First meeting @ Hack Club
My best first meeting was one of my most fun meetings ever. I had 40+ students crowded in one room—we needed chairs from other classrooms, some kids were still perched on windowsills—and the energy was visible everywhere.
What to teach
I highly highly recommend teaching web development, even if your club team is new to it. One of the great things about building a website is, you don’t have to install anything or become familiar with a terminal, & as soon as you write text, you see it on the screen. More broadly, you’re making something everyone has used before, so it breaks down an existing barrier—Facebook & Reddit & Gmail are all written using these exact same technologies, writing these same tags, whereas even if a program is doing something cool, it’s to hard to relate to it since it’s locked inside a terminal.
I super recommend running Hack Club’s Personal Website workshop. It’s made for beginners with a foundation of HTML & CSS.
Short link for workshop: hack.af/intro
Welcome! Thank you all so much for being here at our first Hack Club meeting—seriously, it means the world to me. I'm Lachlan Campbell (they/them pronouns) & [introduce others]. First, I want a quick pulse. Raise your hands.
- How many of you have written any code?
- Published a website? Game?
- How many people have a current website online with users?
By the time you leave today, everyone will have a website they built from scratch online.
I think coding is the closest thing we’ve got to a superpower, & I’m here because I want all of you to experience this. Just as a high schooler, you can have millions of people using things you make. But CS classes aren't inspiring. You learn fundamentals, maybe make something months later. We want you to make something in an hour here.
At this workshop, you’re going to learn by necessity, jump off the deep end, learn on your own as you go. I’m not giving you a lecture on websites—you’ll have an hour with a self-guided tutorial, then a bunch of you will demo what you make. You don't want to just follow the tutorial though—since everyone’s going to demo, you want your site to stand out. Doing just what’s in the tutorial is failing here—you should go way above & beyond.
You’re going to build on your own now! Whenever you've got questions, I’m here to help. Thanks again for being here.
If you’re working with about an hour, here’s a quick breakdown of time:
- 5 minutes: opening talk
- 45 minutes: members’ work time
- 10 minutes: demo members’ sites