SPARK Programming – Inspiring the Next Generation of Programmers

SPARK stands for Simple Programming and Robotics for Kids.

We use technologies including Scratch, LEGO WeDo, Raspberry Pi, ServiceNow VTB and Python. Here are some links to resources:

• Scratch – the online IDE is free – http://scratch.mit.edu
• Python – a free, online IDE by Rice University at http://www.codeskulptor.org
• Raspberry Pi – resources for your Pi (available at AMAZON) – http://www.raspberrypi.org

Our Mission is to provide inspiration to the next generation of programmers through free or donation-based local, interactive events. To inspire kids, our youth volunteers teach other kids the essential skills and methodologies needed to plan, manage and code a software development project.

SPARK Programming started when Bradley Owen told his boys (Brenden and Braydon) to stop playing video games – and start making them. Which in short, led to MIT’s Scratch programming environment. As Brenden and Braydon showed off their new programming skills, their friends all wanted to make their own video games, too. Instead of teaching each one individually, Bradley booked the training room at ServiceNow in San Diego one weekend in December of 2012 and had all the boys’ friends and parents come and learn. By Monday, word had spread and Bradley’s co-workers asked why they were not invited to the “programming class.” Since then, they have taught over 1,000 students the fun of making their own video games at ServiceNow in San Diego and Santa Clara as well as UC San Diego, The University of Arizona and MIT. They founded the non-profit SPARK Programming with the mission to inspire the next generation of programmers.

*SPARK Programming is a California nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation – 501(c)(3), EIN 47-3063038