In the issue: YoCWR news, classes and events for October 2015, Microsoft and Mozilla partnerships, Scratch for kids, library events, and more! 
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YoCWR at THEMUSEUM July 27-31
Dear YoCWR Supporter, 

Fall is a busy time of year and we have lots of news to share!

It's National Cyber Security month and our regular guest blogger Cat Coode has some tips to keep you safe, but first please read up on YoCWR NEWS, followed by links to upcoming classes and events in the Waterloo Region. 


  • Microsoft has joined Communitech as a top-tier sponsor of YoCWR! We're very grateful for their support. Microsoft has some amazing resources for parents and teachers, a couple of which we've already put on our site on the Learn to Code for Kids page
  • The Maker Expo on September 19 was fantastic. We tried out a new activity to get kids involved and interested in the coding app Scratch: we took their photo, let them pick a character to paste their head onto, and then imported it into Scratch and showed them how to make it move and even say something! Check out a few photos here
  • David Poppolow taught a four-week Digital Drawing for Girls class at Kitchener Public Library and had some very excited participants, more girls than the library had ever had sign up before! They used the free app Pixlr (like a mini version of Photoshop) and learned to compose with new and scanned images, and draw with the library computers. We'll let you know if this program is run again in the new year.
  • If you're a teacher, Google has kits and training to bring Computer Science into the classroom - a program called CS-First, based on MIT's free programming app Scratch. We are working with local teachers on a toolkit to accompany the program for the Ontario curriculum. The Google office in Kitchener will host more of these sessions in future and we'll keep you informed. They will be hosting an  "unconference", TEACH, next week on education and technology for teachers. An unconference is one where the participants come up with the discussion topics or problems they want to solve. If you attend please share the results with us! 
  • Now switching gears to FUN! Please plan to join us at Night/Shift this year the evening of October 31st in downtown Kitchener. As it falls on Hallowe'en, the theme for this year is "Costuming the Core". We'll have an interactive digital media activity and would love to have you participate! 
  • Lots of parents have asked us about classes for kids and teens. There are a few coming up at the libraries and we are working with partners to get more available in the community so please stay tuned. Hackademy is running a six week intro to programming class at the KPL starting Oct. 20 for grades 6-8 - sign up here! Also check our website for new resources to be added soon for activities to do at home! 
  • It feels like we've only just started the Year of Code - and the support and interest from all parts of the community has been fantastic. Which is why we are really happy to announce that once the Year of Code year is up June 30, 2016, all the work we've done will be able to keep going as we'll transition to an official Mozilla Foundation Hive Learning Community, Hive Waterloo! More information here.
From the blog: 

Be Aware Online: Cyber Security Tips

by Cat Coode of Binary Tattoo

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Yes, it is a mouthful, but it is also an important issue. Are you cyber security aware? Do you take precautions to protect your information online? It is often easier said than done. Here are my top tips to follow to keep you safe and having fun.
Only send a picture to someone via email/Snapchat/Instagram that you would want your boss, principal, or grandma to see!

Sure you are sending them to your good friend or significant other. But what happens when that person is no longer your BFF? Or maybe their phone gets nabbed by someone with less morals.

Avoid posting personal information that is not readily available
Think about the last time you had to recover a password online. Was the question: Pet’s name, childhood street, kid’s birthday or mother’s maiden name? Make sure that kind of information stays private and don’t use it for the actual passwords.

...get more tips from the full post on our site!

Codecrafters for Kids! 

Hackademy is running a Codecrafters program at KPL this month for kids in Grades 6-8, starting October 20th, Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30pm. Ideal for children with at least some experience using Scratch. 

Sign up today as space is limited!

Ada Lovelace Day October 13, 2015

The second Tuesday of October is Ada Lovelace Day, to celebrate the world’s first computer programmer, and achievements by women in STEM.

Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron. At a young age she showed a gift for mathematics. She was mentored by Charles Babbage, the creator of the “difference engine” which made computations. Ada was asked to translate an article on Babbage’s machine from Italian to English. She didn’t just translate it, but added many notes to it on how it might work and be improved on, including an algorithm. Some of the concepts she came up with are still those used in programming today, such as loops. Hence she has become known as the world’s first computer programmer. Follow #AdaLovelaceDay on Twitter to find what's happening around the world to celebrate this pioneer.

Your Local Library Has Resources and Classes in Tech

Across the region you'll find technology related classes, events and drop-ins at your local library. Libraries are becoming great hubs for digital literacy. Here are some of what you'll find in the tri-cities libraries this month:

Cambridge Idea Exchange: STEM storytime to get young minds curious about science, technology, engineering and math, Get your Geek on gamer nights, Tinker Lab, and Pinterested crafts. 

Kitchener Public Library: Now offering Wi-Fi hotspot loans! Also: 1:1 tech coaching, Tech Cafe, Tech Tutors, E-Book Download Clinic, STEAM Lab, Digital Conversion demo, Minecraft Madness, DIY Festival. Plus in November YoCWR is teaching intro to Skype and in December an Intro to Web Design. 

Waterloo Public Library: Discovering Math & Science, Maker activities, Adults Learn to Code Working Group meeting weekly, LED Jewellery, Robot-a-palooza, Create Your Own Website, Hour of Code, Tech Talks and Pixelated Movie Making. 


Big Ideas in Art and Culture: Grégory Lasserre
October 18 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Presented by Musagetes and CAFKA
CIGI Auditorium, 67 Erb St W, Waterloo

Grégory Lasserre, one half of the internationally renowned media project Scenocosme, will be speaking as part of the Big Ideas in Art and Culture Lecture Series. Scenocosme creates techno-organic hybrids, connecting digital systems with living or natural elements (plants, people, water, wood, stone). Their interactive works identify invisible relationships between people and the environment, rendering perceptible the small energy variations in physical bodies that are caused by human interaction, creating extraordinary shared sensory experiences. More info

Women, Wine and Code: Coding from Scratch with HTML5 and CSS3 Pt1

Monday, October 19, 6:15-9pm
@ The Jane Bond

In this two part session learn to code from scratch! We’ll be teaching HTML5 with CSS3. With Part 1 and 2 you’ll come away with: an understanding of how to build a website from the basics, how to customize a site, and a glimpse into what the pros use. Plus you'll have a fully functional webpage. Register and save a spot! Part 2 will be held November 23rd. 

Waterloo Codefest #hackathon

October 24 @ 7:00 am - October 25 @ 10:00 pm

The City of Waterloo is hosting its first ever hackathon, using the city’s own data for solving problems that citizens have suggested. Year of Code will be there with a 'hacking' activity for kids. Attendance is SOLD OUT! We look forward to sharing some of the great results!

DIY Festival

Saturday, October 24, 10am-3pm
Kitchener Public Library all locations

DIY *do it yourself Festival! Drop in to learn from the experts. Featuring over 30 local businesses, guilds and community partners including Zonta Film Festival, KW Weavers and Spinners Guild, Kwartzlab, Year of Code Waterloo Region, Structur3d, Xtea Co., Living Fresh, Icing Smiles Canada and many more. For all ages, at all library locations. Join YoCWR for a pre-Halloween DIY project — our location to be confirmed soon.

Night\Shift Halloween

Saturday, October 31, evening
Downtown Kitchener

NIGHT\SHIFT is downtown Kitchener’s nocturnal adventure festival of pop-up art and performance, placehacking and participatory creativity, featuring local artists, entrepreneurs, cultural organizations and community builders. Watch social media and our site for details on the interactive activity we have planned!

Call for Volunteers!

We need help to spread the word about YoCWR at our events, and guides for the children's activities. We also need someone (or two) who would be willing to help with social media or website updates. We can train you! If you want to help, please let us know on our volunteer page and we will be in touch. Volunteers get a free YoCWR t-shirt as our way of saying "thank you"!


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