Friday, February 21, 2014

Robocode Chicago 2014 on March 15

Robocode Chicago tournament for 5-12th graders
Late last year I wrote about Code Phreaks, the latest iteration of a youth computer programming clubhouse. The group currently meets at the Northtown Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Saturdays from 10 - Noon. After hosting a successful retro gaming tournament over winter break, the group is now hosting their second competition, Robocode Chicago 2014.

In Robocode, kids use the Java programming language to program a virtual robot that will compete against other robots based on the code that is written for it.

Kids can attend the weekly meetings (ideally with their own laptop as resources are limited) to learn the basics of Robocode. Club Founder Brian Myers is holding Robocode workshops and mini-competitions in the weeks leading up to the Big Day on March 15.

Robocode Chicago 2014 is open to students in grades 5 - 12. It will take place on March 15 from 10:00 - 2:00 at the Northtown Branch of the Chicago Public Library, 6435 N. California (near Devon and California).

Not only is it free to enter the competition, but there will be pizza, snacks and prizes!

Check the Code Phreaks site for Robocode tutorials.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rep. Tammy Duckworth Meeting on the House App Challenge, 2/22

More STEM fun this weekend! High school students that reside within Representative Tammy Duckworth's congressional district and want to take part in the House App Contest (click for details) can attend an informational meeting this Saturday, 2/22 at the Arlington Heights Library from 2-4 PM.

The event is aimed at high school students, but parents and teachers are welcome to attend. To register, email

Chicago Public Library to Expand YOUmedia Programs

Thanks for a $2 million dollar grant from the MacArthur Foundation and another $500,000 from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget, the Chicago Public Library's popular program that connects teens with technology, YOUmedia," will be expanding. The program will spread to six more sites in addition to a dozen more temporary pop-up programs.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Engineer's Week Activities in DuPage County

DuPage Area Engineer's Week fun in Chicago
image via DuPage Area Engineer's Week
It's Engineer's Week and once again IIT's Rice Campus in Wheaton is the place to celebrate! Their 30th annual expo is full of STEM fun for families with kids in grades K- 8. From hands-on exhibits to opportunities to talk with real engineers about their work to robots and a cryogenics show by Mr. Freeze, this event will have something for everyone.

The event runs from 10:30 - 3:30 and while I don't see information on meals, I know from experience there's a good sushi restaurant nearby. It's also close to a dine-in movie theater if you want to make the day even more memorable for the kids.

For full details, see the DuPage Area Engineers Week site.