Chic Geek is a community of women and men who are interested in learning more about technology and entrepreneurship and supporting others along the way. We have some geeky parents out there who would love to expose their kids to the wonderful world of tech, so here are some of the resources we recommend.
Pandamonium Early Learning (3 to 9 years old)
Help your kids develop a positive relationship with technology at an early age. Introduce them to the basic structure of coding and computer science concepts through stories, games and play. Programs are available at schools, preschools, daycares and community centres in Calgary and surrounding areas.
TELUS Spark (5 to 12 years old)
In addition to the regular science centre activities, TELUS Spark also hosts spring, summer and one-day camps for kids. These camps help build skills in science, technology, engineering, art and math. Through hands-on activities, exploring exhibits, Dome Theatre shows, live science demonstrations and outdoor adventures, kids have fun and learn at the same time.
Calgary Public Library (5 to 17 years old)
The Calgary Public Library (CPL) has a variety of free technology programs for kids and teens, including: Coding Buddies, Code Club, Lego Club, Lego Contest, codeTEEN, Level Up! Gaming Club, to name a few.
STEM Learning Lab (5 to 18 years old)
STEM Learning Lab promotes student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. They encourage kids to explore, create and play through these topics so they’re challenged in a fun, hands-on way. STEM Learning Lab offers a variety of programs including: summer camps, workshops, after-school care, in-school programs, homeschool programs and other special events.
Kids Code Force (6 to 12 years old)
Kids Code Force offers computer programming classes for elementary school children, using a child-friendly drag-and-drop program called Scratch. Currently providing community centre classes, private lessons and in-school programs. This is a great resource for suburban families as they are currently offered in New Brighton and Cranston.
Girls Learning Code (6 to 17 years old)
Girls Learning Code (GLC) programs teach girls to see technology in a brand new light - as a medium for self-expression and a means to change the world. Workshops cover a variety of topics from HTML & CSS and Ruby to image editing and blog creation. GLC brings volunteer mentors to maintain a 4:1 ratio of youth to instructors at all times.
MindFuel (9 to 18 years old)
Mindfuel creates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning resources for parents and teachers. Wonderville is an online world where youth can explore STEM topics. Edacity provides for-credit course resources, after-school and out-of-school programming around innovation and entrepreneurship. Lastly, Ignition Pack is a hands-on resource that transforms classroom teaching by incorporating digital components.
The Knowledge Society (13 to 17 years old)
The Knowledge Society (TKS) is an after-school program for emerging leaders. It’s been designed to exposure youth to next-generation topics like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cryptocurrency and genomics. Through the program, kids engage with world-class mentors in various subject areas and develop a professional portfolio that can be used in university and job applications.
Cybermentor (12 to 18 years old)
Cybermentor is an online mentoring program for girls in grades 6 to 12 across Alberta. Each girl is matched with her own carefully-screened mentor and the two connect online throughout the school year, using computers, phones or tables. Girls learn about the wealth of careers in science and engineering, discovering new interests and building confidence.
Another free learning resource. Khan Academy covers a broad range of topics in mathematics, science, engineering, computing, arts and humanities and economics.
Website Development Learning Center
Shoutout to Jessica and Sarah from Colorado for putting a great online resource on our radar. Check out this article that explains different programming languages and lists additional resources for where to learn them!
Great Toys and Games
GoldieBlox toys were designed to get girls into building and engineering. They tap into girls’ strong verbal skills through story and construction, helping to build confidence in spatial skills and providing an outlet to create amazing things.
littleBits makes a platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks and empowers kids to create inventions. The building blocks are colour-coded, magnetic and reusable, and the limitless possibilities foster imagination.
Minecraft is a computer game about placing blocks and going on adventures. It inspires confident exploration, creativity and problem-solving.
If you’re a parent, or you know a parent, please pass this on to them! And if we’ve missed anything in this list, please let us know and email our founder, Kylie Toh at email@example.com or leave a comment!