October 13, 2017 Meeting

Welcome to a new year of Fox Valley Girls Coding Club!

We will meet in the Board Room of 25N at 5:30pm, October 13, 2017.

Meeting Agenda:

  • Introductions
  • High level review of all that we have planned and are considering for the year
    • Web – HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript
    • Mobile – Thunkable
    • 3D Gaming – Unity
  • Schedule
  • Set up
    • Slack
    • Cloud9
    • GitHub

Excited to meet our new members and catch up with our returning members! It is going to be a great year! 🙂

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Adventures at Chicago Hacks 2017

Rolling blog… Chicago Hacks 2017

Sunday  May 28, 2017

10:45 am – Train Ride home!

9:30 am – Judging & Demos – want to try the app? It’s called “Snooze, You Lose” and it is an alarm that requires that the user either walk 10 steps or answer a riddle correctly in order to shut the alarm off. It helps people that have a hard time waking up in the morning!

Download the APK for Android!

Search for “Snooze, You Lose 2” in MIT App Inventor

8:20 am – After much discussion and donuts, the decision is made that everyone will stay, Nicole and Nikki will demo the app at 9:30am and we will catch a 10:40 am train home. The last bug is fixed, Nikki takes screen caps, Nicole prepares a final release and completes the online code submission.

7:42 am – Donuts everywhere

5:51 am – We decide to take the 8:40 am train instead of the 12:40 am train. The girls are tired and a new bug has emerged. They want to go home.

5:32 am – What’s my name again? LOL

3:33 am – App is done (more or less). Nicole publishes an .apk and downloads it on a tablet for a quick run. The app icon doesn’t load, but we are done…and tired… 😉

2:24 am  – Formatting alarm dates and time

2:03 am – pedometer and riddles are integrated and final testing is finishing up…Caroline is asleep on the floor. I just heard someone yell “It Works!!” from down the a hallway…

12:30 am – Insomnia Cookies and Henna Tatoos – Riddles are being merged into alarm

Saturday  May 27,  2017

Midnight – pedometer is working, alarm is working – now with custom sound, riddles are working – with help from Jessie – Nikki has an app icon and graphics… but all of the pieces are completely separate from one another

11:30pm – girls run off to record an alarm sound “Good Morning” – they escape to the bathroom to avoid lots of other noisy teenagers!

10 pm stuff is coming together…

8:30 pm coffee & coding

6:30 pm dinner – noodles and company

5:30 pm groups form – Isabella and Rosie on pedometer, Nikki on graphics, Jessie take a cat nap, Caroline on riddles, Nicole on core alarm

4:30 pm gaming class, Nicole builds out the first part of the alarm – comparing the device system time with the date time the user picks

~4 pm Girls use post-its to organize the pieces they needs to build their alarm clock app

2:36 pm

All girls except Nicole and I are at the HTML class… we have the Oculus Rift hooked up to the Alienware Desktop that Caroline checked out now… and Nicole is playing a game with a fox…. courtesy of Major League Hacks! Before she gets too motion sick…. we will see if we can build a unity game and deploy it on the Rift…. 😉

IMG_20170527_142315

11:45am

We were lucky enough to arrive a bit early and have procured a large table with room for everyone!

2017-2018 FVGCC Schedule

Fox Valley Girls Coding Club will meet for the 2017-18 school year on Friday evenings from 5:45 p.m.-7:45 p.m. at 25N Coworking on River Street in downtown Geneva.  This year’s coding projects include web and mobile projects and perhaps some work with IoT.  FVGCC is open to all girls, ages 14-18.  Limited spaces are available so please sign up now!  Contact us at fvgcc12@gmail.com.

Technologies

bookcoverWeb (October – December 2017): We will use Cloud9 online IDE (integrated development environment), GitHub and GitHubPages to build HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript websites. All of the girls will also have a subdomain on which they can deploy websites. This year we will be building web-based games based on the examples in Learn HTML5 by Creating Fun Games by Rodrigo Silveira.

Mobile and/or 3D Gaming (January – March 2018):

Mobile: We are looking at Thunkable for iOS and Android mobile app development. Right now, they only support Android, but they are collecting names of users who would like to be beta testers for their iOS version! As a backup, we can use React Native. If we go with React Native, we may use the book React Native Quickly by Azat Mardan.

3D: We are considering using the Unity Game Engine to get our feet wet and then we can consider future projects, which may involve deploying games to the Microsoft Hololens.

Gadget Month (April 2018): Awesome Shield has a pretty cool Arduino based hardware shield that can be used with their Ardiuno library in Adruino Studio. This might be a good stepping stone to more advanced bread-boarding with Arduino and Arduino Studio if the girls want to go in that direction! In the past, the girls have also used Makey Makeys to play the games they have built. We could take those to the next level and use some of the more advanced keyboard features. Robin also has a Hololens, Ozobot, Rasberry Pis to play with! Also, we can design models for 3D Printing using TinkerCad.

Meeting Schedule

October (Web) – 13, 20, 27

November (Web) – 3, 10, 17

December (Web) – 1, 8, 15

January (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 12, 26

February (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 2, 9, 23

March (Mobile/3D Gaming) – 9, 16, 23

April (Gadgets) – 6, 13, 20

May 4th – Last Class Cinco de Mayo Party!

April 28, 2017 Meeting – special start time – 5:30 p.m. at 25N Coworking

On Friday, we are excited to welcome Amanda Lannert, CEO of Jellyvision, as our last web chat of the 2016-17 school year.  Our web chat series this year has given the girls of FVGCC great insight into everything from being a current computer science student at DePaul University to possibilities of careers in cyber security or starting their own tech start up.  We can not wait to talk with Ms. Lannert about her path to Jellyvision and what skills and characteristics she believes led to her receiving recent Moxie Awards for both CEO of the Year and Top Woman in Tech!  Looking forward to a great conversation.

After our web chat at 5:30, we will continue our mobile programming work. Hard to believe, but this is the last meeting where we will be working in depth on our coding project.  Next week, we wrap up the school year meetings with a Taco Bar send off party for our Senior members and will plan and brainstorm for our 2017-18 school year.

At the end of May, FVGCC will be participating in our first Hack-a-thon event through Chicago Hacks.  Stay tuned for updates on the project we decide to complete at the event and how we survive 24 hours straight of coding and community!

See you Friday at 5:30 p.m. at 25N Coworking in the boardroom.

FVGCC’s First Web Chat – Fiona Baenziger and Lily Fisher – DePaul University Computer Science Majors

Fox Valley Girls Coding Club was so excited to hold their first web chat in November 2016.  With the newly introduced web chats and guest speakers, FVGCC is looking forward to reinforcing topic areas that we will be tackling in our monthly meetings as well as introducing club members to areas within the computing industry that may be of interest to them after high school.

In our first web chat, we spoke with Fiona and Lily, Computer Science majors at DePaul University.  Here is some of what they shared with us:

On their computer-related background prior to College:

Lily: In High School, Lily took AP Computer Science and was on the Robotics Team. She also learned Python while in high school.

Fiona: Fiona’s Dad is a professional Software Developer. Fiona learned Scratch at age 12. She started out in a different major at DePaul, but came back to Computer Science

Advice/Shared Experiences with our club members:

  • Women going into Computer Science need to stay focused, have a plan, and execute.
  • Start networking now!  Go to events.  Meet other girls/women involved at all levels of Computer Science.
  • Computer Science is like a puzzle. Don’t be afraid to try and fail.  You can only find success and what types of projects you like by continuing to try.
  • Lily started the DePaul chapter of the ACM-W (Association of Computing Machinery for Women – women.acm.org !  Great example that if the community you are looking for does not exist at your high school or college – be brave and create it yourself.
  • The gender gap in technology is real.  Lily and Fiona want to change the perception that software developers are just nerds with a computer and we at FVGCC can each help with that too.  Don’t be afraid to let others know that you are a girl who likes Computer Science!
  • They both like working with and encouraging younger girls to use Computer Science for things they enjoy; for example, animal advocacy.  Successes come when you can use what you learn in coding to create something you are passionate about.
  • Go out of your comfort zone!  As the CEO of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, says – “Teach girls bravery, not perfection.”
  • “Volunteering for Girls Who Code changed my life.” – Fiona.  This volunteering opportunity gave me a deeper understanding of how impacting other girls and serving as a role model, helped me to develop a stronger commitment and connection to what I am studying.
  • Take on challenges like the Technovation Challenge
  • Apply for the NCWIT Aspirations Awards

Thanks to Fiona and Lily for being such great inspirations to FVGCC.  We look forward to continuing to see more of our girls following in their footsteps and entering Computer Science in college!

GEMS Event at Niles West April 22, 2017!

The Fox Valley Girls Coding Club extends a warm welcome and congratulations to all the girls attending the Niles West GEMS event for girls in grades 5 through 8.

I am thrilled to be presenting again! Our sessions will be an introduction to what coding is all about. Each group rotates through several different STEM sessions at the event, each about 30 minutes long. Here are copies of the material for anyone who wants to review Scratch/coding concepts.

GEMS Niles West Introduction to Scratch Handout: this is for people new to coding and covers basic concepts while building a GEMS Dance Party App based on the introductory tutorial on the MIT Scratch Web site

GEMS Niles West Advanced Scratch Handout: this is for people who are already familiar with Scratch and its basic blocks and introduces some advanced concepts (working with lists, clones, custom procedures). We start with the introductory project as a base and enhance it.