Ted McDonald

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STEM Outreach — Game Design and Coding

— I strongly believe that the best time to get students excited about entering the STEM field is during their early, formative years.

From 2012—2016 I co-founded and ran an after-school design and coding program for elementary aged students. The program reached hundreds of students in the Bellevue, Issaquah, Lake Washington and North Shore school districts, and included coding camps during the summer.

Curriculum was focused on teaching a simplified design process – ideation and sketching, phased design, testing, and sharing.

I used Microsoft’s Kodu Game Lab which requires players to code their games using a visual design language. The structure of the language uses a when/do paradigm, complete with programming concepts like conditionals, loops, and functions.

Reflection

I had a great time getting young students interested in design and coding – educational outreach is something I care deeply about. In return, I learned so much from students and from managing the program.

I hope to run some game design and coding summer camps again in the future.