ICSpark Press Release 2022

Free virtual classes for teens teaches the basics of coding through peer mentorship with UH computer science students!

Technological skills pave the way for success in any field in the 21st century. But with technology rapidly evolving and the world wide web expanding, where do young students looking to learn more about technology start? ICSpark is a Registered Independent Organization at the University of Hawaii at Manoa that addresses this issue by providing free coding classes and mentorship. The program is driven by a passionate team of talented computer science and engineering undergraduate students looking to give back to their community.

This year, ICSpark is pleased to announce a FREE online 3-month introductory coding class for teens on web development (HTML, CSS, JS), every Saturday from February 5 to May 7, 2022. Students can choose to attend the 9am - 12pm or 1pm - 4pm session. Since all classes are virtual this year, students from any Hawaiian Island are highly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and attend. No coding experience is required. However, students must have access to a computer and internet connection.

Students work on projects (right) and discuss them with mentors (left) during ICSpark’s first round of in-person classes in early 2020, pre-COVID. During COVID, classes have shifted to online instruction.
“What's special about ICSpark is that you can meet and work with college students who understand the struggle of learning how to code at first. You do not need any coding experience before signing up for this program. It's a great way to explore what Computer Science has to offer in a friendly and supportive environment.”
-Timothy Huo, ICSpark Vice-President

The mission of ICSpark is to provide every motivated 6th - 12th grade student with a fun, non-intimidating coding environment and access to coding mentorship. Thus, classes are highly interactive and project-based. Brief mini-lectures are followed by “live-coding” sessions where the instructor codes and asks participants to follow along by typing on their own screen. Students then work on projects with guidance from mentors. In contrast to the block-based programming style of Scratch, students dive straight into coding on a text editor (where the real computer science work happens!). By the end of the course, students will create their very own website and be equipped with resources to continue learning.

“My favorite part about the ICSpark program is that it is beneficial to all those who participate. For the mentors they are learning how to teach hard, complex, and challenging computer science problems, to someone who hasn't learned about it yet. This is an invaluable skill. The kids are in turn learning Introductory Web Development skills that they can use to further their interest in CS or just make some cool websites.”
-Patrick McCrindle, ICSpark President

A maximum of 30 students can be accommodated per session and registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to register for the course is January 28 at 6:00 pm. Students and parents will need to attend a mandatory online orientation on Saturday, January 29 from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Students that sign up are asked to commit to attending class every week, as each class covers a large amount of material. Don’t delay and register now at!

ICSpark is brought to you by Technology Outreach Hawaii (TORCH), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to promote technology education, mentorship, collaboration, and service across Hawaii. Follow @techoutreachhi on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates. Questions and comments can be directed to the TORCH team at [email protected].