We partnered with CodeSpeak Labs, which specializes in computer science education for kids, to bring you these resources.
Computer Expert Activity Booklet
Before jumping into some ideas, do you want to skip all the planning? If so, use the Computer Expert Activity Booklet to fulfill the requirements for this Brownie Badge. This booklet is packed full of exercises that teach girls how computers work and how to use them. These activities include making art on a computer, conducting online research, coding an e-card, and building a website. With step-by-step activities, you can’t ask for a easier way to run your meeting. Learn more about this activity booklet and get yours today!
Other Fun Computer Expert Activities
Learn how computers work
Watch this 5 minute video, “How Computers Work: What Makes a Computer, a Computer?” In this video, girls will learn a brief history of computers and the features they all share. There are 4 main things that all computers do: input, storage, processing, and output.
It also features diverse engineers!
After watching this 5 minute video, your group can discuss:
- What’s the difference between a machine that helps with “manual” work vs “thinking work”?
- What’s something new that you learned about how computers of the past used to look like and work?
- What are the 4 main things that all computers do?
Play a coding game
There’s all kinds of computer games that the girls can play to help get their badge. You can use a coding game to get double the impact– the girls can experience digital gaming while learning the fundamentals of computer programming!
Here’s a coding game we particularly like: Star Wars. The game features characters from the movies. It starts with guided activities, and then the girls can progress to the final stage where they can make their own game.
You can play this game on any computer browser or a tablet.
Kids progress through different levels where they practice using correct finger placement. The program assesses typing speed at each level, which can motivate students to keep practicing.
Make a Computer
If the girls are really motivated, they can build their own computer! This Piper kit includes everything you need to do it. It’s a bit like constructing IKEA furniture– the girls need to follow a visual blueprint and put in screws in pre-existing holes.
After the computer is constructed, girls will discover that the Raspberry Pi “brain” of the computer has a Minecraft game that they play. Through the game, they build power-ups within the game through physical controls, switches, buttons, & lights.
You can order one on Amazon here. It costs over $200, and ideally only 2 students work on it at a time.
If you don’t want to make an expensive purchase, our Computer Expert Booklet has step-by-step instructions with activities that don’t require any materials other than a regular computer or laptop.
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