Posted by Melissa Sariffodeen
@melsariffodeen

Melissa is the Co-Founder and CEO of Canada Learning Code. She's a fierce advocate for providing Canadians the critical skills, confidence and opportunities they need to become passionate builders - not just consumers of technology and to thrive in our increasingly digital world.

What Happens When Vancouver’s Kids Learning Code & the Bandit Tour Team Up

Bandit on Tour LogoWe’re back!  After 5 classes, 131 kids, 8 Spheros, 5 juice boxes and too many lines of code to count, the Bandit Tour Gone Rogue is complete.

For those who don’t know, the Bandit Tour Gone Rogue is a partnership between Kids Learning Code and Traction on Demand.  Each year, Traction on Demand arranges a road trip to Dreamforce doing acts of kindness and pro-bono work along the way.  This year (our amazing company) agreed to send 2 team members, Debbie and us (Vancouver Youth Chapter Lead Caitlin), to teach coding workshops to small town BC schools.  On this particular tour we visited Rosedale (Chilliwack), Princeton and Merritt.

We started the session in Rosedale by having the kids teach us (of course pretending to be a computer) how to open a juice box.  This got them excited and laughing when they told us to put the straw in the juice box and we (being a dumb computer) tried to put it into the side of the juice box.  After they understood how dumb computers are, we used Tynker to draw on the iPads.  We ended up with some crazy cats drawing squiggley lines all over the place, a robot writing words and some dancing monsters following fingers around.

After Rosedale we took a little detour to the Othello Tunnels with our new found friend Clive.  It turns out that Debbie, the navigator of the trip, had never carved a pumpkin, so when we drove past a roadside stand selling vegetables we had to stop to pick one up.  He became our mascot for the rest of the trip and even helped Debbie with some of the navigation.

Traction on Demand Bandit Tour
Traction on Demand Bandit Tour

After exploring the local scenery we continued on our way to Princeton where we taught 2 more classes.  This time we spent the first half of the class using Tynker to make a game where our main character followed our finger and ate other characters on the screen.  For the second half of the class the students created Sphero robots that moved around the classroom.  The kids were tasked with having Sphero draw a square, a triangle and a hexagon.  Math and coding all in one lesson!

Traction on Demand Bandit Tour

From Princeton we continued along to Merritt.  Clive found a truck he wanted to drive back to Vancouver and Debbie and I taught our final 2 classes.  This time we used Scratch to build a game.  The general concept was to use the up, down, right and left keys to move the main character, Walter, around the screen.  Then we added some other characters for Walter to eat and finally a “bad guy” to chase Walter around.  The students’ creativity was unbelievable!  We had bats eating dragons while being chased by puppy dogs, unicorns eating marshmallows and so many “how do I…” questions.  It was clear the kids were engaged and excited to do more.

Traction on Demand Bandit Tour
Traction on Demand Bandit Tour

The teachers each received a package of learning materials, which included ideas for how to use Scratch or Tynker in their everyday lessons and most importantly temporary Bandit tattoos and Kids Learning Code buttons for the kids.

A huge thank you to Traction for helping make this happen!

About Traction on Demand:

Traction is a CRM consulting and software development firm with unparalleled expertise in Salesforce.com implementations, data quality and marketing automation. We streamline your business process by bending cloud-based CRM technology around your business users. Our work, culture, community and success are built on the beliefs of our CEO Greg Malpass and his founding values. We operate on a human-to-human level with the objective of making people’s lives easier. Our enemy is redundancy. The results: we remove barriers to success and ultimately increase our customers’ bottom line through sales, marketing and operational alignment. Visit the website here.

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