“We want to shape young minds to learn computer science – now when they are at their most creative point in their life. We want students to fuel their curiosity and creativity by developing apps and games relevant to their lives.” – Michael Braun, USA

Michael Braun has been featured on Daily Edventures several times, highlighting his innovative programs that teach students how to create apps. His work has earned Braun honors as a Microsoft Expert Educator and has led to many more opportunities to influence young people. Today, Braun talks about Puget Sound App Day, held at Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School and showcased at this year’s Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona.  The event has been a terrific success, resulting in Braun being invited to lead other App Days and “Train the Trainer” computer science events throughout the U.S. west coast and abroad. Please enjoy today’s guest post from Michael Braun.

Peli de Halleux of Microsoft Research and I ran a high school “hackathon” at Rainier Beach, the first of its kind, called  Puget Sound App Day. In the last two years, Puget Sound App day has been supported by the Seattle Public Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) department, Microsoft Research, the TEALS program, the University of Washington DawgBytes, the College Success foundation, and individual IT professionals. The success of newbie coding has been featured by The Seattle Times and GeekWire.

The goal of App Day is to give public school students a taste of computer science and basic programming over the course of a single day.  We provide clearly organized curriculum for students (including a step-by-step handbook covering prerequisite information on loops, conditional statements, variables, etc.).

On the day of the event, 900 students (ages nine-18) from 26 different schools and multiple school districts come together in South Seattle to program their very first mobile apps.  Students use a web app called TouchDevelop to program these apps on their own Windows phones, Androids, iPhones, iPads, laptops — whatever device they were carrying in their pocket or backpack.

Why is this important? Students should learn coding to help recreate the world around them. Quite simply, it is a basic 21st century skill for any future endeavors. We want to shape young minds to learn computer science – now when they are at their most creative point in their life.  We want students to fuel their curiosity and creativity by developing apps and games relevant to their lives.

About Michael Braun, Teacher, Expert Educator, Co-founder of Puget Sound App Day
Seattle, USA
 

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Current residence: Seattle, Washington
Education:  Saint Martin’s University: MIT (Master’s in Teaching), Indiana University: Kelley School of Business BS (Bachelors Science), Economics & Public Policy, International Affairs
Website I check every day: Gmail and Outlook Calendar
Person who inspires me most: My grandfather.
Favorite childhood memory: Winning State Gymnastics Championships at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
Favorite book:Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Favorite music: Death Cab for Cutie
Your favorite quote or motto: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

 

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2 Responses to “We want to shape young minds to learn computer science – now when they are at their most creative point in their life. We want students to fuel their curiosity and creativity by developing apps and games relevant to their lives.” – Michael Braun, USA

  1. JeaneW says:

    Lets get to “science-ing” for all grades, all schools, all classrooms.

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