This weekend Kizoom made it’s first public appearance at the Girl Scouts of Northern California’s 100th Anniversary celebration, “One Hundred Fun Hundred.”  Over 22,000 Girl Scouts attended the event, and it feels like we interacted with at least 10,000 of them.  Girl Scouts who came by the booth helped us create a one-of-a-kind educational ebook while learning skills like brainstorming, and paper prototyping.

We started with an idea “let’s make an educational ebook about science,” but it was up to the girls to decide what subject we should focus on (they chose “Marine Biology,” followed closely by “Volcanos” and “Forensic Science” !!! ), what animals and plants (and sea anemones (because I’m still not sure if they’re plants or animals)) to learn about, and how we might use the features of an electronic tablet pc to make the book fun and interactive.  Some girls brainstormed ideas with post-its and others drew their ideas with paper and markers.  I then took their drawings and coded a working iPad ebook application live (complete with errors and debugging demonstrations).The live code demonstration was a great way for younger girls to observe that changes in the code resulted in changes in the book, and for older girls to recognize HTML and JavaScript code and to ask insightful questions about other computer languages.  Moms (and dad’s, go Girl Scout dads!) were happy to see young women role models as entrepreneurs, scientists, and computer programmers.

Girls also got a first look at Ned the Neuron, the star of our upcoming ebook about Neuroscience.  Ned was a big hit with kids, parents, and the occasional astronaut.  Erica used Ned (the plush toy) to give girls a quick neuroanatomy lesson covering the basics of cellular structure and the composition of the brain.After 12 hours, hundreds of Girl Scouts, countless post-its, and a half-mile hike back to the car we were ready for a well deserved Cinco de Mayo margarita watching the sun set over San Francisco bay.

 

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