Sundays 1-3pm, starting June 15, 2014, for 8 weeks (no session on July 6)

We are excited to announce ThinkImagineProgram – a grassroots Girls Innovate! effort and collaborative learning experience for moms and girls.

The first leg of our journey together will start this summer, with an 8-week series that introduces logical thinking and pre-programming concepts. You will learn for the most part from each other, and in particular from a team of moms and girls brave enough to try out the material in advance each week and help other moms and girls dive into the material at the live sessions. We have a group who have volunteered to be part of this mentor team already and welcome more. You do not need to know programming to join the mentor team.

ThinkImagineProgram is free and open to the public (moms + girls in middle school and high school). Advanced registration is required. Registration opens 3 weeks prior to start of series.

Each participant will need to bring her own laptop or tablet, plus paper and pencil.

What is ThinkImagineProgram?

ThinkImagineProgram is a Girls Innovate! team of moms and girls focused on cultivating innate logical thinking and problem solving skills.

We all solve problems every day. For some problems, logic skills are helpful, and for other problems a brute force technique is required. Regardless of the technique, the ability to break down a large problem into smaller more understandable pieces is a valuable skill which will be fine tuned as we progress in our journey of learning.

Our goal is to eventually learn all sorts of computer programming skills together. However, our approach will be unlike most introductory computer programming courses which typically involve the distraction of following rigid rules of an unforgiving programming language.

This summer, we will use challenging puzzles and games to learn various patterns, tricks, and approaches to problem solving. Each session provides opportunities to experience the joy of mastering difficult problems, while avoiding the need to decipher cryptic error messages or endure late night arguments with your computer.

Girls Innovate! uses a collaborative approach to learning, combining individual exercises with team activities and harnessing the talents and interests of women and girls in our community. Prepared mentors consisting of moms and girls provide an engaging atmosphere and help remove frustrations that often accompany any computer training. This provides a high-touch experience for everyone involved.

The kickoff session will be on June 15th. It will be preparation for learning how to program; not a programming course. Participants will be equipped with skills often not introduced until immersed in introductory programming courses. This approach aims to increase the likelihood of succeeding in the challenging and competitive environment of computer programming study.

Sessions will be on Sunday afternoons from 1-3pm at various venues throughout the Peninsula (see dates/times/locations below). There is no fee to participate at this time, though we hope you will consider “tipping” Girls Innovate! if you enjoy your experience.

The summer sessions will run over 8 consecutive weeks (except July 6, 2014). Each session is designed to prepare you to advance on to the next session, so embracing the material from one session to the next is critical for success. So is getting to know and working face-to-face with each other. As such, we have put together certain attendance requirements. We are also working on an online platform for you to access the materials and learn what you need to know from each session.

In-person attendance: You must attend in-person at least one of the first three sessions. In total, you must be able to attend at least four of the eight meetings in order to sign up.

Online platform: You can access a forum which we will create for participants, as well as review materials and complete exercises for each session. Completing required exercises will enable you to move on to the next session with greater ease.

Certificate of Completion: We intend to advance together into learning more and more computer programming skills. Our effort will continue so long as there is interest and collaboration. At the end of the summer, we will issue a Certificate of Completion for anyone who completes the exercises from all 8 sessions. This Certificate of Completion will enable you to engage with higher-level materials that we may offer in the fall or future.

Meeting times are Sundays from 1-3pm at the locations listed below. Check-in/set-up begins at 12:45pm.

June 15, 2014 – Redwood Shores Library, Redwood City

June 22, 2014 – Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto

June 29, 2014 – Los Altos Library, Los Altos

July 13, 2014 – Lucie Stern Community Center, Palo Alto

July 20, 2014 – Lucie Stern Community Center, Palo Alto

July 27, 2014 – Los Altos Library, Los Altos

August 3, 2014 – Lucie Stern Community Center, Palo Alto

August 10, 2014 – Los Altos Library, Los Altos

This summer, we aim to cover some or all of the topics listed below, subject to change as the weeks progress. Because our effort is in initial developmental phase, we greatly appreciate your patience (and any input you may have).

Intro: computers, internet, programming, logical thinking. First round of puzzles/games
Web pages, HTML, CSS, XML, XHTML. Introduction to web services. Develop a web page.
Focus on data, excel, manipulating data and transforming data
Trees and recursion
More on XHTML, web services, and introduce XSLT
XML and integrations
Introduction to programming (Javascript, Python, Java) through examples
Java and 2-dimensional programs, prepare for programming as next step

More about the TIP Mentor Team: All daughters and mothers involved with Girls Innovate are encouraged to consider joining the TIP Mentor team. It is not required to join as a daughter-mother pair. More on the expectations for members of the TIP Mentor team, and the ability to meet some of our mentors will be added soon.

More about the Presenter and Knowledge Angel: David Epstein is a father and student of an amazing 7 yr old daughter, and enjoys soccer, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, trees and in general the outdoors. David has been involved with introductory computer programming for a couple of decades, teaching CS1 at Caltech, and Cal State Sacramento, founder of the Public Static Void Main team of college and high school computer science professors and teachers as well as the JJ Dream Team virtual team of dozens of high school and college students developing software and materials during summers, for students and teachers of the AP CS Java course. He has been a technical trainer and knowledge architect for three IPO software companies dating back to the dot.Com days. Along his path David has created two programming languages (F and JJ) aimed at solid programming practices and a gentler introduction to programming, and has championed part of the ANSI and ISO Fortran language standard. As the knowledge angel David is investing his time and knowledge while sharing his unique approach to learning in what he knows will enlighten some if not many who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn how to program.

Planning Team
Karen Nemeth, Event Manager
Emma O’Hara, Event Coordinator
Lan Yun & Ritu Shah, Lead Mentors (Moms)
Grace Chen & Sanjana Shah, Lead Mentors (Girls)

Free and open to the public (moms + girls in middle school and high school). Advanced registration is required. Registration opens 3 weeks prior to start of series.

Each participant will need to bring her own laptop or tablet, plus paper and pencil.

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