Afterschool Coding Launches at the Discovery Cube Science CenterProgram Highlights
The Discovery Cube is a pioneer in offering coding programs at camps, at school sites, and during afterschool programs. The popular California-based science center launched the in-person Code Club Cubed program at their Santa Ana location in 2023, with funding provided by Broadcom Foundation.
“We need more future coders!” said Tina Rolewicz, Vice President of Education. “Our impetus to launch this program in-house stems from the huge demand for coding by all ages. Our mission at Discovery Cube is to spark a lifelong love of learning and discovery in the hearts of young people through science-based programs and exhibits. We strive to make a meaningful impact on the communities we serve and inspire the next generation of scientific thinkers. Our partnership with Broadcom Foundation allows us to reach children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience and learn about coding in a fun, engaging, and unique manner.”
“Informal learning spaces offer great opportunities for kids to learn to code without fear,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation. “The Discovery Cube is pioneering strategies to help kids achieve digital literacy by introducing them to these critical new skills with a sense of wonder — making coding fun.”
With over 60 first through sixth grade coders enrolled, Code Club Cubed began as a 4-week program focused on all children gaining a basic introduction and understanding of coding and programming. The workshops use block-based programming, for participants to create surveys, role-playing games, and other interactive games. A laptop is used to learn Scratch, a coding language with a simple visual interface that allows young people to create digital stories, games, and animations.
“Learning the concepts of coding and programming not only teaches problem-solving, but also encourages a growth mindset,” said Giavanna Patafio, Director, Education Discovery Cube. “A big part of coding is creating code, testing, seeing where it failed, and going back in to rebuild and start the process over (like the engineering design process). Reminding kids that failure is not only ok but encouraged as part of the learning process that ultimately builds stronger resilience and character.”
Discovery Cube programming focuses on projects that have immediate and visual results. Participants are encouraged to retry their code twice, ask two other coders for help with their code, and then ask an instructor. This encourages young coders to troubleshoot coding issues themselves and to practice critical thinking.
The next phase of the program encourages children to continue developing their coding skills while helping them to understand their role in sustainable practices to help their community using the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
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