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.

April 21, 2017 Meeting

We will meet in the Board Room of 25N at 5:45

We will continue working on our Mobile App in App Inventor.

If anyone needs to catch up with what we have done so far in our Wardrobe Wiz app, I have written up step-by-step documentation and updated the app in the App Inventor Gallery

FVGCC Wardrobe Wiz App – Project Iteration 2

Nikki has set up our official  FVGCC Hat Design. If you would like to order one here is the link: The order deadline is April 28th!

April 7, 2017 Meeting: More Mobile

We will meet in the boardroom in 25 N at 5:45 pm on April 7th, 2017.

We will continue development of our Wardrobe Wiz project, adding these features:

  • Ability to photograph and store other types of outfit components to go with the Tops
  • Ability to match different types of outfit components and store them as outfits
    • Think about how you would go about this if you have an indexed list of Tops and an indexed list of Bottoms and you want to store many mix and match combinations. A given top can go with several Bottoms and vice-versa.
    • Tip: An initial approach may be to define an outfit as 2 indices: index of Top and index of Bottom stored together. But, remember what happens if we delete an item from a list in Scratch! Think about what is unique about each item, other than an index.
  • Need to catch up? No worries! If you haven’t gotten Phase 1 completed you can use my project from the App Inventor Gallery as a starter. You will just need to log into MIT App Inventor with your Google account. On the top menu near the upper right, select Gallery, in the box by Search for apps, type endlessloop to see all my projects, select WardrobeWiz_Phase1, then click “Open the App”
  • Features completed for Phase 1:
    • Take pictures and add to list of Tops
    • Save list of Tops to database
    • Delete a Top from list and database
    • When app starts, load existing Tops list from database
    • Scroll through pictures of Tops by swiping to previous or next

March 10, 2017 Meeting – Cybersecurity and Mobile Madness with a Purpose

We will meet in the Board Room at 25N at 5:45 pm on March 10, 2017

Special Guest Speaker on Cybersecurity: Tom Wallace of Jellyvision has graciously volunteered to speak to us about Cybersecurity. Please be at the meeting promptly by 5:45 for what will surely be an interesting talk on a topic that is so essential not only to coders and anyone in the tech industries but to all of us who use these cyber devices every day.

Mobile Madness Project: Continue our special Mobile project, developing Iteration One which we started at the last meeting. We will be referring to this document, so you may wish to print it out:  App Inventor Project Iteration One. We will discuss what makes sense to tackle in the next Iteration.

App Inventor – Project Iteration One

In the last couple of meetings our group has come up with an idea for a new app, done some story-boarding, and walked through design and requirements for Iteration 1. We got started with some of the coding for that Iteration at our last meeting but didn’t have time to fully implement and test it. To get us all “on the same page” here is one solution that provides a working model that we can use. We have replaced the image component with a Canvas component and added the database. This document details how to build it:

App Inventor – Project Iteration 1


The excellent free online course Mobile Computing with App Inventor – CS Principles presented by Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut and taught by Professor Ralph Morelli via edX is phenomenal  at teaching both App Inventor and Computer Science Principles. I learned about storing photos in a list and a database from doing the Slide Show App of Week 2 of the Course. I highly recommend this course!

Special Guest Speaker on February 24th

At our February 24th meeting, our guest speaker via a Web chat will be Julie Pak President and CEO of RazorX2.  From Julie’s Bio on her company’s Web site:  “Ms. Pak earned her Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and along with a business degree from the Univ of IL at Urbana-Champaign, made RazorX2 a reality. Before moving to Northern VA, she was an investment banker for a large financial bank and taught Computer Science at the college level. Her professional experiences and alternative point of view, as a female executive and minority, provide a diverse perspective to a very special company.”

February 17, 2017 – MOBILE MADNESS!

We will meet in the boardroom in 25 N at 5:45 pm on Feb 17th, 2017.

February is Mobile Month at the Fox Valley Girls Coding Club! We will be continuing with MIT App Inventor 2. If you don’t already have an account – go ahead and make one!

If you have an Android phone or tablet (even old ones), please bring them to class. App Inventor will not work with iOS devices – although we will talk about them!


See you there!

Feb 3, 2017 Meeting – It’s MOBILE Month!

In February, we will begin a month working with mobile apps and MIT App Inventor 2.

If you have an Android phone or tablet (even old ones), please bring them to class. App Inventor will not work with iOS devices – although we will talk about them lots!



January 27, 2017 Meeting

Tonight we will be meeting at 25N.

6pm: 30-45 minute Skype chat with Sarah Sexton, Technical Evangelist at Microsoft.

6:45 – 7:45pm: Bring in the hardware! As we wrap up gaming, let’s take a look at how Raspberry Pi and Arduino are changing the way we play games.