Caribbean Computer Coding Workshops: For Barbados and the OECS – Spring 2022

Three workshops will be offered in parallel in the Spring of 2022

  • Workshop No. C3W.001 – Introduction to Website Development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP)
  • Workshop No. C3W.002 – Introduction to Programming in Python (Basics for beginners)
  • Workshop No. C3W.003 – Programming in Python II (fast paced to intermediate-level video games and other applications – for persons with a good math background)

The links to both to the student application forms and the Instructor/TA application forms are near the bottom of this page. Applicants from English-speaking Caribbean countries other than Barbados and the OECS may be admitted if there workshops are not oversubscribed. Prospective students should read the information below that precedes the application form so they have some idea of the commitments that will be expected of them. These workshops have weekly homework assignments and are not for persons who are looking to play video games and have fun only.

Important Dates for all three Workshops in Spring 2022

Workshop Dates: 15 January to 16 April 2022. Classes held weekly Saturdays 9:00 am – 12 noon. All classes virtual and there are mandatory weekly homework assignments
Application period opens: 15 November 2021
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 02 January 2022, 11:59 pm

 

Overview

The knowledge-based workforce of the future will be heavily dependent on computer coding skills. It is believed that in the very near future computer coding will be as essential a skill to have for many entry-level positions, in the same way that word processing and spreadsheet facility is today. Around the world, developing countries are training more and more of their students in computer programming (coding), and much of that focus begins with html (for Website development) and cell-phone apps. Even at this level, the Caribbean is being left behind in the race. By not sufficiently developing computer programming skills in its population, the Caribbean is unable to take full advantage of its potential to build a modern-day workforce and to diversify its economies.

Coding Camp Level I Inaugural Class, Instructors and sponsor’s representatives at inaugural opening ceremony 06Jan18

History

In order to help the Caribbean catch up with other developed countries, beginning in January 2018, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), Scotiabank, and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS partnered to launch a Level I pilot of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops which ran on Saturday mornings in Barbados from January to March and again from September to December 2018. Since then, the Barbados workshops have been held twice per year, with the most recent offering concluding on May 1, 2021. The Level I Workshop was replicated in St. Lucia and Dominica. The first two offerings of the St. Lucia Workshop took place from January 12 to March 30, 2019 at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, and from September 28 to December 14, 2019 at St. Mary’s College. The first session of the Dominica Workshop took place from January 11 to April 4, 2020, and the second session ran from September 19 to December 5, 2020.

In the summer 2021, the CSF added an additional workshop (Programming in Python) to encourage the Region to switch away from testing our students in Pascal to the adoption of a more modern language such as Python. The longer-term plan is to continue to replicate both the Website development and Python coding workshops in as many English-speaking Caribbean Countries as possible, limited only by funding availability.

Workshop Goals

The goals of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops are to: (1) break the fear of coding in the general community, (2) help address the challenge of increasing the low numbers of skilled ICT workers in the Region, (3) help train thousands of people over the next 5 years for the technology workforce of the future, (4) stimulate more interest in science and engineering careers, (5) stimulate more technology-based entrepreneurship by encouraging the formation of more globally competitive ICT companies, (6) help get more students interested in going beyond programming into the field of computer science, and (7) help prepare students for university study in the STEM disciplines.

These goals are consistent with the overall CSF goals of helping to diversify the economies of the Region and thereby raise the standard of living of the people. Thus, CSF projects have a long-term focus on stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship, and grooming the next generation of Caribbean science and engineering leaders. We truly believe that there is no reason why the next “Google” cannot start in the Caribbean.

These Workshops provide a significant foundation to anyone who wants to dive into the world of computer programming. More specifically, Website development, and Python and its applications. Beginners often want to build the next “Facebook” or “Google” without first mastering the fundamentals. Hence, these workshops aim to cover the basics while still providing a taste of the more advanced code libraries used to accomplish fascinating results such as:

  • Voice Controlled Website
  • Gamepad/Joystick/Xbox Controlled Website (Useful for games)
  • Video games
  • interacting with a mobile app by:
    • Shaking a mobile device
    • Using a Cellphone Camera
    • Reading the cellphone light sensor (Used to adjust screen brightness automatically).

Please view the inspirational video below, produced by the St. Lucia Ministry of Education, to get a better understanding of the motivation for the holding the CSF computer coding workshops in the Region:



 

Targeted Groups

Because of limited resources, total enrollment in the Workshops is limited to about 25 participants per session. Applicants must be Caribbean citizens. Persons less than 15 years old on the day on which the particular Workshop session begins, are not eligible to apply to that Workshop. Girls are especially invited to apply. Other targeted applicants are: (1) out-of-school and at-risk youth, (2) disabled individuals, and (3) secondary school science and mathematics teachers.

Participants in the Coding Workshops work in teams, and each team creates a Website or an App or a video game that solves a problem of interest to the team. At the Coding Workshop Showcase which takes place on the final day of the Workshops, the teams show off their Websites, Apps and games to a public audience.

Below are videos from the following Workshop final projects presentations:

  • Fall 2020 Dominica and Barbados Computer Coding Workshops on Website development
  • Spring 2021 Barbados Computer Coding Workshop on Website development
  • Summer 2021 Caribbean Computer Coding Workshop on Website development
  • Summer 2021 Caribbean Computer Coding Workshop on Programming in Python


Have a look for yourself at the following News articles to see how creative past students have been:

 

Workshop Structure and Curriculum

Coding Camp Instructor Brandon Alleyne with the Barbados Spring 2018 Level I class

C3W.001 (the Level I introductory website creation and development course), begins with basic coding in HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP, and is tailored for persons having no previous experience in coding.

C3W.002 (Introduction to Programming in Python) also assumes no prior coding experience, although concepts such as functions, variables, iteration will be helpful.

C3W.003 (Programming in Python II) assumes prior coding experience, and concepts such as functions, variables, iteration will be assumed. Additionally, simple concepts from geometry, trigonometry and mechanics will be expected.

In the last quarter of each class, the participants form teams, and the teams focus on the development of projects such as simple Websites, mobile Apps, video games, or data science applications that may of interest to the teams. These final projects are displayed to a public audience on the last day of the Workshop.

Preliminary syllabi for the C3W.001 and the C3W.002 Workshops are shown below. Topics in the syllabi are subject to change at any time.

Typical Syllabus for C3W.001 – Introduction to Website Development
Period           Topic

  • Wk 1 – Registration; Logistics; Principles of web design
  • Wk 2 – Introduction to HTML
  • Wk 3 – Creating a basic Website; free Web-hosting; Introduction to CSS (Fonts, colors and sizes)
  • Wk 4 – More HTML & CSS
  • Wk 5 – A deeper look (Animation and stylesheets)
  • Wk 6 – Creating tables, adding and manipulating images
  • Wk 7 – Introduction to Javascript (Syntax and button interaction); Students form teams
  • Wk 8 – JavaScript – A deeper look (e.g., A simple game + Voice control & Web storage) – Teams come up with a Project
  • Wk 9 – Introduction and applications of PHP; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 10 – More PHP examples; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 11 – Adding Cordova plug-ins – Convert websites to apps; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 12 – Rehearsals; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 13 – Rehearsals; Teams complete projects
  • Wk 14 – Final Project Presentations to the public & closing ceremony (8:30 am to 12:30 pm)

 
Typical Syllabus for C3W.002 – Introduction to Programming in Python (Basics to video games for beginners)
Period            Topic

  • Wk 1 – Logistics, Ground Rules, Diagnostic Exam, Introduction to Python
  • Wk 2 – Objects in Python
  • Wk 3 – Expressions, Statements and Operators
  • Wk 4 – Control Flow
  • Wk 5 – Functions; Input and Output
  • Wk 6 – Built-in Data Structures, CLI Games 1
  • Wk 7 – Exception Handling, CLI Games 2
  • Wk 8 – Classes, CLI Games 3; Students form teams
  • Wk 9 – Introduction to Pygame, GUI vs CLI; Teams come up with a project
  • Wk 10 – Game Loops and Game State; Events (Mouse and Keyboard), Surface Objects and Color; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 11 – Fonts and Animation; Example Games (Motion, dealing with gravity); Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 12 – Rehearsals; Teams continue working on projects
  • Wk 13 – Rehearsals; Teams complete projects
  • Wk 14 – Final Project Presentations to the public (1:30 pm to 4:00 pm)

 
Syllabus for C3W.003 – Programming in Python II
Programming in Python II is fast paced for those with a strong math background. Much of the material in C3W.002 will be covered rapidly so the class move quickly to intermediate level video games. In addition to video games, final projects may address applications to micro-controllers, data science, and machine learning depending on the interest and mathematical background of the teams. Please do not sign up for C3W.003 if your algebra, geometry and trigonometry skills are rusty.

Anticipated Benefits of the Coding Workshops

  • A raised awareness and increased opportunities for more persons to consider science and engineering as career options
  • Better preparation of our students for university study in the STEM disciplines
  • A more appropriately trained future knowledge-based workforce – more graduates with enhanced skill sets and qualifications will obtain entry level positions in the workplace (especially at-risk youth)
  • Promotion of more technology-based entrepreneurship, and more self-employment opportunities for our youth
  • Eventual formation of more globally competitive ICT companies that could bring in more foreign exchange
  • Scale up and spreading of coding workshops into other Caribbean countries
  • Regional mobilization onto a path to catch up with the more developed countries in the ICT areas
  • Ignition and nurturing of the inventiveness in our youth so that the next “Google” has a reasonable probability of coming out of the Caribbean

Selection Criteria for the Workshops

The CSF Coding Workshop Admissions Committee will be responsible for selecting the participants. Because of budget and class size limitations, the Committee will limit the number of participants in each workshop session. Only complete applications that arrive before the application deadline will be considered. Also, the lower age limit and the citizenship requirement will be strictly enforced. Thereafter, applications will be selected taking the following factors into consideration in decreasing order of importance:

  • The Admissions Committee’s assessment of the applicant’s interest and passion for STEM based on the submitted materials
  • The age of the applicant (qualified older applicants may be given preference over younger applicants who have to option to re-apply in a later year)
  • The date the application was received (early applications given preference over later ones)

 

SPRING 2022 STUDENT APPLICATION FORMS (Barbados and the OECS)

The Spring 2022 Caribbean Computer Coding Workshop for Barbados and the OECS will be held in a virtual classroom on the Zoom platform. Applicants from English-speaking Caribbean countries other than Barbados and the OECS may be admitted if there workshops are not oversubscribed. Please carefully read the instructions in bold type below, before you begin to fill out your application, as this Workshop has strict commitment requirements that we are expecting you to honor.

Here are some of the specific commitments expected for participation in the CSF Computer Coding Workshops:

  • Only candidates who are serious about computer programming and/or computer science should apply, as these workshops apply simple concepts from algebra, geometry and trigonometry (which we will teach), and homework is assigned each week. These Workshops are not camps where persons come predominantly to have fun, but are serious fast-paced workshops.
  • Candidates who are not prepared to do homework and some learning on their own (or in teams) should not apply, as they may be unable to keep up with the class.
  • The playing of video games, social media interaction, Website browsing unrelated to the Workshop, and engaging in other distracting or disruptive activity while at the Workshop may result in expulsion.
  • Please do not sign up for the workshop if you know now that you cannot commit the time. Participants who miss one or more classes are generally not able to make a significant contribution to a team, and it becomes unfair to the other team members who then have to carry the entire load all the way to the final Showcase where the team members present their work in front of a public audience.
  • By enrolling in the Workshop you agree, as a courtesy to the Instructors, to keep your camera on at all times during the workshop session. Participants who habitually break this agreement may be dismissed from the Workshop.
  • Finally, please note that Workshop participants are expected to use their own computers (that meet our minimum specifications). In exceptional cases, the CSF may be able to loan computers to participants at no cost. Should you need to apply for a loaned computer, please do so early as there is software that must be loaded onto the computer by the first day of the Workshop.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING OUT THE STUDENT APPLICATION FORMS

  • Before you begin to fill out the application form: Please be sure to read the above Overview of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops in its entirety, so you know what you are signing up for.
  • The student application period opens on November 15, 2021. A complete application consists of 4 Sections. To access the student application form, you must first login at http://caribbeanscience.org/login/. If you have previously established an account with the CSF, then enter your password and proceed. If you have forgotten your password, send us a quick e-mail and we will send you a new one. Otherwise, please create a new account.
  • Please note that the same basic application form is used for all the Workshops. On the application form, please select your nationality and country of residence near the top of the form.
  • While you are filling out the application, please be advised that clicking on the SAVE button does not result in the submission of your application. You must keep going until you reach reach the Verification Page (Section IV) where you will find the SUBMIT button at the bottom of that page.
  • Note that if you are under 18 years of age, you must certify in Section IV that you have your parent’s permission to enroll in a Workshop. We reserve the right to check with your parents
  • Please type your responses whenever possible (illegible handwritten documents may not be accepted). Type N/A for questions which are not applicable.
  • Attachments with the content upside down on the page will annoy most reviewers. Please make sure the content in your attachments is upright and legible.
  • Make sure your full name (i.e., first and last names) appears on any and all supplementary documents/attachments you submit to us. Also, please name your attachments to reflect their contents. We suggest you name your attachments using the following format “ C3W-2022-LastName, FirstName-DocumentName.pdf”. Attachments with file names such as “scan 001” could cause your attachment to be misfiled.  If this happens, your application will be deemed incomplete. Further clarity in this regard can be found on the application form.
  • Applications will be rejected if incomplete or uploaded/emailed later than the application deadline.
  • If admitted to the Workshop, the Workshop fee of U$ 60 is due in advance of participation in the Workshop. Special arrangements for weekly or monthly payments can be made.
  • Use the checklist (below) of required supporting materials to help you complete your package.

CHECK LIST:

  • Check off each item as you submit it online, or as you attach it and submit it by e-mail to: csfhdq@gmail.com.
  •  Copy of document showing proof of age and of Caribbean citizenship – sent by e-mail or uploaded in Section I.
  •  A high resolution photograph (passport style) of yourself sent by e-mail or uploaded in section I.
  •   Uploaded the web-based application components (Sections I – IV).

Payment of the Workshop Fee

The participant workshop fee of US$ 60 helps to offset the costs of running the workshops. After the first week of classes the workshop fee is not refundable. For participants who are unable to pay in full at the beginning of the workshop, arrangements can be made for weekly payments. A minimum of US$20 is due at the time of registration. Payment of the Workshop fee can be made via one of the following options:

  • Option 1: All participants may pay the workshop fee by credit card online via CADSTI International (not tax deductible)

    This option may also be used by donors who want to make a contribution to our work.

  • Option 2: Citizens of Barbados may pay by cash (Barbados or US currency) or Barbados check delivered to the CSF office. Alternatively, Barbados citizens may pay by online bank transfer to the CSF account (no wires, please).
    If by check, please make the check payable to the Caribbean Science Foundation and deliver it to:

      Caribbean Science Foundation
      CARICOM Research Building
      UWI Cave Hill Campus
      St. Michael, Barbados,
      West indies

    If payment by online bank transfer, use the following information:

      Bank Name: Scotiabank, Barbados
      Bank Address: Broad Street, Bridgetown, Barbados
      Account Name: Caribbean Science Foundation
      Account Number: 9013083

  • Option 3: For those wishing to pay the Workshop fee by US check, please mail check to:
      Caribbean Science Foundation
      C/O CADSTI International
      15 Huckleberry Rd.
      Hopkinton, MA 01748, USA

    This option may also be used by donors who want to make a contribution to our work.

 

INSTRUCTOR AND TEACHING ASSISTANT APPLICATION FORMS

The CSF is currently seeking applications from qualified Instructors and Teaching Assistants from anywhere in the world. A modest stipend is paid to the Instructors and Teaching Assistants.

Applicants for the Website Development (C3W.001) Instructor positions will be expected to have facility with principles of web design that would include experience with HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP. Some experience with mobile App development such as Ionic Creator, AngularJS, Cordova etc would be an asset.

Applicants for the Programming in Python (C3W.002 and C3W.003) Instructor positions will be expected to have significant expertise with the language and its application to the development of video games, programming Raspberry Pis and micro-controllers for the control of machines (robots, drones, appliances, and the Internet of Things). Experience with its use for running machine learning algorithms for applications such as the processing big data using will be an asset.

To apply for either Instructor/TA position, please fill out either the on-line Web-based application at
Web-based Caribbean Coding Workshop Instructor Application Form (preferred) or the manual application which can be downloaded as a pdf or Word file via the two links below:

C3W Instructor & TA Application Form.docx

C3W Instructor & TA Application Form.pdf

The completed forms should be e-mailed back to the CSF headquarters (csfhdq@gmail.com) along with the other requested documents.

Our needs vary with time, as we add more sections and more Workshops. We can keep your application on file if a position is not immediately available. Please do not hesitate to contact us at csfhdq@gmail.com if you need more information.

A Future Level III Python Workshop

Sometime in a near future we hope to offer a Level III workshop for advanced programmers. The primary coding language will be Python, although other modern languages may be adopted as necessary for problem solving and specific applications. This workshop will focus on the use of machine learning algorithms for problem solving in a variety of areas including science, engineering, health care, social science, art, and industries such as tourism and financial services. Examples of projects for this workshop could include advanced video games, programming Raspberry Pis and micro-controllers for the control of machines (robots, drones, appliances, and the Internet of Things) as well as the processing of big data and other applications that may be of interest to the teams.

Python is one the fastest growing programming languages, and has been chosen owing to:(1) its simplicity, flexibility, compactness and readability, (2) the strength of its standard library, (3) its widespread adoption today as the entry-level language of choice in the world’s leading science and engineering universities, and (4) to assist the Region in moving away from Pascal at the CSEC examination level. The greatest immediate challenges are finding competent Python instructors who are interested in teaching, and enough students who would take the class.

Key Partners

Key partners of the CSF are the Barbados Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

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Caribbean Science Foundation
CARICOM Research Building
UWI – Cave Hill
Bridgetown, Barbados
E-mail: csfhdq@gmail.com
Phone: 1-246-417-7493