REDspace Creates Virtual Activity for Kids in Response to March Break Cancellations

When the March Break Digital Discovery Camp co-hosted by the Discovery Centre and Digital Nova Scotia had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, EPIC Gigabyte Sponsor REDspace jumped into action to create a virtual activity so the campers didn’t have to miss out on all the fun. Learning the Building Blocks of a Website was offered first as a virtual Digital Discovery Camp workshop led by a software developer from REDspace, but it’s now available as a self-guided activity to anyone who’s interested—for free!

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A typical Digital Discovery Camp includes hands-on-learning like deconstructing computers, learning how to solder, and building their own video games! The goal is for campers, who range in age from 9-14, to learn about opportunities in tech, how tech is changing the world, and to visit local companies working in tech. REDspace, based in Bedford, is always a hit with the campers because of their amazing workshops and cool office (including their giant red slide!).

When Jaclyn Staples, a software developer from REDspace, learned that March Break camp was cancelled and she would no longer be able to run the in-person activity she had planned, she was able to quickly adapt her workshop to an online format. She designed this virtual activity to give campers the foundations of using basic HTML elements, and an understanding of how to customize them to layout and style website pieces. “The camp was initially designed with a more minimal layout with much less direction as I was meant to explain a lot of the concepts each workshop challenge included,” Jaclyn explains. “But with making the format delivered digitally, a few more steps were required to make this workshop possible.”

“The tool was created to provide a fun and visually comprehensible way to learn how HTML elements can be nested together to build website components,” Jaclyn says. “Aimed with younger learners in mind, it is designed to provide strong guidance in the beginning, but to let users have their imaginations run wild by the end of it.”

After the initial round of campers enjoyed the activity, the team at REDspace decided to open it up as a self-guided learning experience to anyone who’s interested. “We’re really passionate about building awareness about the opportunities in the ICT sector, especially programs and initiatives that get young people and their parents excited about careers in the tech industry,” says Daphne North, Marketing and Communications Manager at REDspace. “The Digital Discovery Camp is such a fantastic program that it was really a no brainer to get involved when it started!”

Jaclyn is happy that campers were able to enjoy a modified version of the material she’d plan to cover during her Digital Discovery Camp session. She says that after joining the development field later in her academic career, she’s constantly impressed when tech programs give younger people the opportunity to explore these careers early in their lives. “This is my second time helping with a Digital Discovery Camp with REDspace, and hopefully there will be many more to come!” Jaclyn says. “It’s always so refreshing to see students looking to broaden their interests. Plus, kids can make learning very fun and can perceive challenges in way I never could have imagined! It’s never a dull moment!”

In the future, REDspace plans to continue its involvement with the camp. “We’re so happy we were able to provide a version of our Digital Discovery Camp workshop to campers and others while at home,” says Daphne. “Our team loves hosting the campers and coming up with fun activities to teach them about the stuff we do. From the beginning, the Discovery Centre and Digital Nova Scotia have been very open to our ideas, and we always try to top ourselves each year. We also make sure we are mixing it up, since we do so many incredible things at REDspace and want to make sure we expose campers to the different types of career opportunities. We can’t wait until the next camp—whether it’s in-person or online!”

Want to try the free Learning the Building Blocks of a Website tool? Click the button below!

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