Volunteers Needed for NYC’s Biggest Ever Block Party!

| September 21, 2010

Teachers College is one of the sponsors running activities for the city-wide Ultimate Block Party in Central Park on Sunday, October 3. We will be teaching children how to build robots and how to make video games using Scratch.

We are looking for volunteers to help with the two projects:

Robotics – You will help children build, program and modify LEGO Mindstorms® robots with sensors that respond to light, noise and touch. Working with two children at a time for 15-20 minutes each, you will guide them through a series of activities that will help them understand the science behind robotics.

Scratch – You will help children to dissect video games using Scratch, a programming language developed by MIT media lab. You will work with two children at a time for 15-20 minutes each, guiding them through different computer programs so they can create their own digital projects. They will learn how to continue their programming at home and share it with their friends. For examples of the 1,000,000+ projects already under development by kids around the world visit: http://scratch.mit.edu/

These are two of approximately 25 educational play activities on offer at the Party, all aimed at children aged 0-11, and we’re expecting up to 20,000 kids to attend. Other sponsors include Disney, LEGO, NSF and Crayola. For a complete list and more details about the activities on offer, visit: www.UltimateBlockParty.com

No previous experience in robotics or Scratch is necessary, but an interest in education, learning through play and working with children is. We are offering a $25 gift card to volunteers as a gesture of our appreciation.

If you’d like to join our teams, I need just two pieces of info from you:

–Your choice on whether you’d like to join the Scratch or the Robotics team for the Party

–Your availability for one, or both, of two shifts on Oct 3: either 10am-1pm or 1pm-4pm

You will need to attend a training session on your chosen activity, so make sure you’re available for the relevant one before you commit. The dates as follows:

Robotics – Friday 24 at 1pm in 438 Horace Mann, Teachers College
Scratch – Monday 27 at 2pm in 431 Horace Mann, Teachers College
Locations to be confirmed with registered volunteers next week
The training sessions will be one hour.

I look forward to hearing from you, and to welcoming you to our UBP team.


Emily Zemke, Ph.D
Associate Director of School Partnerships
(212) 678-7420