Over the month of August, posts will be up each day to share ideas on different ways to reach your teens through programming, outreach, college/technical/vocational school readiness and more in getting ready for school. This post highlights some free online resources to learn and incorporate with technology programming for and with teens.  These are all free online resources.


Learn 3D Design

Autodesk 123D Design  is a powerful 3D design modelling tool.  Projects are shared on the site and can be downloaded or changed.

Sculptris  is a free digital sculpting software.  The workspace gives you a big ball of clay that you can digitally manipulate using tools to create anything.

Sketchup 3D  modeling software.  Where Tinkercad gives you a workplane and geometric shapes to connect Sketchup gives you the ability to create free flow designs.  Think architecture, geography, set design and more.

Tinkercad  if you have a 3D printer or want to teach 3D concept designs, Tinkercad is a free resource  is an easy-to-use 3D CAD design tool. Quickly turn your idea into a CAD model for a 3D printer with Tinkercad

Program examples-If you have a 3D printer and want to introduce teens to it, Tinkercad is the perfect introduction.  There are tutorials that can introduce teens (or anybody) to the product and things you can do.  You could do a 3D house design program, fashion-design earrings, bracelets, necklaces, shoes!

Program examples-create game pieces that can then be used for checkers, chess, etc.  This  could be a series program, introduce the site, brainstorm gaming ideas with the teens and then create on Autodesk 123D Design, if you have a 3D printer then print out the pieces and play the game!

Create “Star Wars” like creatures in 123D Design to coincide with the release of the first film in December 2015

Teen Read Week is October 18-24 (or Banned Book Week September 27-October 3) what about brainstorming with your teens some characters they loved from books and then designing them in 123D Design and printing out on your 3D printer

If you don’t have a 3D printer using 3D free sites can still be fun.  All of these sites have online communities (and outlets to share on social media) where you can share the projects you have made, receive comments as well as alter/borrow/download projects of others on the sites.

Coding Sites and Programs

Codeavenger   build apps, websites and games. Code Avengers walks you through tutorials and tests your skills to make sure you are learning as you go.

Code Club World  A worldwide network of coding clubs for children (teens can access this site as well, there are good resources here) You can register your site as a coding club.  You have access to lots of curriculum to get you started with your code club.

Code.org has tutorials like an hour of code plus lots of curriculum for children and teens to teach coding.  The format is very accessible.

MIT App Developer   MIT App Inventor is a blocks-based programming tool (similar to Scratch)that allows everyone, even novices, to start programming and build fully functional apps for Android devices.

Scratch  Learn the basics of programming code through shareable animation, storytelling, and gaming projects using the programming language Scratch. Scratch teaches fundamental coding skills, laying a foundation for exploring and expanding to other types of programming languages.


Animatron  no coding is required! Animatron is a powerful and user friendly website that allows you to animate right in your browser and collaborate with your friends in real time.


Inkscape draw freely, Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.

Drawing SVG  draw freely, no downloads, no registration

Serif  Create drawings, animations, graphic designs and more


Adobe Slate  high impact visual storytelling, only available to download on iPads

Adobe Voice  video storytelling app for iPads


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