2018 Code-a-thon Registration

For Frequently Asked Questions, scroll down past the registration links on this page

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Code-a-thon FAQ

How long has this program existed? 

  • This will be our third year delivering the Code-a-thon. 

What experience does the staff of WCTD have? 

  • We Connect The Dots combines 100 plus years of combined experience from the technology and education sectors. The founder and Chairman of the Board is a technology and education professional with 35+ years of experience working for innovative technology companies, such as Microsoft and Novell. Our WCTD team consists of a blend of educators, industry experts, and students, with a passion to create positive change who are all volunteering to support our mission.  

Are staff members background checked? 

  • Yes. WCTD conducts background checks on all volunteers to ensure your student's safety. Teachers who volunteer are asked to confirm their state mandated background check prior to coming on board.  

How are staff members and mentors trained? 

  • We holdtraining sessions for all volunteers and mentors prior to the program. The training gives instruction on how to be a coach/mentor to students, what the expectations of the program are, and how to interact with the students to help them be successful.  

Why was this program created? 

  • The Code-a-thon was created to introduce students computer science and the world of coding and application development. Students who attend the program not only learn skills in these areas, but what sorts of careers will be available to them when they are graduating high school and college, and what it will take to hold those jobs. The next decade will see a surge of roughly 14 million jobs available in computer science, and we want to give students the tools and education they need to seek out those rewarding and lucrative careers.  

How do I register? 

  • WCTD provides an online registration form that allows students to register for the program. Simply access the registration link above

What are the requirements to attend the Code-a-thon? 

  • Students between the ages of 13 and 18 years old are welcome to register for the program. Students should have an interest in computer science, math, collaboration, teamwork, and a desire to learn new skills. There are no requirements for coding skills or any specific skills, just the desire to learn. 

What is the cost to attend the Code-a-thon? 

  • The Code-a-thon program is offered free of charge to students on a first come basis, once registration capacity is full the registration will close.    

Is transportation provided? 

  • Students must find their own transportation to and from the program. We suggest families from outside the city to collaborate on transportation options in groups and to reduce travel expenses. You can join our parent group within our online community to meet other parents of students attending. 

How do I contact someone during the day if I have an emergency? 

  • You may contact us via email at events@we-connect-the-dots.org any time during the program day if you have an emergency or cannot reach your student. You can also reach us on yammer.  Students are permitted to have their cell phones during the program, and we encourage students to bring them. If for any reason we need to contact you, we will reach out to you via the emergency contact info you provided at the time of registration.  

What should my student bring to the program? 

  • If your child has their own laptop (iPad devices are not acceptable devices for this program), they are welcome to bring that device. 

  • A refillable water bottle.

  • Comfortable clothes.

  • Headsets for listen to training videos.

  • Sleeping amenities, sleeping bag, pillow.

  • Change of clothes, washcloth, towel, toothbrush, etc..

How should my student prepare for the program? 

There are several key preparations that must be completed in advance. 

 1. Students must join our online Yammer community. The private student community is where we will be sharing information, having conversations, and storing data during the program. Yammer will be an important tool used during the program. Students request an invitation and then are approved by our administrator. To request an invite register here: Yammer Request  

2. Students can learn how to utilize Yammer in advance of the program by watching these short training videos here : Learn Yammer

3. Students must complete their pre-program assessment survey before the program begins. This will be sent to students in late December and must be completed prior to the day of the event. The survey helps us to deliver a unique program that emphasizes the skills students need and want to learn. If a student does not take the assessment before the program begins, he or she will have to complete it at the registration table prior to entering the program. Links to the pre-assessment will be provided before the event.

Is FOOD provided? 

  • Yes, students will have 6 meals with us plus snacks and water. If your child has dietary needs please make sure that is outlined in the registration.  We do our best to accommodate students based on the food donations and funding.  As this is a free program we do not always know the menu selection until closer to the program start, again based on donations from the community. If you would like to donate food for the program please contact us at events@we-connect-the-dots.org.

What is the code of conduct? 

  • Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible young adults and follow the instruction of WCTD staff at all times. Physical or virtual bullying, abuse, insults, discrimination, and/or intolerance of any kind is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. Students who cannot abide by this policy will be asked to leave. If a student is ejected from the program, his or her parents will be responsible for picking them up at that time. Students who are asked to leave forfeit their seats to the program and will not be invited to participate in future programs. If a conflict develops between students WCTD will make every effort to mediate the conflict fairly, and parents will be notified of any changes made to student teams at the time of the change. If your student has a problem at any time, he or she should approach one of our staff members or volunteers to report it. This includes anything from a conflict with another student to a personal issue. Students should be made to understand that the staff is there to help. 

Can I see what my student is doing from day to day? 

  • Yes! And that is one of the greatest parts of the Code-a-thon. To track what students are doing day to day, join our Yammer community at www.yammer.com/weconnectthedots. We will post daily updates and photos throughout the program.  

May I come to see the student presentations on the final day? 

  • Of course, and we would love to see you there! Presentations will take place on January 28, 2018. If you would like to join us you must notify us in advance at events@we-connect-the-dots.org. Please include your full name, email address, phone number and the name of your student. When you arrive on the 28th there will be badge waiting for you at the security table in the lobby. We ask that parents commit to the entire session to prevent interruptions to student presentations. Parents planning to attend should arrive to the event no later than 1:30 PM. Those who arrive later will have to wait to enter between presentations.  

What is a typical day at the program like? 

  • Glad you asked! An agenda for the program will be made available before the program begins. You will receive the information via email.  

How are teams chosen for the program? 

  • We Connect The Dots uses a unique algorithm that sorts students into groups based on their age, gender, coding experience, artistic ability, and location. We do our best to avoid grouping students from the same school together, as that removes the ability to learn important team building skills. Students will work with assigned team throughout the program. If we see that assignments are not a good fit we may make changes early in the program, though this is usually not necessary. 

Will my student be leaving the building at all during the program? 

  • No. Students are not to leave without parent permission and without informing staff.

How can I help We Connect The Dots reach out to more students? 

  • We're so glad you asked! There are lots of different ways you can help: 

1) Spread the word about the great work we do. Copy and paste the following message into your Facebook and/or Twitter pages: "My student is attending the We Connect The Dots' CreatingSTEAM program this July. Learn about the great work they do www.we-connect-the-dots.org" 

2) Donate: Our organization relies on donations and sponsorship to make this program and other like it available to all students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. If you feel that your student had a good experience, and want to see it happen for others, please consider making a donation at http://we-connect-the-dots.org/donate/    

3) Volunteer: WCTD needs volunteers to help us run our operations, mentor our students, and support our mission to deliver STEAM education to students around the world. With your help, we can make sure that more students can have access to the education and tools they need to find their own paths to success. Volunteer at http://we-connect-the-dots.org/volunteer/

4) Put the power in our hands to spread the word! Send us an email address or phone number of someone that you think would like to hear from us and we will do the rest. 

  • Please feel free to contact us if we did not answer your question here. We welcome the opportunity to speak with parents and students prior to all of our programs. Reach out to us at events@we-connect-the-dots.org.