New clubs, awards and a call for volunteers!

Posted on: Sat, 12/01/2018 - 18:22 By: jbartucz
Kids at computers

Call for volunteers!

The First Lego League is having their annual tournament right here in Rochester next weekend (Dec 8/9). It is a real blast - more than a hundred kids pack Willow Creek Middle School and are bubbling over with excitement about showing off their robots! Mark Schleusner is looking for volunteers for all kinds of positions and most of them are non-technical. If you can't volunteer, come out and cheer on the main competition in the auditorium between 9:30 am and noon! You can see all the positions here:

Volunteer for FLL

Coding clubs everywhere!

We have been working with teachers at all five middle schools to start "Girls Who Code" clubs. They are low-key clubs that run for 8-10 weeks after school and the girls build websites, program apps, and most importantly they have fun! If you would like to get involved with this effort, please email us - no experience required.

If you have a middle school or high school girl who would be interested in building an app to help her community and working with friends to create a business case for that app, then Technovation is right for you! You can see more here: or get in touch with the local Southeast MN Technovation:  [email protected] . Last year one of the SE Minnesota clubs won a $10,000 prize to start their business!

We've also started a Coder Dojo at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester. It runs every second Wednesday of the month from 5:30 to 7 and we are looking for volunteers to drop in. The next club is coming up on December 12th and we are going to start the kids programming Python with BBC Mico:Bits. Contact us if you can stop by.

Finally, as you can see from the picture at the top of the email, the Young Authors Young Artists conference was a huge success! Over the course of two days, we had 200 young artists create their own LED-light-up halloween cards. Thanks to our high school volunteers for helping out!

If you have an idea for starting your own club and would like help finding a location, equipment, or mentors, we are here to help! It just has to be free for all participants.


Laptops and wifi programs

The laptop program is going strong. Thank you to everyone who donated! This week we will be handing out our 100th laptop to a high school student who can't afford one at home. If you or someone you know has a high-school student who can't do their homework because they don't have internet or a computer at home, please ask them to contact their counselor. If you have a laptop built since the year 2000 (Windows 7 or better), you can drop it off at any high school, or contact us to pick it up.

If you or your business would like to sponsor a WiFi Hotspot so that students can check it out from the school library for one semester at a time, please contact us, or donate directly via PayPal.

Do you know of someone who needs a laptop, but is not a high school student? ABC of Rochester sells refurbished Windows and Chromebook laptops for as low as $30! 


Congratulations to Kajsa and Ingrid!

Ingrid Wilder and Kajsa Arnold were awarded the Certificate of Distinction by the National Center for Women In Technology. They were chosen from among dozens of high school students from Minnesota who are interested in pursuing technology in college.


Thank you to our partners and sponsors!


Have questions, comments or news to share?

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