Fall 2015 Coding Events for Kids

September 16, 2015 by wendy

OpenTech Summit Berlin 2015
OpenTech Summit Berlin 2015 by OpenTech Summit

With school back in session, there are lots of weekend and after school activities for kids to explore science, engineering, coding, and robotics. Here are just a few places in the Lower Mainland for you to get started.

GearBots Makerspace

With GearBots Makerspace, kids work in teams to design and build robots. They experiment with various robotic platforms, learn about computer programming, put together electronic circuits, and fabricate components using 3D printing. Visit their courses page for more information.

  • Ages: 9-15+
  • Cost: $110-$167
  • When: Mondays 3:30-5:30pm, Thursdays 4-6pm, Saturdays 10am-12pm
  • Where: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Port Moody

Geering Up UBC Engineering & Science for Kids

Led by enthusiastic university students, Geering Up runs after school clubs and outreach events for children and youth to participate in hands-on engineering projects, demos, design challenges, and lab tours. Visit their website to register.

  • Ages: Grades 1 to 12
  • Cost: $168
  • When: Wednesdays 5:30-7pm
  • Where: UBC Campus Vancouver

Kids Code Jeunesse

Kids Code Jeunesse has partnered with Microsoft to host 2 free coding workshops. Kids ages 7 to 9 will learn how to build interactive art projects using Scratch, and kids ages 9 to 15 will learn how to create their own webpages in HTML. To register, check out their website.

  • Ages: 7-15
  • Cost: FREE
  • When: Saturday, September 19, 10am-12pm, 1:30-3:30pm
  • Where: Microsoft Store Burnaby

Ladies Learning Code

Ladies Learning Code is presenting National Girls Learning Code Day on November 7th across Canada. So far in Vancouver, they’re hosting 2 workshops to teach girls how to build their own webpages using HTML and CSS. Registration is available through their website.

  • Ages: Girls 8-13
  • Cost: By donation
  • When: Saturday, November 7, 10am-4pm
  • Where: Yaletown, Mount Pleasant

Marshmallow Coding

Don’t forget our free Hour of Code workshops at the Richmond Public Library next week! Each day features a different activity that introduces computer science in a fun and interactive way. Register through the Richmond Public Library event calendar.

  • Ages: 9-12
  • Cost: FREE
  • When: Monday to Friday, September 21-25, 4-5pm
  • Where: Richmond Public Library Brighouse Branch


With Minecampkids, children learn by playing Minecraft. While being guided through basic and modified gameplay, they’ll learn how to install mods safely, download resource packs and skins, and make their own modifications using basic programming. Check out their website for details.

  • Ages: 8-13
  • Cost: $138-$314
  • When: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 3:30-5:30pm
  • Where: Vancouver, West Vancouver

Science Al!ve

Science Al!ve is now running an after school program at the Coquitlam Public Library that’s specifically designed to engage girls in science as well as weekend clubs on campus that feature lab activities and Lego programming. Check out their website to learn more.

  • Ages: Grades 1-7
  • Cost: $0-$90
  • When: Thursdays 3:45-5:15pm; Saturdays 9:30am-12:30pm, 1-4pm
  • Where: Coquitlam Public Library Poirier Branch, SFU Campus Burnaby

Hour of Code Preview

September 2, 2015 by wendy

Hour of Code at Santa Teresa
Hour of Code at Santa Teresa by San José Library is licensed under CC by-sa 2.0

Our free Hour of Code series at the Richmond Public Library is less than 3 weeks away. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s happening each day.

Day 1: Draw with Anna and Elsa

Hour of Code with Anna and Elsa
Hour of Code with Anna and Elsa

Help Anna and Elsa from Frozen skate across the ice to draw beautiful snowflakes. By snapping together code blocks, you’ll draw colourful lines and shapes to create geometric designs. At the same time, you’ll learn important computer programming concepts like sequencing, loops, and functions.

Day 2: Code with Angry Birds

Hour of Code with Angry Birds
Hour of Code with Angry Birds

Snap together code blocks to catch the evil pig. You’ll need to carefully lead your bird through the maze and avoid the TNT. Learn about key computer science concepts like sequencing, loops, and conditionals. As you progress through this activity, you’ll also meet characters from Plants vs. Zombies and Ice Age.

Day 3: Game with Tynker

Hour of Code with Tynker
Hour of Code with Tynker

Build your own monster and then program your monster to collect mints, gum drops, and jelly beans. You’ll gain experience coding with loops and conditionals while solving puzzles in this Candy Quest.

Day 4: Animate with Scratch

Hour of Code with Scratch
Hour of Code with Scratch

Animate your name, make a dance party, or build a Pong Game. You’ll experiment with a variety of code blocks that add motion, create visuals effects, and play sounds while learning about computer programming.

Day 5: Light up with Lightbot

Hour of Code with Lightbot
Hour of Code with Lightbot

Help Lightbot light up all the blue tiles by putting together basic commands like walk and jump. You’ll use code blocks to guide Lightbot through different levels. As you progress, you’ll gain experience with procedures and loops.

This series begins September 21, and registration has already started! Check out the Richmond Public Library Event Calendar to register.

Makerspaces for Kids

June 22, 2015 by wendy

Maker Faire Bay Area 2015
Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 by Bill Johnston is licensed under CC by 2.0

We’re taking a break this week from our Teacher’s Guide to Scratch to share with you some kid-friendly makerspaces that you can check out this summer!

GearBots Summer Makerspace Camps

GearBots offers one-week summer camps that introduce basic engineering and computer programming. Students learn how to program robotic devices, such as motors, switches, and light sensors in order to complete a number of engineering challenges. Visit their summer camps page for more information.

  • Ages: 9-15+
  • Cost: $115-$140
  • When: June 29 to July 3 (no class July 1), Aug 31 to Sept 4, 9am to 12pm
  • Where: Abbotsford Sr. Secondary School

Inspiration Lab at the Vancouver Public Library

The Inspiration Lab is a free space for anyone interested in creating and sharing digital media. You can record your own audio in their sound studios; produce videos using their editing software; digitize VHS tapes, audiocassettes, photos, and slides; and access thousands of free online tutorials through lynda.com. Check out the Inspiration Lab event calendar to get started.

  • Ages: All
  • Cost: FREE
  • When: Mon to Thurs 10am to 9pm, Fri to Sat 10am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 6pm
  • Where: Central Library

Launchpad at the Richmond Public Library

The Launchpad is a community space for all ages to create, experiment, and collaborate. It features a 3D printer as well as a photo scanner and printer for digital publishing. To get started with 3D printing, browse their calendar for 3D printing events or review the library’s 3D modelling and printing guide before scheduling an orientation.

  • Ages: All, but must be 12+ for the 3D printer orientation
  • Cost: $1 per 3D printer booking plus $0.10 per gram of filament used
  • When: Mon to Fri 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 8pm, Sat to Sun 1pm to 5pm
  • Where: 3D printing is only available at the Brighouse Branch

Vancouver Hack Space

At Vancouver Hack Space, members share an interest in 3D printing, art, crafting, electronics, laser cutting, machining, programming, and robotics. Kids can also become members with parent supervision. To check out their space, visit their open nights, every Tuesday from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.

  • Ages: All
  • Cost: $30 per month for new members
  • When: Visit isvhsopen.com for real-time information
  • Where: 1715 Cook Street, Vancouver

Zen Maker Lab

Zen Maker Lab offers summer camps each week from mid June to the end of August. Their well-equipped makerspace gives kids the opportunity to learn about 3D design and printing, electronics, computer programming, and robotics. Kids also play floorball for added fun and exercise! Visit their summer camps page for more information.

  • Ages: 8-14
  • Cost: $425-$500
  • When: Every week from June 22 to Aug 28, 9:30am to 3:30pm
  • Where: 272 East 1st Street, North Vancouver

Summer’s Coming: Computer Camps for Kids

May 11, 2015 by wendy

Flowers and Sun
Flowers and Sun by Rosana Prada is licensed under CC by 2.0

It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner and camps are already filling up! Here are some technology camps for kids around Metro Vancouver.

Apple Camp

The best thing about this camp is that it’s free! Using Apple products, kids learn how to make their own movies and interactive books. Visit the Apple website to be notified when registration begins.

  • Ages: 8-12
  • Dates: Summer 2015
  • Location: Apple retail stores
  • Price: Free!

Byte Camp

Byte Camp has a wide variety of 4 to 5-day programs that include animation, movie production, game design, 3-D printing, and app development. Visit the Byte Camp website to register.

  • Ages: 9-14
  • Dates: June 29 to September 4
  • Location: Community centres across Metro Vancouver
  • Price: $200-$275

Geering up

UBC Engineering offers 4 to 5-day camps that bring science and engineering to life with demonstrations, hands-on activities, field trips, and design challenges. Waitlists have already begun, but sessions are still open. Register today on the Geering Up website.

  • Ages: Grades 1 to 12
  • Dates: June 29 to August 27
  • Location: UBC Vancouver
  • Price: $156-$255

Girls Learning Code

Girls Learning Code is back in Vancouver with two camps designed just for girls: Webmakers and Gamemakers. I volunteered as a mentor for the Webmakers camp during spring break and they did a fantastic job creating a fun and positive learning environment. Visit the Girls Learning Code website for more details.

  • Ages: 8-13
  • Dates: June 29 to July 3, August 17 to 21
  • Location: UBC Vancouver
  • Price: $355


Minecampkids offers 2-day minicamps as well as weeklong camps where children learn economics, social studies, science, storytelling, and game design through Minecraft. Visit the Minecampkids website to register.

  • Ages: 8-13
  • Dates: June 29 to September 4
  • Location: North Shore
  • Price: $130-$315


TechUpKids has full day camps as well as a half-day camp, in which children are introduced to various programming languages, including Scratch, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java. Visit the TechUpKids website for more information.

  • Ages: 8-14
  • Dates: June 29 to August 7
  • Location: Madrona School, 2050 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
  • Price: Contact for details