Helping Our Children Reach Their Potential + STEM Kit Giveaway

It feels like just yesterday that I was holding my baby girl in my arms for the first time. To be clear, it wasn’t yesterday, nor a few weeks or months ago. In the blink of an eye, I woke up on October 1st and realized that she would be turning 9 years old this month.

Gone are the days of following her around the house to make sure that she didn’t hit her head on the corner of the coffee table or get past the baby gate and fall down the stairs. Not only have the years given her the ability to navigate safely through our house, but also her life.

This is the first year that I’ve noticed a significant change in her. She’s defining her personality on a daily basis. She’s finding her voice and learning how to express herself. She’s strong, confident and fearless until she isn’t. That’s when the innocence of age shines through, her fear of failure lingering about.

She’s at an age that makes me very cognizant of her self-esteem and confidence. My wife and I want to always be there for her, to support her in her decisions – catch her when she falls, but also make certain that she learns the hard lessons.

To watch her take an honest interest in her studies is nothing short of magical. If I can’t find her ‘in the scrum’ with her two younger brothers, she’s generally in her room – reading, doing word puzzles, drawing or engineering the next Lego feat.

Last week, HughesNet, America’s leading satellite internet provider, reached out to me in an effort to help spread the word about National Youth Science Day  by giving away free kits for this year’s Code York World Challenge. As a technology company, HughesNet believes that quality STEM education should be available to kids across the U.S. HughesNet chose to support 4-H’s STEM efforts because both organizations serve the same small, local communities nationwide. HughesNet strongly believes that STEM education is imperative to build leaders who will play a role in advancing our country’s competitiveness in the global economy.

This year, HughesNet and 4-H are looking to turn National Youth Science Day into a month-long celebration, focused on coding and computer science. Together, they are passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders and are providing access to quality STEM education to kids across the country.

This concept and initiative piqued my interest. The ‘Code Your World’ Kit is designed for children from ages 8-12 and with Ava turning 9 in a few weeks, I thought this might be a great opportunity to help open her eyes to all kinds of new things.

We opened the kit together and I took a look at the Facilitator Guide. With more than 150,000 kids participating in NYSD this year, this is a perfect opportunity for her and I to work together.

It’s the perfect combination of physical materials, as well as a USB drive, which we can access together. This set of interactive activities is designed to get kids excited about computer science (CS) through hands-on learning.

“Code Your World integrates CS First, Google’s introductory computer science curriculum, with 4-H’s research-based youth development model, to show kids how they can use code both as a form of personal expression and as a lens to understand the world around them. The result is four engaging activities – one computer-based and three unplugged – that teach CS skills through fun topics like digital animation, gaming and dance. Code Your World is perfect for first-time and beginner coders ranging in age from 8 to 14.”

This 2018 National Youth Science Day Kit Includes:

  • 1 Facilitator Guide
  • 10 Youth Workbooks
  • 10 Certificates of Completion
  • 20 Completion Badge Stickers
  • 13 Scratch Coding Challenge Cards
  • Scratch Username and Password Sheet
  • 2 sets of 26 Dance Code Cards, plus 2 reference cards
  • 5 Dice
  • 5 Wooden Coins
  • Code Your Dance Poster
  • 40 Crayons
  • 13 Unique Scratch Activity Cards
  • 2 Deck of 26 “Code Your Dance” Activity Cards
  • The USB Drive Includes:
  • Offline versions of Scratch and Adobe Air (for Mac OS X & Windows)
  • Animate a Name Offline Instructions
  • Printable Facilitator Guide
  • Printable Scratch Coding Challenge Cards
  • Printable Certificates of Completion Badge Stickers
  • Printable Youth Workbook (Code Your Dance, AI, Code Your World)
  • Printable Custom Code Your Dance Cards
  • Careers with Code Magazine


OR, you can simply reach out to me here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win one of 12 kits given to me by HughesNet. Embrace the movement and reach out to me – I’ll send the kit directly to your door!

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was a sponsored post on behalf of HughesNet and their partnership with 4-H, to bring STEM to the children! For more information on HughesNet, check them out HERE, on Facebook and Twitter. To order your own kit, click HERE – but don’t count yourself out as a winner on my next post!

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