The Code Haven Project Fair is probably best described as a “CS50 fair for middle schoolers,” say members of Code Haven, a student group that teaches computer science lessons at New Haven public schools.
Code Haven will host its inaugural fair on Friday at Bishop Woods School, where more than 100 New Haven students will have the opportunity to present applications they have designed using MIT App Inventor and Code.org for the Android operating system.
“My goal is for every student to walk out of our project fair with a vision for how they might pursue computer science in the future,” said Darwin Leuba ’21, one of Code Haven’s event directors. “Not every student attending the fair will become a programmer, but I want to make sure each one sees that career path as an option.”
Code Haven members expect the event will draw around 250 people and students from Bishop Woods School, Worthington Hooker Middle School, Fair Haven School and St. Martin de Porres Academy. Parents and New Haven educators are also expected to attend the event.
The Code Haven Project Fair will run two sessions of presentations so that students can view each other’s projects. Throughout the day, students will collect stickers from their peers’ respective presentations, with the goal of earning prizes by amassing a certain number of stickers.
Omid Rooholfada ’20, one of the current co-presidents of Code Haven, said he has worked closely with the events coordinators to ensure the fair will be a fun and inspiring experience for the students.
“Our hope is that students walk away from the fair with the realization that they can pursue computer science,” Rooholfada said. “When computer science seems hard, that’s because it is hard, not because you’re not good enough. If you like it, you should do it.”
Each week, Yale undergraduate members of Code Haven teach computer science lessons to over 120 middle schoolers in six New Haven classrooms, according to Leuba. And for 43 percent of Code Haven’s tutees, their experience with the Yale-student group represents their first exposure to computer science. According to Daniel Urke ’21, one of the curriculum heads for Code Haven, this semester students learned how to create an app from the brainstorming process all the way to implementation.
Urke noted that he hopes Friday’s event is a “realization” of all the hard work the students have put in over the last few months.
Not only will students get the chance to show off their presentations, but they will also interact with technological organizations and STEM-based student clubs from Yale.
The event is sponsored by Facebook, Makeblock and the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, among others, and supported by Google.
Code Haven was founded in 2016.
Isabel Bysiewicz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarification, April 30: This version of the article has been updated to reflect that Google supported the Code Haven event.