August 5, 2016 | Tristan McGuirk
This August fifty grade 3-6 students came to University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering to participate in the first ever Pop-Up Coding Camp organized by Engineering Outreach’s CodeMakers. This two-day event featured programming, problem solving, app design, and augmented reality based courses. The camp provided motivated youth with the opportunity to develop their own set of code making abilities through a variety of in class activities.
Working in partnership with Actua, Canada’s largest STEM outreach charity, and Google Canada, this program incorporated real-world coding and program development tools including Unity 3D multiplatform content developers, Vuforia augmented reality technology, and MIT App Inventor Software. Providing access to real-world technologies, the camp enabled students to experience industry standard coding in a fun and interactive environment.
Set within a post-secondary environment, the camps were led by the Codemakers — a team of 7 current U of T Engineering undergraduate students. “To see students use first-year level software, to use programs that [we were] never exposed to as kids” remains the largest motivator for the team, explains Khashish Verma, a 3rd year Engineering Science student. “Parents are intimidated by coding and children simply never receive the opportunity to learn code. If we don’t do this, who will?” asserts Verma, “it definitely gives a different perspective on what I learn in engineering at U of T”.