrow. As new technologies continue to expand, the jobs today’s students will be entering will call on them to solve problems that have persisted for years, and some that don’t even exist yet. It is critical that students are receiving high quality computer science education, but also learning how to think critically and solve problems like a Change Maker. 

For some projects that help students share their feelings, check out these connections between poetry and computer science: Makey Makey’s Draw and Code a Poem Generator, Tynker’s Code a Poem Project, or Trinket’s Writing Poetry in Python Project. If you are looking for an Unplugged option, Code Savvy shared a CS to Go Unplugged Activity around pattern recognition and rhyming!

We encourage you to use your creative genius to create a project that inspires you to be a Change Maker! If you do, please share it with us.

Share your CS to Go projects!

How to Share: We invite CS to Go with Code Savvy participants to consider sharing your projects publicly with the Code Savvy and greater #MNCodes community via video with Flipgrid. We can’t wait to see what you create! Please be sure to follow online safety guidelines and get adult permission before sharing. You can find our Privacy Policy here.

Catch Up on Past Weeks’ CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration Videos

CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration with Code Savvy are our response to the current health crisis -- Code Savvy’s programs have come together to develop weekly youth- and educator-centered videos that focus on creating new things with computer science. You can find all CS to Go and Bytes of Inspiration videos under Distance Learning on our website!

other happenings

Code Savvy’s MNCodes Educator Training Program

#ScratchEd Art Projects
Scratch ( is a powerful open-ended coding platform for students that utilizes drag and drop block code. Helping students to see Scratch as a tool to express their creativity can start to engage students with computer science in new ways. Whether it’s creating music, animations, or interactive art pieces, Scratch can open new possibilities for student artwork. Check out these Scratch tutorials for how to help students get started!
CS Integration Curriculum Showcase
As part of the MNCodes Cohort, educators are asked to create lessons that integrate computer science with another curricular content area such as literacy, math, science, or others, and align to both CSTA and MN Academic Standards. We will use this space to regularly showcase various curriculum resources that have been created by current or former MNCodes Cohort members.
Coffee + CS Ed Zoom Call
Looking for more ways to connect with other educators interested in CS Ed? Or do you have ideas to share, questions or want to try out a resource in the company of other K12 CS Educators? Check out Coffee + CSEd Chats - every Friday at 8am, CT. Anyone is welcome to join! Details and Zoom info can be found here

Our winter/spring schedule is now available here.Our next virtual event is January 30 - Register Here. Hope to see many of you there. Sign up for email notices - CodeDojoTC and Rebecca CoderDojo
Heads Up High School Girls - SPARCing College Success - Illuminating the Path!
The Minnesota Aspirations in Computing/SPARCS program is delighted to offer this virtual learning event for young women in high school.
Leading up to college we all have so many questions: Where do I go, what do I major in, how do I pay for college, how will I make new friends, how will I find internships? We will be talking about these questions and so many more with our panel of STEM college students and young professionals. The evening will be divided into two parts: a classic panel and an opportunity to network with the speakers and fellow high school students. 
Click here to register! Note: the registration deadline is February 17.
Presentation opportunity for students and recent graduates! 
Our friends at Minnestar are looking for student/graduates to present at their upcoming Minnedemo: Back to Campus virtual tech showcase. Learn more and submit your application to present before Feb 16.


more code savvy


About Code Savvy

Code Savvy empowers youth and educators with the knowledge, skills, and support to create with technology while interrupting and counteracting gender, racial, and socioeconomic gaps in computing. We create opportunities for hands-on computer science learning that inspires learners to transform the future.

Visit our website to learn more 

Support Code Savvy

Our programs are FREE to all students who want to learn, regardless of background. Help us keep it that way. Donate today!

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