About CS First

Overview of CS First

CS First provides free, easy-to-use computer science enrichment materials that engage a diverse student population in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14). Facilitators use the video content to teach kids coding basics with Scratch, a block-based coding tool. CS First is available online at http://g.co/csfirst and can be used by anyone, in any setting (in school, after school, or outside of school).

What is a CS First class?

A class consists of a group of students working on projects related to a specific theme.

There are two types of CS First themes:

Sample activities

  • Description: Sample activities teach students the basics of block-based coding and Scratch, and
    are great for anyone who is new to coding or for special one-day events such as conferences or
    Hour of Code.

  • Structure: Sample activities are short 45 - 75 minute standalone activities designed for students to
    start and complete a coding project in one session.  Students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”

Complete themes

  • Description: Complete themes are built around student interests and vary in complexity.
    They are designed to introduce students to core computer science concepts over several sessions.

  • Structure: Each theme consists of eight activities and include roughly 10 - 12 hours of content. For each activity, students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”

Students typically work independently, but they are encouraged to collaborate with one another and share their work.

How CS First works

  1. You set up a class online.
  2. CS First provides the curriculum and materials,  all for free.
  3. You host the class.

Minimum requirements to host a CS First class

Anyone can run a class anywhere as long as you have:

  1. Students
  2. Computers
  3. Internet
  4. Headphones (recommended but not required)

While our content targets students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14) you are welcome to try CS First with students outside of that range. We recommend reviewing the student content to see if CS First is a good fit for you and your students.

Benefits of creating a CS First Class

Setting up a CS First class allows you to:

  • Request physical materials.
  • Track student progress.
  • Gain valuable insight via reflection survey summaries.
  • Access your students projects in Scratch.
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