One of the student organizations I participate in, Spark SC, recently finished working with The Michelson 20 Million Minds Foundation and General Assembly on Project #CodeTruck. This initiative exposed inner-city students to the world of tech and entrepreneurship in the hopes of sparking students’ interest in these fields. The world of tech is a pool of affluence that many communities don’t have access too, and Project #CodeTruck aims to start breaking down the barrier.
#CodeTruck is aptly named –– the program puts students through programming sessions inside of a truck tricked out with computers and a presentation space. Code literacy will provide these students access to an enormous number of opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable, and while this program will not guarantee students’ ability to code in the future, it is a first step towards building a skill that will be a life-long asset.
Spark SC partnered with 20MM and GA by participating in an entrepreneurship fair that took place between programming sessions. We wanted to show the kids how programming could be used to build real tools, from Google to Angry Birds, that impact people across the world. My favorite part of this experience was the students’ energy. One of the games we had them play paralleled the 1000 Pitches competition that Spark SC is running at USC. The students came up with ideas in different categories that were either solutions to problems or just fun new inventions, and they were much better at idea generation than the average college student. My favorite idea from a student was for there to be a video game that takes a picture of the player, and then uses that picture to create a character of the player in the game!Meet Calvin