Remarkable Advancements Taking Place as TriV’s First Hackathon Approaches
TriV’s first Scratch Hackathon is fastly approaching and throughout past months of preparation and planning, TriV has learned a lot! While each and every prior Scratch practice session has boosted member’s coding skills and left expecting participants with much anticipation for the hackathon, TriV has been carefully monitoring the developments of these sessions while keeping an eye out for any potential ways to improve.
Since the very first Scratch practice session back in December, the structure of these sessions has steadily evolved. Each session has provided an opportunity to gauge effectiveness and reflect upon the results and experiences of our members. Throughout the entire process leading up to TriV’s first Scratch Hackathon so far, there have been many opportunities to better bolster our youth members throughout their coding pursuits while preparing them for the upcoming competition.
Beyond the purpose of encouraging and promoting youth members to learn how to code using Scratch, the sessions have increasingly focused more on developing speaking and presentation skills. TriV wants members to maintain a well-rounded arsenal of Scratch coding capabilities, but notices the importance of non-technical skills that are also required for success. The ability to speak to a large audience and deliver a captivating presentation are valuable abilities that will be useful in the final round of the Scratch Hackathon as well as throughout the professional futures of all of our members. For this reason, the club has put special emphasis on ensuring that all teammates play equal roles when it comes to presenting their ideas and projects.
Strong interpersonal skills are also essential traits to possess and this is one of the main reasons TriV has recently begun encouraging new teammates to shake hands and introduce themselves. A formal introduction is a clear indication of a person’s trustworthiness and character and it is a great way for teammates to begin their collaborative efforts.
It’s also been seen that incentives during the practice sessions aid in creating a competitive, yet friendly, atmosphere. Various gift cards and types of candy, among many other prizes, are always an effective way to encourage progress and active participation. Taking it one step further, the incorporation of a points system and a raffle has also proven to keep members competitive and interested in how they rank among others in their age groups. Points are distributed based on a wide range of criteria and are even given to members who view other coders’ projects, leading to bigger audiences that are more involved in viewing what their peers have created. While coding is fun and creating an awesome Scratch project is the true reward, incentives are just an added way to boost motivation.
At all sessions, the help of parents and mentors has been essential and this continues to be the case even as the event nears. Mentors remain crucial in the learning and development of youth members, however, TriV is still encouraging coders to be independent and search for their own solutions while only seeking help once all other possibilities are exhausted. The “ask 3 before me” rule is striving to increase independence and self-sufficiency and will certainly prove beneficial during the hackathon.
Finally, challenge ideas have also been proposed at the beginning of the Scratch sessions to provide additional ideas that youth members can use to better expand their projects. These suggestions help demonstrate additional possibilities and pose recommendations on how members can further broaden or add to what they’re already working on.
At the heart of planning and preparation for the Scratch Hackathon is the self-evaluation forms. While the eval rubric has changed slightly over the past few months, it has been centered around showing coders where their strengths and weaknesses are. As a template for tracking progress at each practice session, the evaluation form has been the guiding principle in leading members to a successful hackathon.
TriV’s Scratch Hackathon main event is scheduled for Saturday, May 27, 2017 at Zoho in Pleasanton. This event is open only to TriV members who have attended at least one Scratch Hackathon practice session.
To join TriV, visit this link to create a member account on our system and receive upcoming event notifications.
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