Our First Project – Introduction to Project Management for Kids – Update Saturday, February, 11, 2017
Our group is a project management group and for our first project we taught teaching kids beginning Project Management and Coding/Programming skills in a 3 day class. Classes took place Saturdays, December 3 and 10, 2016 and January 7, 2017 at The MADE.org in Oakland , CA USA. Each day the first 2 hours of the 3.5 hr classes focus on project management and the last 1.5 hours focus on Scratch Video Game Coding/Programming. Scratch is a tool developed by MIT to teach kids 8-16 to code/program video games (https://scratch.mit.edu/about). We developed a project plan and roadmap to introduce the kids to project management tools, methods and concepts. The kids’ projects were the actual 3 part class and a published video game on the Scratch site http://scratch.mit.edu. After completion of the class, each kid received a Certificate of Completion or Participation, a Scorecard and Superhero character (To use to represent their work and hide their real identity for safety reasons). Copies of each of our tools are at the bottom of this page.
Our Project – Create a Scratch Game: We partnered with The MADE (The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment) in Oakland, CA, the Oakland Public School District and the Oakland Technology Exchange West to offer an introduction to Project Management and Video Game Programming class to students ages 9-15 years old. The Oakland Technology Exchange West is providing free recycled computers to our low income kids. Initially, we allowed a couple of 8 year olds to join the class with siblings. We also saved seats for kids who only signed up for Scratch Video Game Programming classes for that portion of the class. We invited a younger kid who was very good at programming and when we asked if he would help other kids he graciously said, “Yes”. We didn’t know until his mom returned the registration form and application that he was only 6 years old -wow (little genius).
We taught beginning project management classes from 8-10am and then our kids participated in The MADE Scratch Video Game Programming class. Our program consists of 3 mandatory classes to receive a Certificate of Completion in beginning project management and coding/programming of video games. Kids who participated but didn’t complete the mandatory 3 classes received a Certificate of Participation. We offered a makeup class for kids who missed any of the first 2 sets of classes. We’re working on making an online version of the class available for kids who miss 1 class.
The MADE has 15 laptops and workstations. For the first class (Saturday, December 3rd), 12 kids signed up and 8 kids attended the project management portion of the class. 9 more kids joined the Scratch portion of the class so we had 17 students and had to double up on a couple of laptops.
Since this is a pilot project, both PJMan & The StarGazers and The MADE were a little unprepared for the size of the group and the range of computer experience. All of the kids had experience playing video games but there were a few who had no or little computer experience. Because of this and all the excitement from the kids, the teachers didn’t get to finish the game on the first day of class (Dec. 3, 2016). This was the biggest class ever for The MADE. There were times where they had to stop class to show a couple of kids how to right mouse click and copy and paste. As a result, for the next class (Saturday, December 10th) we took 30 mins. of the project management portion to teach beginning computing and an overview of Scratch.
Fortunately, during the second class on December 10th we were able to cover the project management material, the computing and Scratch overview information and complete the Scratch Video Game Programming class.
11 kids attended the project management section and 2 more kids joined us for the Scratch Video Game Production class. The kids created a maze game. It was amazing to see that each kids was able to follow the class and ensure that their game worked. Only problem was that they were spending so much time customizing their games that as the final new feature was added we ran out of time to do a final test. …and another feature of our project that I keep forgetting about is that when you take a class (always free) at The MADE you get to play the games in the museum – Old game like Atari and Nintendo (the old versions). So unfortunately, when the teach just announced we’re out of time the kids took off for the games.
A makeup class was offered December 17th for any kids who missed any of the first 2 classes. 1 kids showed up for the project management portion and 6 kids joined the video game coding / programming portion of our class. The game taught was the Hippo Farm.
If you’d like to see our kids’ work, go to http://scratch.mit.edu , use search to find our projects using pjmanthestargazers or click this link “pjmanthestargazers”, Check in either the project or studio tab. Example_Maze_120316 and Example_HippoFarm_121016 are examples of how the games are supposed to work. Some games met their objectives while others didn’t.
Since this is a beginning class, and unfair to the students we didn’t get to complete the first game on December 3rd and we ended the class without fair warning December 10th when we met for our last class January 7th we will use this experience to further explain how real life IT projects work where you can have multiple iterations and testings (Betas, User, Alpha etc….). About 15 members of our project management group are in the process of testing the kids’ game and offering feedback and encouragement.
As mentioned above, we are also partnering with the Oakland Technology Exchange. They provide free recycled to computers to low incomed families in the East Bay. Out of the 14 kids who are initially showed interest in our project, more than half of the families are low-incomed and working with Oakland Technology Exchange to receive free recycled computers.
Once all the kids have computers at home, we’re going to give the kids (whose game don’t have all of the features taught) the opportunity to remix their game so it has all of the features and works. You will be able to find the remixed games with our Scratch projects on the Scratch site.
Our final class was Saturday, January 7th. In spite of many challenges, 5 kids finished all classes with perfect attendance. 3 more need to makeup the last class. The last day of class I was getting over the flu and still suffering with laryngitis which I had for 3 weeks. One the first of a number of major storms in the Bay Area hit the morning of the last class.
Each kid received a Certificate of Completion or Participation, a Scorecard, feedback regarding their games, tools to management school projects and information regarding future classes and activities. We will also cover Lessons Learned for the kids projects and our programs: PJMan & The StarGazers / Project Management and The MADE.org / Video Game Coding-Programming.
Special thanks to the following:
The MADE.org (Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment) https://themade.org/
Thanks for teaching our kids beginning coding/programing in such a patient and fun way. It’s nice to see teachers enjoying kids experience the joy of learning a new skill. We really commend this group for the work they are doing – all as volunteers.
Al Sweigart– Teacher: TypeRacer & The Maze, incoming Educational Director
Alex Handy– Program Director
Josephine Tsay– Educational Director (expecting momma)
Mark – Assistant teacher: Hippo Farm
Russell Spitzer – Teacher: Hippo Farm / Assistant Teacher: Type Racer & The Maze
Oakland Technology Exchange – http://www.techexchange.org/
Thanks for providing our low-income families with free recycled computers. In particular, Rayna and Domingo.
Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab
For developing Scratch to teach kids beginning coding / programming skills
Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. See http://scratch.mit.edu
Oakland Unified School District – Claire Shorall, Manager – Computer Science
Thanks for helping with recruiting efforts for the class.
My Elesson – Heman Johar
Thanks for use of Speedometer chart to use to explain stop light reporting (vs. rearview reporting) and for the kids scorecards. … and mostly for offering your assistance.
Construx Solution, Inc – Michael and Richard Pinks
Thanks for use of your free scheduling tool for our program and kids’ project.
PJMan & The StarGazers Team Members and students:
Team members: Thanks for volunteering some of your extra time! Some of our team member volunteer hours and hours of time to bring this project to life. Others gave up about 30 minutes to an hour during the busiest time of the year (December 14, 2016 – January 3, 2017) to QA Test our kids’ games. Most of our member’s are from our LinkedIn group: PJMan & The StarGazers. Others were family and friends.
Sonja C. Stewart, PMP Founder / Project Manager/Curriculum Developer / QA Tester / Instructor
Donna Jacobs Quality Assurance Director / QA Tester
Brooke Dawson Quality Assurance Advisor/Project & QA Advisor / QA Tester
Lynette Burris QA Tester
Hamed Fateminia QA Tester
Clara Jones (BingoBabe – Sonja’s mom) QA Tester
Robert Rivas QA Tester
Kathy Soliz QA Tester
Kim Smith (SupeWoman) – Actress QA Tester
Sophia Stewart QA Tester
Students and future Coders/Programmers & Parents:
Thanks for waking up early to arrive at class for 8am on your Saturdays. Click on superhero name to see game,
Batman 8 years old
CatWoman 10 years old
Gizmo 13 years old
Jarock 11 years old
OOO 9 years old
Redhood 13 years old
Raxxessroar 6 years old
SpiritDragon 9 years old
TQ 10 years old
Oh, yes. We do code. Teachers games:
Brooke Dawson, PMP aka ChimChim-Cheree
Donna Jacobs aka PrimaDee
Sonja C. Stewart, PMP aka PJMan This is the game that started this project. I created this game by building from scratch. I took a class on Coursera then created this game. I then tried another game and ran into a problem. I found out about The MADE . They were teaching free Scratch classes for kids. I was going to crash the class but I found out the class was for kids first, then their parents then adults.
Project Management Tools:
Project Plan (Coming soon!)
For more information, contact Sonja @ (510) 269-4814 or email@example.com.