One Room: Multiple Ages, Skill Levels, Topics
TriV started in October 2013 with sessions in the single, large community room of the Dublin Library on the first Wednesday of each month conducting presenter-led sessions on a single topic. While many children enjoyed the activities during this time, this format did not suit our existing resources and goals we aspired to. As TriV expanded and added other hosts to our session line up, the club moved away from presenter-led activities to self-guided, self-paced activities to encourage more self-initiated, exploratory learning. The club also added more programming topics, and expanded our age range from 8-17 years of age to 5-17 years of age.
Since April of 2014, TriV has been running multi-topic sessions that have included a variety of topics – all in the same room! Taking the best from the one room school houses of old, TriV brings together kids of many ages, experience levels, and interests and unifies them in one club fostering fun and friendships while building confidence with technology. All this is accomplished while providing youth autonomy in their learning without the rigid classroom structure or adult-driven lectures.
The topics listed below are offered at each session, except for those topics marked with an asterisk (*). These are offered depending on youth interest, space, and mentor availability for that week. Additional topics may be offered as the opportunity arises. For a complete list of various topics we’ve had in the club, see our Sessions Page. Youth members are highly encouraged to mentor at any age, helping out fellow members. Adult mentors help facilitate member collaboration and provide input for escalated problem solving.
- Visual drag and drop programming (e.g. MIT’s Scratch programming)
- Unity 3D game development,* (offered twice a month)
Participants enjoy the multi-topic one room sessions as it gives them a chance to mix it up with friends of different ages and enables attendees to check out what’s going on in the other topics. Participants often make friends that carry over to coding activities outside of club events where they form adjunct project teams or enter hackathons.
The last 45 minutes to an hour of our sessions are devoted to our “Lightning Talks”, very brief presentations by youth participants sharing what they have worked on during the session. Not only do participants have an idea of the kinds of activities that go on in other topics and get to show off their efforts, but they also develop public speaking skills. Parents get to enjoy seeing their children present about what they did during the session. The lightning talks are popular among the kids and we average 10-15 kids signing up for these talks each session. Our Lightning Talks are entirely voluntary and we often have kids running to the podium to sign up to present!
Besides communication skills, youth participants work on leadership skills by mentoring other kids, emceeing presentations, and providing input to the club’s leadership team about activities in the club. High school mentors can earn community service hours they might need to validate to meet school requirements.
More than activities, TriV membership and participation builds a community within the club for parents as well as kids. Parents get to network and know one another as all parents remain present during TriV sessions. Many of our parents volunteer to help with club operations. The majority of the attendees at each session are families that attend on a weekly basis; some even car pool. Others are new members or families that attend as their schedules allow. Some non-technical parents even learn something about computer programming.
TriV possibilities are only limited by the imaginations of its members! Come join the club and continue to build our community. To participate, click here to join our notification list.
Mentoring, Collaborating, Communicating
Friends, Family, and Community