Showcase Events / Show & Tells

We’ve learned Showcase Events, otherwise known as Show & Tell events, are very important in the success of all our code clubs. These are comparable to an end of the semester orchestra concert: After many months of work, a student gets the opportunity to display what they can do.

What is a Showcase Event? It’s an event where coders get to pull up a project they’ve been on a big TV screen or projector and show it off.

Why do a Showcase Event? Lots of reasons! Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Having a date to look forward to is a great way at keeping kids engaged. Their thought process is something like, “I’ve got to have a project ready for the big show and tell, so I better keep working on this website.”
  2. Receiving praise from adults, peers, and parents is an incredibly rewarding experience. If we want kids to continue on in computer programming, creating an experience where kids can receive praise is important.
  3. Seeing a peer’s project can be very inspiring. If one coder sees a friend show off their video game, it could inspire them to continue progressing.

How do we run a Showcase event? Well… you can do it a bunch of different ways.

Some clubs do these more informally every week. They take the last 15 minutes of every code club meeting to do a spontaneous show and tell.

For that matter, we would encourage you to set the tone right from the beginning of your first code club that coders will be able to share their work whenever they are ready/excited/comfortable enough to do so.

Other clubs do it as the big finale to each programming season. They’ll set aside an entire code club meeting, or set up a special time just for this, invite other staff members, parents, and even local politicians and media to be a part of the event (what politician doesn’t want their name associated with kids learning to code?).

You can use any of these ideas, or all of them together! However you want to do it is up to you. The important part is… do it! Here’s a guide we created to make it easy.

The takeaway here, for the purposes of this training session is to plan on incorporating some type of showcase event into the regular rhythm of your code club.