Posted On: June 7, 2019
Taking off into a New Career
By Annie Donnell and Dylan Farmer
DREAM BIG participants had an opportunity to visit LaunchCode for their fourth day of Career Camp. The morning began with staff from Starkloff covering Disability Pride. Steve and Sarah shared stories about their disabilities.
Kevin and Lynn gave a presentation about LaunchCode. They provided information on apprenticeships available to try programming. Apprenticeships are temporary, lasting three to six months, and can lead to long-term careers. LaunchCode has helped over 5,500 clients get long-term careers in technology at partnering companies. Many students this week are interested in careers in technology and enjoyed practicing programming later on in the day.
Afterword, students participated in an interactive activity focused on sorting information and organizing themselves based on their birthday. The technique of bubble sorting helped to sort students’ birthdays to ensure the correct sequential order. Students communicated and worked together to perform the task. This demonstrated an example of what code looks like and the importance of accuracy when writing code.
Starkloff staff led an activity on career exploration and job descriptions. Students took a quiz regarding career exploration through onet.org to find out if their responses helped them find careers related to their fields of interest. Students found the website results accurate. Students learned the importance of reading through a job description fully and making sure all requirements are met prior to applying. Rachel said, “It recommended accountant and actuarial, and I had never seen myself in that.”
After, students created a budget with an example monthly income of $500.00. Students taped slips of paper with expenses listed they wished to spend during the month in student packets. Jace remarked, “What surprised me is the cost of groceries alone.” Alex said “I was a little surprised how much the things I wanted and needed would drain my money so much.”
To continue the day, students heard from LaunchCode employees about career paths for technology jobs. These jobs require learning different software in order to program. Programming skills can be used in other career fields not related to the fields of IT or computer science as well. Students asked great questions and got a first-hand look in available programming opportunities.
Students then had an opportunity to practice programming using the Python program. LaunchCode employees went through step by step instructions to program turtles to move different directions on the screen. Students excitedly created their own virtual turtles and taught them different tasks by typing different words and numbers into the program which created shapes on the screen. Students enjoyed the hands-on experience in programming.