After School Programs

Bits ‘n Bytes

Bits ‘n Bytes Online is an after-school program for students in grades 3-7 to explore coding languages and tools, computational thinking, and digital literacy. Provided in collaboration between Palo Alto College and Youth Code Jam, participants will enjoy online activities like virtual scavenger hunts, coding custom characters, practicing email etiquette, animation tutorials, typing competitions, and more!

Together, we’ll take creativity and computer skills to the next level. Join us via Zoom for live sessions at 4:30 p.m. CT on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Registration closes for each session at noon (12 p.m.) CT on the day of the program.

Thank you to our partner, Youth Code Jam for their generous support.

Session information and registration

Jan. 18–27 - Bits ‘n Bytes Series #1: Puzzle Club

This interactive four session program will introduce logical concepts in a fun way, that will aid in problem-solving and coding skills.

Session 1: Monday, January 18, 2021 - Elimination Grids 

  • Students will learn how to solve word puzzles using elimination grids.

Session 2: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - Growing Up

  • Students will be introduced to the process of designing their own program using pseudocode, and then translate their work to actual code in Scratch. In this activity, we'll create a program that shows a character growing up.

    Technology Requirements: Students will need access to Scratch, either the online or desktop version. We recommend using Scratch on a desktop, laptop, or tablet device.

Session 3: Monday, January 25, 2021 - Knights & Knaves

  • Students will work through a series of statements to determine which character is telling the truth and who is lying in the class puzzle game of Knights & Knaves. 

Session 4: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - Litter Bug

  • Students will be introduced to the process of designing their own program using pseudocode, and then translate their work to actual code in Scratch. In this activity, we'll create a program that has a bug clean up litter on the ground.

    Technology Requirements: Students will need access to Scratch, either the online or desktop version. We recommend using Scratch on a desktop, laptop, or tablet device.

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Feb. 1–10 - Bits ‘n Bytes Series #2: Code Adventures with Codemoji

This interactive four session program will introduce students to website development using emoji.

Session 1: Monday, February 1, 2021: Favorite Animal

  • Students will learn to use emojis to code in HTML an their very own web page. One that will be used to showcase their favorite animal!

Session 2: Wednesday, February 3, 2021: Style That!

  • There’s more to designing a website than simply adding content to pages. In this activity, students will learn the basics of using Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, to style a web page — all with emojis.

Session 3: Monday, February 8, 2021 - Animation Skills

  • Students will be introduced to JavaScript, and learn how to code a simple animation.

Session 4: Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - Animation Skills Continued

  • Students will continue to grow their JavaScript knowledge and skills by coding a more advanced animation program.

    Technology Requirements: Codemoji is compatible with desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.

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Feb. 14–24 -Bits ‘n Bytes Series #3: Digital Literacy: Cultural & Social Understanding

Throughout this series, students will learn about the differences and similarities of online and offline cultures, and how both affect how they act online.

Session 1: Monday, February 15, 2021: Development of Online Languages

  • In this lesson, students will learn a little about how language, specially online language, has developed and evolved over time. They will have a chance to look at slang before and during the digital age, as well as invent their own.

Session 2: Wednesday, February 17, 2021: Camparing Online & Offline Cultures

  • Students will discuss the difference & similarities in online and offline interactions, and the many factors that contribute to culture in general. They will then create their own culture, or community, for a fake social media platform.

Session 3: Monday, February 22, 2021: The Internet & Mental Health

  • Most people spend several hours a day online, often interacting with others. These interactions can have positive or negative effects on one’s mental health. In this lesson, students will be introduced to how to recognize how their online interactions affect them and tools to control their online experiences.

Session 4: Wednesday, February 24, 2021: Online Privacy

  • The Internet has always been about sharing information. This has encouraged a culture where we often share a lot of personal information, especially on social media. But should we? In this lesson, to maintain privacy while online and why it’s important.

Technology Requirements: No special requirements; just a device that works with Zoom.

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Mar. 1–10 – Bits ‘n Bytes Series #4: Code Adventures Codesters

Session 1: Monday, March 1, 2021: Guess the Background Color

  • Guessing games are popular to do on road trips, especially when the batteries of our devices die or we lose our signal. But virtual guessing games are just as common! In this activity, students will work with lists, user input, and if-else statements to code your own guessing game.

Session 2: Wednesday, March 3, 2021: Safe Travels in Space

  • As cool as it is to travel through space, a lot of untold dangers lurk around each and every star you pass. One of those many dangers in space are asteroids! In this activity, students will be navigating their way through the stars while trying to avoid any asteroids along the way.

Session 3: Monday, March 8, 2021: Melody Mayhem

  • Have you ever wanted to create music but didn’t know where to start? How about creating a program where you don’t have to decide what notes to play. Let’s write a program to play the music for us!

Session 4: Wednesday, March 10. 2021: Spring Break Coding Challenge

  • We're celebrating Women's History Month with a specially designed activity in Scratch. Learn about Ellen Ochoa, how to replicate gravity in your program, and submit your project in to win a prize!

    Note: Students will need to have a Scratch account in order to submit their project. Instructors will help students create their Scratch account during the session.

Technology Requirements: Students will need access to Scratch, either the online or desktop version. We recommend using Scratch on a desktop, laptop, or tablet device.

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Mar. 15–24 – Bits ‘n Bytes Series #5

More information coming soon!

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Mar. 29–Apr. 7 – Bits ‘n Bytes Series #6: Code Adventures with MakeCode micro:bit

More information coming soon!

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Register for all 2021 Bits ‘n Bytes Online Series sessions!

Register now

   

Contact Information

Erron Gonzalez 
pac-stem@alamo.edu