We created a workshop to teach kids how to use Pixel Pad which is an FTC simulator that helps you and your team program and test the robot together. We sent an email to school PAC’s about our workshop; we left a link to a google sign up sheet that asked them if they have any past programming experience.
One week after the release of the email, we realized our offer was not that popular as we thought it would be. “It’s free coding classes! Why would the parents hesitate to sign their kids up?” one of our teammates would say. By the time we were a week away from the workshop, we only had 11 kids registered. This obviously was a great disappointment to the team. Can Codes were not something that came very often and we felt like we were losing in on a great opportunity. One way or the other we knew the show had to go on and we decided to move on, but little did we know that our coach had sent this email to her workplace. And the night we had everything setup, we would be surprised to see not 11 but 63 people registered.
The team immediately went to work, sorting the kids from beginner, intermediate and advanced. We hosted 3 workshops in the day and each of them lasted for an hour. The workshops were for grades 3-7 but we had the 6th and 7th graders separated in a different workshop because of their age difference from the others. We handled the workshop by making breakout rooms based on experience of programming. We had them program the basic movements of the robot and there were at least 2 of us in each breakout room to help them and share our screens to show them the answer after they all finished one of the exercises. Then before the workshop ended we informed them that they can sign up for FLL or FTC by FIRST. This obviously being our first time doing virtual Can Code, we decided to do a make up class for the first class, in order to deal with technical difficulties the whole time. All in all, our team agreed it was a success and have decided this can be something we can continue to do.