Building Strong Foundation Together

Sanjana Shah, Girls Innovate! Teen Committee
ThinkImagineProgram (Session 3)

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

ThinkImagineProgram kept the rhythm going and the girls were ready for the third session, which was primarily focused on group activities from the last two sessions. There were three activities to choose – Tic-Tac-Toe, Four in a Row, and Binary + Guessing Game. The participants had to answer the questions related to these activities and create a presentation. The girls were asked to group themselves and pick the activity that they wanted to do together. The class got divided into 8 groups of girls and 3 groups of moms. Each group had around 2 to 6 participants. Few groups started with one activity but then ended up with another activity. Three groups did Binary and the Guessing Game, two groups picked Four in a Row and the rest ended up doing Tic-Tac-Toe. The girls in my group decided to do Four in a Row. Having a partner who does not understand, becomes a challenge. Being the mentor, we are supposed to bring them up to speed, help them learn things gradually, and make sure they catch up. Seeing a spark of curiosity in their eyes was a good sign because curiosity leads to interest, which in turn inspires them to continue learning.

The teams did not have programming background but had the curiosity to learn more. Some of them were ready to explore and put their thinking into it. There were so many questions flowing through their mind and the important thing was to not stop questioning. There was no correct answer and no winning team, but still everyone was busy in doing their activity and writing clear instructions. This was all about learning together and learning from each other.

After writing our activities, we were asked to exchange our instructions with another group, so that the other group can do the same activity using our instructions. This was very helpful, as with this activity we realized how a small instruction, if missed or not having a clear direction, can lead to the whole game to fail or make the opponent team win that game. The result of any game with good and clear instructions will most probably result in a win or tie. This was where I felt the need to have a strong strategy defined before starting the game and the importance of being a keen observant.

We reviewed the last session again, which was on conditions, looping, swapping and sorting. As Gordon Hinckley said, “You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you’re going to have a strong superstructure.” We ended the session by talking about procedures and step-by-step sequence of program execution.

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