Leading a CS First Club
In this article, we will examine what is CS First, my experience leading CS First Clubs, and how you can set up a club at your child’s school.
What is CS First
CS First was developed by Google. It is a free program that increases student access and exposure to Computer Science through after-school and summer programs. All clubs are run by teachers and community volunteers. The program is designed for students that are in 4th — 8th grade. It involves block-based coding using Scratch and has a variety of themes to attract students.
In 2016, I had the opportunity to lead two CS First Clubs at the Boys and Girls Club of Silicon Valley. One club had an art theme and the other had a sports theme. I got to work with with students ages 8yrs — 13yrs. It was great to see how excited and eager they were to attend each session. Guiding them through the 8 core projects using Scratch was very rewarding. It was the first time I realized how much I really enjoy teaching. The kids caught on quickly to the concepts and required very little guidance toward the end. They learned to work together to solve challenges. At the end of the program they each received a certificate of completion. Below are the pictures of the two clubs I led on the last day of class.
Setting Up a Club at a School
You do not need a CS degree to start a club at your child’s school. You will need students willing to be part of the club, computers with internet access, headphones, and a teacher to lead the club. All materials are provided at the CS First Site.