For Children and Families

ScratchJr Learning Experience Designer Jessica Blake-West teaching a child how to use ScratchJr
DevTech Director Marina Bers teaching a group how the KIBO robot works

Upcoming Events

Coding Playgrounds: Summer Camp 2024

Coding Playgrounds Summer Camp flyer

The DevTech Research Group will be hosting the Coding Playgrounds Summer Camp for children entering Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade interested in exploring programming and robotics during summer vacation. 

The Summer Camp will run two types of sessions: ScratchJr, a visual, block-based programming app for young children, and KIBO, a screen-free, block based programming and robotics kit. Both sessions will teach these technologies using the Coding as Another Language curriculum developed by the DevTech Research Group. 

The Summer Camps will be hosted in person at DevTech’s early childhood makerspace located in Carney Hall Room 306 on the Boston College Campus. We will run two – one week sessions from July 15th-19th 2024 (Session 1) and July 22nd-July 26th 2024 (Session 2).

Both weeks will be from Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM each day.

Children are welcome to sign up for one or both sessions. Please complete one sign up form per child. If you would like to enroll in both sessions, you will need to complete the sign up form for each child for each session. The price of enrollment is $100/session. We are unable to provide refunds. If you have questions: please email Caleb Weinstock, DevTech lab manager, at caleb.weinstock@bc.edu.

Click here for the Sign Up Form

Past Events

CreatedBy Festival @ Boston Children’s Museum
Entrance to the Boston Children's Museum

Join the DevTech Research Group at the CreatedBy Festival (hosted by Boston Children’s Museum) for a series of Fun Sessions with ScratchJr! ScratchJr is a free programming language for children ages 5-7 which utilizes block programming to allow children to create their own interactive stories and games. Fun Sessions will consist of a one hour engaging activity and testing of a new adaptive game designed by the DevTech Research Group. Visit their website for tickets and more!

Discovery Museum

Join the DevTech Research Group at the Discovery Museum on Sunday, October 15th 2023 for a series of Fun Sessions with ScratchJr! ScratchJr is a free programming language for children ages 5-7 which utilizes block programming to allow children to create their own interactive stories and games. Fun Sessions will consist of a one hour engaging activity and testing of a new adaptive game designed by the DevTech Research Group. Visit their website for tickets and more!

Museum of Science: Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

Join the DevTech Research Group at the Museum of Science to celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month on Saturday October 14th 2023 for fun science and cultural offerings in English and Spanish! Programming will include featured speakers, family activities, enlightening live presentations, a special community storytelling event, and Boston-area performance and community groups. Check out their website for tickets and details!

Coding Playgrounds: Summer Series 2023

The DevTech Research Group will be hosting the Coding Playgrounds Summer Series for children entering Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade interested in exploring programming and robotics during summer vacation. 

The Summer Series will run two types of sessions: ScratchJr, a visual, block-based programming app for young children, and KIBO, a screen-free, block based programming and robotics kit. Both sessions will teach these technologies using the Coding as Another Language curriculum developed by the DevTech Research Group. 

The Summer Series will be hosted in person at DevTech’s early childhood makerspace located in Carney Hall Room 306 on the Boston College Campus. 

Spots are limited. Children are welcome to sign up for one or both sessions. Please complete one sign up form per child. If you would like to enroll in both sessions you will need to complete the sign up form for each child for each session.

Enrollment Fee: $100/per child for one session.

Check back here for information regarding the Coding Playgrounds Summer Series 2024!

Coding Playgrounds: Workshops

Know any children between the ages of 4-8 interested in programming and robotics? Come join DevTech every week for free kids workshops! The Coding Playground Workshop Series is a series of hour and a half-long events for kids to explore a wide range of new technologies including, but not limited to, the ScratchJr programming app and KIBO Robotics Kits. In these workshops children will engage with storytelling, problem solving, art, music, building, and games. Children can sign up for one session, or all sessions! All are free. We just ask that families complete the necessary sign up forms for each session prior to attending. All workshops will be held at DevTech’s early childhood makerspace located on the Boston College Campus. Read more about specific sessions that were held in Spring of 2023 below:

Wednesday, April 19th: ScratchJr One Sentence Story

An hour and a half lesson on ScratchJr using beginner to intermediate coding skills to create a One Sentence Story. ScratchJr is a visual programming language using block based coding designed for children ages 5-8. In this workshop, children will create more complex programs and construct One Sentence Stories. Children will work independently and in collaboration to create unique coding projects while learning important concepts of literacy and computer science! 

Wednesday, April 5th: ScratchJr Intermediate

An hour and a half lesson on ScratchJr using intermediate coding skills. ScratchJr is a visual programming language using block based coding designed for children ages 5-8, we are recommending this intermediate session to children in 1st and 2nd grade. In this workshop, children will create more complex programs and construct One Sentence Stories. Children will work independently and in collaboration to create unique coding projects while learning important concepts of literacy and computer science! 

Wednesday, March 29th: Programming and Robotics

In addition to ScratchJr and KIBO, DevTech houses many other programming and robotic tools for young children. In this hour and a half long session, children ages 5-8 will have the opportunity to try out new tools and activities such as Botley, Code-a-Pillar, Artie 3000, 3Doodler, and Snap Circuits.

Wednesday, March 22nd: Getting Started with KIBO

An hour and a half introductory lesson to KIBO Robotics. KIBO is a tangible, block based programming language and robotics kit for children ages 5-8. In this introductory lesson, children will not only learn the basics of how to use KIBO through the Coding as a Playground and Coding as Another Language pedagogies, they will also explore important concepts of robotics, computer science, and STEAM.

Wednesday, March 8th: Getting Started with ScratchJr

An hour and a half introductory lesson to ScratchJr. ScratchJr is a visual programming language using block based coding designed for children ages 5-8. In this introductory workshop, children will learn the basics of how to use ScratchJr through the Coding as a Playground and Coding as Another Language pedagogies. Children will work independently and in collaboration to create unique ScratchJr projects while learning important concepts of literacy and computer science!

Wednesday, March 1st: Exploring Programming and Robotics

In addition to ScratchJr and KIBO, DevTech houses many other programming and robotic tools for young children. In this hour and a half long session, children ages 5-8 will have the opportunity to try out new tools and activities such as Botley, Code-a-Pillar, Artie 3000, 3Doodler, and Snap Circuits.

February 20th-24th: Coding Brain 3 Day Workshops

“The Coding Brain” three day workshop is a special offering being held during Massachusetts Schools February Vacation week. This opportunity is specifically for first graders (ages 6-7). Over the three days, children will be introduced to the basics of neuroscience and computer programming, using the ScratchJr programming app. On the last day of the session, we will hold a showcase for family and friends to see children’s final projects: a ScratchJr project about how the brain works! Following this workshop, children will also be given the opportunity to participate in the Coding Brain research study, where we will investigate their brain activation while using ScratchJr!

There will be two sessions of this workshop: Session 1 will run from Monday to Wednesday from 2:00-3:30 PM and Session 2 will be run from Wednesday to Friday from 9:30-11:00 AM. All sessions will be held at the DevTech workshop space on the Boston College campus.

In order to participate, we ask that children attend all three lessons of the workshop.

Family Coding Days

Family Coding Day is a community event where parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family members, and children can work together to create projects using the free ScratchJr programming app and/or the KIBO Robotics kit!

Who are Family Coding Days intended for?

This event is for anyone who wants to create a ScratchJr and/or KIBO Robotics community! It can be done through schools, museum, after-school programs, community centers, or anywhere else where families can come together. Children between the ages of 5-7 as well as their family members (including siblings or family members who are older or younger) are encouraged to participate!

Interested in hosting a Family Coding Day? Check out these free instructional materials:

Download the ScratchJr Family Coding Day protocol

Download the KIBO Robotics Family Coding Day protocol

Interested in our tools? Click the images below to learn more: