06/05/2021 Introduction to JavaScript Virtual TechShop Recap

Written by volunteer writer Alison Perch

A screenshot of all the participants on the virtual workshop

Without JavaScript, the web would be a much less exciting place.This programming language is used to make web page animations, browser games, pop-ups, and much more.

In “Introduction to JavaScript” — a virtual TechShop taught on June 5, 2021 — middle school girls learned basic JavaScript concepts and created their own programs.

Sanjana Ananth, a teen volunteer from New Jersey, served as a teaching assistant (TA) for this workshop. Though she hadn’t assisted with this topic before, she was familiar with JavaScript from an introductory computer science class at school.

“My first languages were HTML and Python, and I was really interested in coding, so I decided to also learn Java and Javascript,” Sanjana explains.

Sanjana is passionate about technology and reads magazines to keep up with the latest trends. She frequently uses her phone and computer to complete schoolwork, and she appreciates how tech can make life easier and more fun.

As a first-time TA, Sanjana enjoyed watching the girls dive enthusiastically into new material. Her favorite part of the workshop was witnessing “light bulb” moments, when students had sudden epiphanies and sparks of understanding.

“I loved seeing their faces when the instructor would type something in and hit run, and a pop up would print out. They just found it so fascinating, and I was so happy to see that they learned something from the lesson,” Sanjana notes.

Sanjana emphasizes that patience is key, since people learn at different rates. She found that fully explaining a concept — and then allowing students to put it into practice — was more effective than a mix of explanation and hands-on work. In retrospect, she would have created breakout rooms to individually address the girls’ questions, instead of using one chat box for 30+ students.

A screenshot of the workshop slide show titled What is Code

Overall, Sanjana’s first experience as a TechGirlz TA was a positive one. She admired students’ creativity and inventiveness, especially during an introductory segment of the lesson, which involved drawing on a virtual whiteboard.

“[Students] came in with so many ideas and were just so full of energy and very creative. They asked a lot of questions, which I was happy about, since they weren’t afraid to ask their concerns or ask us to clear up the information that was being screenshared. They also enjoyed doing the final project and putting all the new skills they had just learned to use,” Sanjana says.

Join us for Introduction to JavaScript this month, or check out our free lesson plan!