Empower Through Code is a supplemental engineering and coding program for ESL, refugee, and underprivileged students, aged 11 to 16. We are advocates for empowering them through programming and engineering. We believe that learning the fundamentals of programming fosters an enabling environment where students can develop their critical thinking skills. It is imperative that we give these students the chance to be immersed in what science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields have to offer; a curriculum that is more apparent in their more affluent counterparts. The skills to become an engineer are latent in each individual student. All that is needed are the resources and the opportunity to become one.
We are here to uplift students in communities who need it the most. Programming allows you develop anything imaginable. This is the biggest takeaway we want our students to walk away with.
Why ages 11 to 16?
It is during this age that ideas about individuals and the society around them shape who they become in the future. During this short and critical period in their lives, the students are developing study habits and creating an image of themselves in relation to their surroundings. The effect that negative social environments can have on these students is detrimental to their mental growth. These students are aware that they are not provided with the same opportunities as others in more affluent communities, and can be, therefore, discouraged to enter the STEM fields. Empower Through Code is here to help them combat these forces and guide them into their futures through a more positive and productive outlet. We will show them different ways to solve problems and give them a broad conceptual view of their learnings and how it all connects, amongst many other skills required to become an engineer and future community builder.
What to expect during a workshop?
Workshops are held locally, either in a religious or community center. There will be multiple classrooms holding unique workshops.
Workshops will include hands-on learning on how to code a language: either C++ or Java. Here, students are provided with computers and a guide on how to code a simple program. There will instructors to provide specific guidance to the logic in the program as well as volunteers catering to students’ individual growth. After students absorb the basics on how to code, a team project will be assigned so that the students interact with each other and collaborate on a common goal.
The second workshop will include a variety of engaging lectures on different fields of engineering. Here, students have the opportunity to imagine themselves in a STEM role and see the contributions they can make. Assorted games involving engineering will generate team-building skills, and a short individual presentation will provide them with public-speaking skills.