Aveiro STEAM City assets: Education equipment in response to Covid-19

Aveiro STEAM City assets: Education equipment in response to Covid-19
The numbers are unprecedented and subsequent implications are extraordinary. As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe, worldwide countries have announced temporary shutdown of schools, with great impact on young students’ life and Portugal was not an exception.Following the current Emergency State, declared by the Portuguese Government, the final term of 2019-2020’s school year will be completed remotely, hence all students from primary up to intermediate schools are studying from home.

Never before have so many children been out of school at the same time, disrupting learning and upending lives, especially the most vulnerable. This situation flagged a social issue, since some families don´t have means to purchase or gather extra computers for their children, or simply, it is difficult to share one equipment among several family members. 
The main challenge is to maintain youngster’s learning process through COVID-19 and find ways to keep their school activities remotely. The City of Aveiro decided to lend to students in need until the end of the school year (July) the 220 laptops bought in the framework of the Aveiro STEAM City’s Tech Labs which are not currently in use, since schools will remain closed until the next school year. 
In total 420 portable computers, 420 headsets and 200 Internet accesses where lent by the City of Aveiro to the students from disadvantage families, flagged by the Schools of the Municipality of Aveiro, to assist them during their remote classes with their teachers and as a supplement of the “tele-escola” (TV Broadcasted School).
The City of Aveiro has also worked to support remote education resources during quarantine, keep attendees learning at home and giving them other free and online training opportunities such as CodeHero, an Introduction to Computer Science free online learning course. This program, part of the Aveiro STEAM city project, aims to promote the development of STEAM competences and to ensure that high school seniors graduates have access to coding technical skills that will unlock opportunities in the future.
CodeHero is an Introduction of Computational Sciences online course, allowing the development of software using JavaScript language, ideal for those who want to immerge in the coding world. Through this course the trainees will develop logical and computational thinking that can be used in everyday academic and professional life. The program is appropriate for all beginning coders, as it uses visual representations to teach foundational mathematical and computational ideas, providing them programming fundamentals and solid bases such as values, variables, cycles, conditions, functions, strings, arrays and objects, which will be essential to learn more deeply any other programming language. 
CodeHero is available since 18th May 2020. 

CodeHero video on Youtube

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CodeHero video on Youtube

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