Thursday May 07, 2015

Java Lego Workshop 4 Kids

By Stephen Chin

This past weekend I did a Lego workshop for the local Devoxx4Kids bay area chapter.  There were 35 excited kids from ages 8-14 who had their first taste of programming.  While they expected to simply play with Legos for a few hours, they ended up hacking their first Java code in Eclipse.

The kids did a great job, and all the groups were able to get some basic Java code working on the Lego Mindstorms EV3 platform.  They were using LeJOS, which is a great way to code for and deploy to the Lego intelligent brick using a robust programming language.  Here is a video of one of the completed projects (sorry for my shaky camera work):

And finally the full slide show with build instructions, which can be downloaded from SlideShare:

Wednesday Apr 22, 2015

JavaOne4Kids 2015 - Submit Your Talks

By Guest Blogger Arun Gupta 

From original blog post

JavaOne4Kids Devoxx4Kids

Recap of JavaOne Kids Day 2014

Do you remember JavaOne Kids Day 2014?

It was quite a blast with ~135 kids learning Python, Minecraft modding, Arduino, NAO, Greenfoot and lots of other technologies using hands-on workshops. Satisfying and rewarding are the two words that will summarize helping with the event last year!

Just to recap, here are some pictures from the last year’s event:

One of the most vocal feedback from the event was:

Based upon this very popular attendee request, and extremely positive feedback from everywhere else, JavaOne 2015 is taking that event to a much bigger scale. However this event will only be successful if you are share your passion and time to educate kids.

How can I help JavaOne4Kids 2015?

  • Are you a technology educator?
  • Are you a school teacher who would like to deliver a workshop at a professional conference?
  • Are you involved with CoderDojo or Devoxx4Kids instructor who would like to give a workshop in San Francisco?
  • Do you like to tinker with Tynker, Scratch, Blockly, Greenfoot or any other such technology?
  • Have you been giving workshops on LEGO, Arduino, RaspberryPi, Intel Galileo, or any other fancy boards?
  • Would you like to show a real practical use case of Internet of Things to kids using simple software and hardware?
  • How about some Java, JavaScript, Scala, HTML5, CSS, Python, Ruby?
  • Building simple mobile applications using Android or iOS?

JavaOne Call For Papers is open. There is a special track for developers and educators who are interested in delivering a two-hour hands-on workshop targeted at children 10 to 18 years old. Presenters will be responsible for preparing all the content and required hardware and software for 50 children—exclusive of laptops, which will be provided.

If you’ve submitted talks for the main conference, then this would be a great opportunity to bring your kids. They can either attend the workshop, or even deliver a workshop.

We love young presenters!

To submit a JavaOne4Kids Day talk, select “JavaOne4Kids Day” as the session type. Even though you are required to populate a primary track, this field will be ignored.

Read complete details at oracle.com/javaone/javaone4kids.html.

Don’t wait, submit your workshop today!

Thursday Apr 02, 2015

JavaLand4Kids Celebrates A Successful Premiere!

14 boys and girls of 3rd and 4th grades discovered that programming is easy during JavaLand4Kids. "For the children it was really a great experience and it was great to see how much fun they had exploring" explained Jörn Diercks, one of the teachers.  

In one workshop, girls and boys learned the programming language "Scratch", which has a graphical user interface. This language uses colored blocks that can be dragged & dropped to program sounds, images, movements and more. This allowed young developers to quickly learn the basics of programming and to develop their first games.

In a "QuadroCopter" workshop, children controlled a drone that was programmed specifically for this event. After they learned the basic commands, they were able to complete many maneuvers. The girls and boys also showed great interest in the electronics kit "TinkerForge". The electronic components can be combined with Legos. 

“From now on, JavaLand4Kids is going to be an integral part of the JavaLand Conference. So, this is a call to arms for my friends and speakers” commented Markus Eisele, who is the one of the organizers of JavaLand.  Visit his blog for more details. Get in touch with Markus if you want to get involved with the next JavaLand4Kids.

Sunday Mar 22, 2015

Minecraft Modding Course at Elementary School - Teach Java to Kids

By Guest Blogger Arun Gupta

Cross posted from weblogs.java.net/blog/arungupta/archive/2015/03/22/minecraft-modding-course-elementary-school-teach-java-kids

Exactly two years ago, I wrote a blog on Introducing Kids to Java Programming using Minecraft. Since then, Devoxx4Kids has delivered numerous Minecraft Modding workshops all around the world. The workshop material is all publicly accessible at bit.ly/d4k-minecraft. In these workshops, we teach attendees, typically 8 - 16 years of age, how to create Minecraft Mods. Given the excitement around Minecraft in this age range, these workshops are typically sold out very quickly.

One of the parents from our workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area asked us to deliver a 8-week course on Minecraft modding at their local public school. As an athlete, I'm always looking for new challenges and break the rhythm. This felt like a good option, and so the game was on!

My son has been playing the game, and modding, for quite some time and helped me create the mods easily. We've also finished authoring our upcoming O'Reilly book on Minecraft Modding using Forge so had a decent idea on what needs to be done for these workshops.

Minecraft Modding Workshop Material

All the workshop material is available at bit.ly/d4k-minecraft.

Getting Started with Minecraft Modding using Forge shows the basic installation steps.

These classes were taught from 7:30am - 7:45am, before start of the school. Given the nature of workshop, the enthusiasm and concentration in the kids was just amazing.


[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 18, 2014

Java Magazine: The Internet of Things

Java is everywhere. As the Internet of Things (IoT) moves from hype to reality, we’re seeing embedded Java used in a wide range of applications, from industrial automation systems and medical imaging devices to connected vehicles and smart meters. In the November/December 2014 issue of Java Magazine, we bring you the latest on Java and the IoT.

In our interview with Oracle’s Henrik Ståhl, we discuss the opportunities and challenges that the IoT presents for Java developers, and how changes in Java SE and Java ME (and their embedded versions) make it easier to reassemble and strip down code for smaller devices.

We also talk to Freescale’s Maulin Patel about the IoT and Java, profile IoT Developer Challenge winner Lhings Connected Table, and show you how robots make factories smarter. Plus, Vinicius Senger introduces the Device I/O API, Kai Kreuzer brings us the latest on smart homes, and Michael Kölling shows us how to program in Java on the Raspberry Pi.

Plus, we take a look at the developers of tomorrow in “Java: the Next Generation.” I’ve been talking to kids at various programming events for the last few months, and I am inspired. These kids are brave, bold, and so smart. They do not fear technology; they embrace it. I’m thrilled to see so many programs around the world that are teaching young people to code and helping them to create their futures.

Read all about it in the current issue of Java Magazine!

Tuesday Oct 14, 2014

Silicon Valley Code Camp for Kids 2014

by guest blogger Arun Gupta

300+ kids, 16 speakers (4 from middle/high school), 6 rooms, 24 sessions of 75 mins each = extremely rewarding weekend + inspired kids!

And the name is Silicon Valley Code Camp 2014 Kids Track.

300+ kids, wow! Is that the biggest known event focused on getting kids excited in technology ? 

The event covered topics ranging from Minecraft modding, Building your first iOS app, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Python, LEGO Mindstorms, Scratch, Squishy Circuits, and a whole lot more.

Many thanks to all the attendees, volunteers, parents, and of course Silicon Valley Code Camp organizers, especially Peter Kellner (@pkellner) for providing all the support to educate and inspire kids!

We’d love to have your kid deliver workshops for us next year. Help us increase the young presenters more. We’d also love female presenters, help us create gender balance in this otherwise imbalanced industry :-)

We’ll be back next year, bigger and better. Feel free to leave feedback on my blog.

Are you interested in opening a local Devoxx4Kids chapter in your city ?

Join www.meetup.com/Devoxx4Kids-BayArea if you are interested in an event that provides technology workshops for kids through out the year.

Original blog (with a lot more pictures) published here

Saturday Sep 27, 2014

JavaOne: It’s for Kids, Too

The next generation of Java developers got a taste of programming and had fun at an all-day Devoxx4Kids event on Saturday, before the official kickoff of JavaOne. At this program, a collaboration between Oracle Academy and Devoxx4Kids, 150 kids, ages 10 to 18, got hands on and had fun with programming, robotics, and engineering. Topics included: Getting Started using Java with Alice, Creating Java Programs with Greenfoot, Lego Mindstorm Programming, Introduction to Python, Minecraft Modding, Raspberry Pi Gaming, Scratch with LeapMotion, Nao Humanoid Robot, and Introduction to Arduino.

The cost of the event was $25 and kids attended four sessions of their choice.

“Teaching children how to program must be a priority in a society where technology is becoming more and more important and Internet usage is also more and more important,” says Daniel de Luca, worldwide manager of the Devoxx4Kids initiative.

Devoxx4Kids started in 2012 in Belgium with programming workshops for kids. The program aims to teach and inspire kids about computer programming while having fun. Since its founding, Devoxx4Kids has shared its curriculum with Java user groups and other organizations around the world.  To date, more than 80 Devoxx4Kids workshops have taken place, with 2,500 participants.

“The kids are all excited . . . they are running around between workshops,” said Arun Gupta, of Devoxx4Kids Bay Area. “Our focus at Devoxx4Kids is to have a fun experience with technology. We need to train our kids in technology, and have them stay engaged in the technology at an early age. If we catch them raw, show them it’s fun, it’s possible, they won’t be scared.”

Tim Gonzales, a 14-year-old participant from San Francisco, attended two morning Python workshops. “It’s been really cool . . . I really liked it,” he said. He plans on pursuing a career in technology. “The door to opportunity is just so open. I just need to find out my passion within technology.” He added that programs such as Devoxx4Kids can help him get where he needs to go.







Monday Sep 08, 2014

Java for the Very Young

Children as young as 10 are learning about programming, robotics, and engineering at JavaOne. 150 kids will attend Devoxx4kids on Saturday, September 27, right before JavaOne. Oracle Academy has collaborated with Devoxx4kids to bring a fun and robust agenda. Content will include several workshops on topics such as Greenfoot, Alice, Minecraft Modding, Java, Python, Scratch, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, NAO robot, Lego Mindstorms, and others.

Here are some of the workshops offered: 
Getting Started using Java with Alice
Creating Java Programs with Greenfoot
Lego Mindstorms Programming 4 Kids
Minecraft Modding using Bukkit
Raspberry Pi Gaming 4 Kids
Run your Minecraft Server

If you want to run a programming event for kids, visit Devoxx4kids.org. Free training is available for your own event. Can't make it to JavaOne, attend one of the many Devoxx4Kids events around the world  

Devoxx4Kids the Netherlands, Belgium and Philippines Teaser from Devoxx4Kids on Vimeo.

Tuesday Apr 15, 2014

Internet of Things Workshop for Kids

Devoxx4Kids is offering workshops for kids 6th grade and older to learn the basics of the Internet of Things in Mountain View, California on Sunday, May 4th. Register your child now for the morning or afternoon session!

These workshops will cover the basic concepts applied for interfacing the real world to the digital world, like sensors and controllers, circuits, voltage, current, analog and digital signals. Kids will learn via hands-on activities using the Arduino Uno, an open-source micro-controller. It can control simple components like switches, LEDs, and light sensors. Arduino kits will be provided for hands-on experience in a shared setting. 

The Internet of Things is growing each day. Objects from everyday life, like water heaters, energy meters, and weather stations are now connecting to each other and people, computers and the Internet. Now is the time for your child to learn about this exciting area!

Internet of Things for Kids

Sunday, May 4, 2014
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hackerdojo, Mountain View, CA 

Price: $10.00/per person

REGISTRATION REQUIRED, no on-site registration. 

Note: Please download and install the software as described prior to the workshop.

Devoxx4Kids is focused on educating parents to teach their kids and show that it is possible to be creative with computers. The goal is to introduce parents and their kids to programming, robotics and engineering in a fun way. This is achieved by organizing sessions where attendees can develop computer games, program robots and also have an introduction to electronics. 

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Devoxx!!

 Announcing Devoxx London! Taking place on  March 26th and 27th, 2013 right before Devoxx  France on March 28th and 29th, this will be the first  edition of Devoxx UK!. The call for papers begins  on December 1st for Devoxx in London and Paris.  Speakers will be able to present at the two  conferences in the same week. Oracle committed  to fully sponsor the three Devoxx conferences in  2013 with a platinum sponsorship. Over 5,000 developers are expected to attend those conferences.

Five dancing NAO robots welcomed attendees at the keynote. Stephan Janssen offers the JUGs to replicate Devoxx4Kids workshops using his content and web infrastructure.  He recommended organizing kid events because “the workshops were really fun and such rewarding experience.” Stephan also announced the redesign of Parleys with Html 5 and GlassFish. Friendlier to speakers, they will be able to post their slides online before their talks and then sync the talk's sound track with the slides.

Nandini Ramani, VP of product development explained in her keynote address the growing role of Java from enterprise application development to cloud computing to embedded machine-to-machines systems. “Java continues to drive the applications and devices that enrich our interactivity with the world around us” she said.

The Java platform has expanded its reach with the OS X and Linux ARM support on Java SE and Java embedded with two new releases, Java SE embedded and Java Embedded Suite 7.0 middleware platformComing up next year is JDK 8, which will include Project Lambda, Project Nashorn and more. As part of that release, JavaFX will offer 3D and third-party component integration. At Devoxx, the slick and interactive schedules were designed with JavaFX. The earliest version of the Java EE 7 SDK is available for download and has WebSocket support, improved JSON support and more. 

Stephen Chin arrived on stage with his bike, ending his European NightHacking tour. Check the hacking sessions online here

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