Introducing the Spring 2021 Code 4 Change Challenge: Build a Better World
Coding truly is a superpower. It can help make us safer, more sustainable, and more equitable. Used for good, it can truly help us create a stronger world for everyone.
This spring, Code 4 Change: Build a Better World asks our coders to use their powers for good in addressing a global issue. Drawing on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, coders will tap into their innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness to develop creative, tech-based solutions to real world problems like hunger, poverty, equality, and more. Get involved today!
Learn More About C4C: Build a Better World
Who is invited to participate?
Coders of all skill levels are encouraged to sign up. This event is free and open to the general public and kids of all ages. Coders who are signed up for TCS spring classes will have the added benefit of class time to work on their project as well as personalized support from our instructors.
What will kids be making?
Kids will be asked to choose one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to focus on. They will then create a project, game, or presentation of their choice using a programming language like Scratch, WoofJS, or another to propose a solution to this issue. We recommend that coders include clear visuals, easy-to-follow instructions, simple rules, and an approachable pace.
When is Code 4 Change happening?
Code 4 Change: Build a Better World kicks off officially on Monday, April 5th, but kids are invited to begin coding their projects as soon as they sign up. Coders will have four weeks to code their projects before turning them in by Friday, May 7th. Voting begins Saturday, May 8th.
Where does C4C: Build a Better World happen?
This challenge is entirely virtual, so kids can participate wherever they have access to a computer and the internet. TCS students will have the opportunity to work on their projects during class, but we love when students work on their projects at home (parental decisions about screen time permitting), so you may find them bringing it up in conversation with you as they work or even asking for your help. Global issues affect all of us, so working together to find solutions is expected and encouraged.
Why Build a Better World?
It’s no secret that our world changed dramatically in the last year. This has been a period of hardship and upheaval, one which has left many of us, adults and kids alike, feeling understandably helpless. But it’s also been a time of incredible community-driven support and creative problem-solving, especially in tech. From students using 3D printers to create face shields for healthcare workers to companies like Dyson using their engineering expertise to design and produce new ventilators, it’s clear that ingenuity and kindness still abound. And we at The Coding Space believe that our students can be a part of the solution.
That’s why we’re empowering our students to put their ideas into action. How can we use code to distribute food to the hungry? To stop future pandemics? To support the pursuit of racial equity? Whether it’s on a local or global level, kids will have the chance to program prototypes of their creative solutions for real issues facing our world.
How will projects be judged?
All completed projects will be hosted on the TCS website. Voting opens on Saturday, May 8th when participants will have the opportunity to vote for Coders’ Choice. The TCS team will reveal this winner, as well as winners in several technical categories chosen by our TCS instructors, during a live virtual event on Sunday, May 16th.
How can kids get involved?
Participating coders can sign up here between Monday, March 22nd and Sunday, April 11th.
How can parents help support their C4C coders?
We encourage you to explore the Sustainable Development Goals with your children and to engage in conversations with them about what those goals are trying to address. Check out this resource about discussing SDGs with kids, and think about what goals they may already have a passion for or might like to know more about.
Coders of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate, both inside and outside of our classes. Participants can work individually or in teams. Participation is free and open to all.
Participants will have four weeks to work on their projects. Group projects are also encouraged.
Make sure to register by April 11th. If you miss the deadline, you may still be able to participate, just contact us here.
Come back to this site and upload your work! Make sure to follow our sharing instructions carefully.
Come back to this page to try out other coders' projects and cast your vote for Coders' Choice. Voting is open through May 15th.
Winners will be announced live during a special virtual event!
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals
What global issue are you passionate about solving? Below you’ll find the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the UN. We encourage you to visit their website to learn more about each issue. Then, consider your passions: are you dedicated to protecting wildlife and the environment? Making sure people have enough to eat and the resources they need to thrive? Once you’ve decided on your project, start thinking about how you would solve it and how you can explore that solution in a game, project, or presentation.
Wondering what's possible? Here are a few sample project designs created by previous Code 4 Change participants.
The Clean Water For All project teaches how to care for our oceans through proper recycling.
In this WoofJS game, players drag debris to different sorting bins to save the beavers.
This quiz tests what you know about these global issues and teaches you the facts.
Real World Examples That Inspire
Free Rice is a categorized quiz game, in which correctly answered questions cause advertisements to appear on the screen and trigger a financial payment to the World Food Programme.
Tree Planet 2 rewards players who raise a digital tree with a real tree planted in a forest! In the past three years, they have planted 240,000 real trees.
Upsolve is designed to support low-income Americans through the complex process of filing for bankruptcy. Read more about their journey here.
The Algorithmic Justice League, created by Joy Buolamwini, is fighting for accountability in coding and against bias in machine learning.
The Smart Wildfire Sensor uses machine learning to predict which forested areas are most susceptible to wildfires, providing an early warning to fire departments. This device was developed by two high school students!
Winners will be announced during a live virtual event on May 16th and each category winner will receive a donation of $50 to support a select philanthropic organization embodying the spirit of Code 4 Change. All projects will be featured on the TCS website and winning projects will be showcased in a special blog.
The Code 4 Change Challenge in 7 Steps
Sign Up by April 11thParticipation is free and open to all. Coders can work individually or as a team, but in order to submit your work, be considered for prizes, or to have your project shared with students, you must be a registered participant. If you miss the deadline, you may still be able to participate, just contact us here.
Check out the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to get inspired!What global issue are you passionate about solving? Maybe you’re dedicated to protecting wildlife and the environment. Or maybe you want to make sure people have enough to eat and the resources they need to thrive. How can you solve this problem using technology and computer science? If you feel stuck, check out these examples.
Find a place to make your project.For beginners ages 6-12, we recommend creating your project in Scratch. For ages 12+ or coders with more experience, check out WoofJS, Codepen, or Glitch. No matter which platform you choose, you’ll need to create an account in order to save your work and share it. (If you already have an account on the platform you’re using, no need to make a new one!) Please note: we are only able to accept projects created on these four platforms. View our sharing instructions here.
Get started!You can work on your project alone, on a team with other kids, or with your family. Global issues impact everyone, so teamwork is encouraged.
Visit this page on May 7th to submit your project.All entries must be submitted by 11:59pm on May 7th. You must have signed up for our contest to submit your project. Project sharing depends on the platform you used to create your project. Further down this page, we’ve listed specific sharing instructions for each of the four platforms.
Cast your votes starting May 8th.Come back to this page starting May 8th to check out all of the Code 4 Change projects and cast your vote for the Coders' Choice award (one vote per person). TCS instructors will then playtest the projects and select winners in a variety of categories.
Winners announced on May 16th.Check back here to learn more about how to tune in to our special live virtual event on May 16th! All projects will be featured on the TCS website and winning projects will be showcased in a special blog.
After creating and completing your project on Scratch, you will need to share it publicly. To do so, navigate to your Project Page. If you can’t find your Project Page, simply save your project, then go to "My Stuff" and click on the project from there.
If you see this banner, just click Share!
If you do not see this banner, then either your project is already shared or your account has not been fully activated. To check if your account is fully activated, go to your Profile page by clicking on your username on the top bar and selecting Profile.
If you see this banner, your account needs to be activated:
If you made the account with The Coding Space, we can help you. Just email us at email@example.com and we’ll help you to fully activate your account. Otherwise, you need to activate your account using the email you registered it with.
To test your project’s sharing capabilities, simply click the link on the Project Page which says Copy Link and copy the link into the browser of an incognito window to make sure it is publicly visible. If you can see the project when not signed into the account that made it, your link is ready to submit!
All WoofJS projects are public. Just click the fullscreen button, then copy the URL in your browser’s bar. It will look like this one: https://woofjs.com/full.html#c4cexample
Codepen and Glitch
Just make sure to link to the public version of your project. If you have trouble figuring out how to do this, please just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org