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By Maris M. Bish, The Wolfsonian FIU

On July 26th and 27th, Jocelyn Leavitt and Samantha John present Hopscotch, their new iPad programming language for kids. With Hopscotch, users drag and drop blocks of code to build routines for fun characters. Aimed primarily at kids age 8 and up, Hopscotch eliminates the frustration common with the syntax of typed code.

Kids are growing up immersed in technology, but gone are the days of tinkering with Apple II in Basic.  Most of the products kids use every day are black boxes; kids aren’t able to look “under the hood” to see how the software that powers their apps works. Hopscotch is designed to help today’s kids develop the skills they need for a digital world.

“So many schools are getting iPads, but a lot of teachers don’t know what to do with them.  Hopscotch gives kids the power to build their own games and apps, and puts the focus on creativity rather than consumption,” says Leavitt.

The idea for Hopscotch came out of their frustration at the lack of female engineers and founders in the tech industry. While it’s not exclusively for girls, they built a toy they would have wanted themselves as kids.

Co-presented by The LAB Miami with support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at The Miami Foundation. The talk on Friday, July 26th at 7pm, at The Wolfsonian, is geared towards adults and is free for Wolfsonian members, FIU community, and The LAB Miami members; $10 all others. The workshop at 10am on Saturday the 27th at The LAB Miami is open to youth ages 10-12 (fourth-sixth grades). Each child must be accompanied by an adult and BYOiP (bring you own iPad to use).  The workshop is free, but space is very limited. RSVP required: programs@thewolf.fiu.edu.

For more information on either event, contact programs@thewolf.fiu.edu or 305.535.2644.

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