Roseville, MN
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Aug 13, 2018 - Aug 24, 2018
Girls' APPspirations will teach girls currently in 4th to 8th grade how to use MIT's App Inventor programming tool to create Android smartphone applications and control Lego Mindstorms EV3 robots. Then, students will brainstorm and develop their own apps to solve social issues in their own communities, showcase their projects, and have an opportunity to talk with a female guest speaker in IT about future careers.
Provided by Grace and Minnesota State - IT Center of Excellence


Registration is closed for this program. Please contact the Program Leader for information about a waitlist.

Program Dates & Times

First week: Monday to Friday, 08/13/18 to 08/17/18, 1 PM to 5 PM

Second week: Monday to Friday, 08/20/18 to 08/24/18, 1 PM to 5 PM

Grade(s)

4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade

Cost

Girls’ APPspirations is free to all students.

More About the Program

Today, mobile phone applications are widely used by people of all ages. However, traditional phone application development environments, such as Android Studio or Xcode, have steep learning curves. In contrast, MIT’s App Inventor runs inside a web browser and uses a block-based programming logic that can be learned in significantly less time. The programming environment has similarities to MIT’s Scratch.

Girls’ APPspirations will teach female students how to create Android apps with MIT’s App Inventor for 10 weekdays at the Roseville Library, with each day lasting 4 hours. The instructor will introduce how other young people have developed apps to solve real social issues in their community. Students will then have brainstorming discussions about social issues in their own communities that they could help solve with an app. Then, students will be put into groups according to the topics of the social issues each student wants to solve to work together and create an app using App Inventor. Throughout the process, a team of volunteers will also help students with specific questions they have. There will also be discussions about future technology careers and technology activities the students can participate in after this program is over with the instructor and a guest speaker who is a professional woman in computing.

Program waivers can be completed in person on the first day of the program.

Here are a list of items needed to develop apps for the Android phone if you want to work at home:

  • Students will need a Gmail account. Ask adults in your home to help you make one if needed.
  • PC installed with MIT App Inventor Tool to communicate with phone or emulator.
  • WiFi and Google Chrome or FireFox web browser. 
  • An Android Phone is recommended but not required (student without an Android phone can use the emulator on a PC). Install the MIT AI2 Companion from Google Play (free) if a real phone is used.


For more information, contact Grace.

Schedule

  1. Monday, 08/13/18: Introduction to using App Inventor to design Android apps.

  2. Tuesday, 08/14/18: Step-by-step coding with instructor to create simple apps in App Inventor and get used to the program.

  3. Wednesday, 08/15/18: Instructor leads students in creating a new app game and testing the game.

  4. Thursday, 08/16/18: Instructor leads students in creating and testing an app that uses the map component, the location sensor, and the camera.

  5. Friday, 08/17/18: Introduction to the Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot. Then, step-by-step coding with instructor to create an app that connects and controls the Lego robot’s movements.

  6. Monday, 08/20/18: Show some apps created using App Inventor that won the Technovation competition or Congressional App Challenge. Ask students to brainstorm about a social issue in their communities and how they could solve the issue with a phone app.

  7. Tuesday, 08/21/18: Students with similar ideas on what app they would like to make will be grouped together to begin their app development.

  8. Wednesday, 08/22/18: Students move to programming their app’s specific elements under guidance of instructor.

  9. Thursday, 08/23/18: Students continue programming their apps under guidance of instructor.

  10. Friday, 08/24/18: Students finish developing and testing their apps under guidance of instructor. Talk with guest speaker about girls in technology. Invite families and friends of students to hear presentations of the students’ apps that they created. Several different gift card awards will be given out to students based on their apps’ merit and behavior during the program to encourage students to continue coding after the program ends.