It’s hard to believe that school is just about ready to start up again. While you might be disappointed, you can’t deny that there’s a certain type of joy that comes with buying all of your supplies for the year again — because they’re not just supplies; they’re a form of (albeit contained) self expression. The real trick, though, is getting everything organized for a new year — and keeping it organized. We know the struggle, so here are our five tips on how to keep yourself organized for the upcoming school year!

1. Always clean up after yourself.

We totally understand that, by the end of the day, you’r just ready to get out of there, but if you time it right, you can keep your desk clean for the next day, which will save you a whole lot of time in the long-run! No more digging through papers and pencils and handouts just for one small thing!

2. Binders.

Oh, how binders just make the world a better place. They’re a gift to human kind. They might be bulky, but trust us, these bad boys are worth it. Make sure to find one with color-coordinated tabs for easy access. Can’t find one of those? That’s fine! Grab a regular binder and a bunch of cheap, single-sleeve folders.

3. Color code everything.

We’re not even kidding. Pick a designated color for each subject, and write that subject in big letters so you can see. Eventually, you won’t need to search, because you’ll just know that purple means English, and green means science. (That’s just an example; it’s obviously your choice.) Depending on your classroom rules, try color coding your pens and highlighters, too.

4. Get yourself a pencil case.

Please, for your own sanity, get yourself a pencil case. Not only that, but fill them up with as much as you can, because pencils and pens and highlighters magically disappear during class. Make sure your pencils are the good #2 kind, and not those pencils covered in a plastic design — those are not only of poor quality, but they also clog up the pencil sharpener.

5. Don’t procrastinate when it comes to cleaning up/out your desk.

Keeping a clean work station not only makes it easier for you to concentrate on your work, but it also gives you the confidence to apply your no-procrastination skills to other things in your life.

What are your favorite ways to stay organized during the school year? Let us know in the comments!

Summer camps are oftentimes a dream come true for a passionate hobbyist; to be surrounded by and learn about your favorite hobby is something we all would — and should — love to do. There are camps for sports, art, and even hunting! It would only make sense that there are camps for coding — and, luckily, we offer many different types! Here are our reasons why we think you should definitely go to coding summer camp:

Camps offer a specific focus on a subject that may peak your interest.

There are many different camps that we offer, such as WebRox, which is a camp for ages ten (10) and up and focuses on website coding; Mobile Madness, which is for ages nine (9) and up and focuses on mobile app development; and Rise of the Machines, a camp for ages nine (9) and up that works on AI – Artificial Intelligence – for beginners. Those are just a few! We have camps for older school age kids, as well as the younger group — ages six through eight (6-8).

Fostering a sense of community is a driving factor behind why camps are so successful.

You will meet so many similar-minded friends in our week-long camps, which are all about a six-to-one (6:1) ratio. Meaning you will get to have close conversations and work with all of your camp-mates. Our passionate instructors will help you with not only a lot of on-computer learning, but also get you moving with offline coding activities. Think of it like a really fun school week (our camps are usually 9am – 3pm). While our goal is to teach you, we also want you to have fun, and walk away with a new sense of community! Being part of the coding world is two parts coding, one part friends, so we won’t take that lightly!

There’s nothing like walking away from one of these camps with a new skill tucked away in your brain.

It boost your confidence not only in your craft (which is coding), but also in yourself because you did it! At the end of the camp (Friday), we have a demo of your creations to show to everyone. Now that you’ve shown off your creation, learned how to utilize the software or skill, you can take it and use it for future projects, or bring it back next year for another camp!

So if you want to learn a new skill, meet new people and make new friends, and give yourself a huge confidence boost knowing you conquered this new skill in just a week — check out our camps page. We hope to see you there!

Oftentimes, people look at others who are labeled as “creative” as people who are more inclined to exercise their left brain — the part that controls the art and imagination — over their right, which is the portion that works with numbers and logic. Creative people get the rap that they aren’t very good with math or science, and therefore, they won’t be any good at anything that may have numbers involved. Take coding, for example; people tend to think that coding is for the mathematically inclined, or number-smart; but the truth is that just about anyone can learn coding. As a creative person, you might even find that you excel at it! Not convinced? There are a multitude of reasons why you should at least give it a shot — here are our reasons why we believe creative people could be great at coding:

First and foremost — you are creative.

It seems kind of redundant, but you, as a creative individual, have the ability to draw connections between things that others typically can’t. You may also find that you’re inspired by a variety of different, random things, and that can be a very big deal in the coding — and creative — world. You are an outside-of-the-box thinker, and that could bring forth some dazzling creations!

Creative people are very detail-oriented.

Just like creating a painting, a piece of music, or a form a writing, coding and programming takes a vast amount of detail — the more detailed the program or the project, the better. This will put your creativity to the test, as well. It’s your chance to get everything down just the way you want it, without having to worry about defaults or limitations.

Creative people are extremely passionate.

Not to say that right-brained people aren’t passionate — every human being has a right and a left brain, and so everyone is passionate about something — but creative people tend to throw themselves into their creations, rather than treat it like a regular 9-5 job. Once inspired, they can drive at their project until it’s perfectly well-done.

Coding in itself is a medium for art.

There are a countless number of classes dedicated to teaching artists how to use code to bring their own creations to life. Advanced coding and programming gives birth to the animations you see in a lot of video games, apps, and movies.

Can you think of other creative ways to utilize coding? Give us a shout out in the comments!

As a coder, there are a handful of things that you absolutely, one-hundred percent need to do the coding efficiently (besides your computer alone); and without them, it’s just not possible. So, rather than sending you on a hunt for vaguely named items, here is a list of five things you need to have before you start your coding journey:

1) Mechanical keyboard.

These keyboards are built with spring activated keys. They typically feel more comfortable than the rubber or plastic dome keyboards. Most gamers and coders prefer the mechanical keyboards due to their durability and how fast they run. Make sure to get yourself a backlit keyboard as well, for better lighting. They also look super cool.

2) Computer mouse.

These use something called a DPI, which stands for “dots per inch”; it’s just a measurement of how sensitive your computer mouse is. The higher the DPI, the more the cursor on the screen will move when touched — it reacts to even the smallest of movements. Some people prefer this, but there are computer mice that have lower DPI as well, which would require more movement to make the on-screen cursor move. Be sure to get a durable one, too; one that won’t need cleaned out often.

3) Computer chair.

While you can definitely use a chair you stole from the dining room, it isn’t recommended. Get yourself a chair with lumbar — that’s lower back — support. If at all possible, purchase a gaming chair, because those are built for people who spend a lot of time in them, so they have support in all the right places!

4) Wrist padding — preferably a gel.

The cloth kind will irritate your forearms if you have sensitive skin. These might not seem important, but you’ll quickly realize that, the more typing you do, the more tired your wrists will be. The constant strain will land you with early-onset carpal tunnel.

5) Sturdy desk.

Surprise! This is an important item that a lot of people will just fudge. You need to have a desk with enough space for your monitor — or monitors, if you’re dual-screening, your CPU, they keyboard, the wrist rest, AND give you ample room for your arms. It also needs to be the right height. Even if your computer chair can move up and down, if your desk is too high or too low, you will be bending your neck and ultimately find yourself stiff in the weeks to come.

With these five things, you’ll be ready to take on the coding world! Have chair suggestions? Keyboard you think work best? Drop them down in the comments and help out a fellow coder!

Everyone has those “days” — you know, when you wake up and everything is just instantly and horribly wrong. Could be that there’s a test you don’t feel prepared for, or a meeting you’re scared to attend, or maybe you just didn’t start your day off as healthily as you had hoped. They happen, and it’s okay to feel those kind of negative emotions, so long as they don’t become who we are. Usually, they’re preventable. How? Well, we’ll tell you, with these ways to start the day off right.

Get enough rest.

We understand that, in a world where things are always on the go, that it’s hard to get at least eight hours of sleep, but sometimes you just have to set aside the to-do list and go to sleep. Getting enough rest is probably one of the biggest and easiest things you can do to improve your mood and your all-around health — that’s mental, physical, and emotional health. Turn off the notifications on all electronic devices, throw on some sleepy tunes, turn out the lights, and get some shut-eye.

But also wake up on time.

Sleeping in is great… when you don’t have anything to do, so save it for the weekends or other days off; when you’re pressed for time, sleeping in is just not the thing you want to do if you want to be able to function for the rest of the time you need to be awake. If you’ve gotten enough sleep, then waking up at six every morning won’t be much of an issue.

Recite your mantra.

A mantra can be anything — but it has to be positive. It can be as simple as telling yourself: “I WILL get this task done, I WILL get that project finished, etc, etc, etc.” Or maybe your mantra is a list of good things in your life and why you get up every morning: “My dog, my cat, my mother…” Whatever it might be, it will put you in the right mindset before you set out to tackle whatever big test or crazy task you had to do that day.

Don’t forget to eat.

We might sound like your mother, but she has a point! You might be able to function without eating breakfast, but it will definitely give your brain the boost it needs to be happy and refreshed until your next meal. However, try to avoid really sweet things like donuts or sugary cereals, and avoid an overdose on starchy foods like bread and bagels. You’d be surprised at how far a bowl of yogurt and fruit will take you.

Lastly, give in to that mood music! Your favorite music will make the start to any day great — throw in ome upbeat jams and tackle the morning like a champion.

What do you do to start your day in the best possible way? Let us know in the comments!

A key part to good grades and an all-around good time in a specific class is to keep yourself up to date with the material and make sure you understand it. Pop quizzes are the bane of our existence. That’s why study groups are probably the most powerful resource a student can get their hands on; they are beneficial because they not only bring several minds together to learn different aspects of a difficult subject, but they also help build strong bonds between classmates. Everyone learns differently, and that’s why study groups are such life savers — you might find someone who can explain it to you in your learning style, or you can help them! It’s so important that you go to the group prepared, to enhance studying effectiveness. Here is our list of things you should bring to your next study session!

1. Electronics — Laptop/tablet, phone, etc.

As much as we’d hate to admit it, we depend on our electronics, especially when it comes to studying. Bring something you can use the Mighty Google with, but don’t forget to mute the social media and YouTube notifications!

2. Chargers for all previously listed devices.

Nothing says “absolute chaos” like running out of battery life on your laptop in the middle of an emergency cram session.

3. Books.

Not all of your answers will be on the internet, and not all of your homework or projects will, either. Be sure to bring every book or material packet you have for that specific class, otherwise you’ll be passing around the one book that someone brought on accident.

4. Writing utensils.

Can’t get anywhere without them, can you? Bring an array of pens, pencils, and highlighters with you — the more the merrier.

5. Snacks!

The key to a good study session is to keep the snacks satisfying, but not so heavy that you get sleepy. Avoid big meals with lots of bread. A sweet and salty trail mix, a bag of grapes, peanut butter and any sort of dipping food… the possibilities are endless.

6. Drinks.

Just like snacks, you don’t want to go crazy. Limit your warm drinks, or drinks with lots of dairy, to a minimum so you don’t feel full and get tired. Energy drinks are your enemy, because they make you crash so hard.

7. Headphones/ear buds.

A lot of people study with music, but a lot of people don’t, so bring your headphones just in case you need a little extra soothing musical motivation, but don’t want to bother your study buddy with your music choice.

8. Fidget tools.

So this one is a little open for interpretation, because there are a lot of things that can be used to ease anxiety, ADD, ADHD, or other fidgeting during study time. It can be gum, a Fidget Spinner, Fidget Cube, PlayDough, stress ball, or even a coin! If you need it, bring it!

Are there any other important items we missed? What helps you study the best? Let us know in the comments!

There’s a myth that’s as old as the idea of school itself that says you have to have a special gift to be good at mathematics; that your brain needs to be one-sided and that math is just plain hard. Well, that’s not entirely true. A lot of students have fears when it comes to numbers, and that’s okay; we just need to learn to embrace it! We have put together a list of reasons to keep on doing math — reasons why it’s not scary and how to make it easier. Keep on reading!

#1. Math is in everything!

Have you ever baked or cooked anything? Maybe you’ve used a ruler to measure out fabric, or a protractor to trace a perfect circle? Adding three-fourths cup of butter to a mountain of chocolate chips and a flour concoction isn’t just the recipe for chocolate chip cookies; it’s math — all of it!

#2. Math shows.

They make a lot — and we mean a LOT — of TV shows for students, to help them grasp concepts they might have otherwise found difficult. Cyberchase is probably one of the biggest ones out there; they had seasons upon seasons of material, and it covered basic math all the way up to Algebra and Geometry.

#3. Ditch the negativity!

We know it’s hard, but when it comes to math and your perception of it, a positive outlook is definitely going to help. Don’t say you’re “bad” at math, because you’re not! Everyone can conquer the subject once they find their learning curve. It could be something as simple as needing a different teaching style and a different teacher, or maybe you’re just more hands on, rather than visual. Experiment. You got this.

#4. Teach someone else!

Ironically, we oftentimes don’t understand something until we need to teach it to someone else. Grab a classmate who’s struggling, or even grab your parent or guardian, and teach them what you learned.

#5. Make a game or a song out of something that needs remembered.

It might seem silly, but if you take time to place a tune along with an equation or a formula, you can recall it much easier than you would if you just forced yourself to memorize it.

Math can be a challenge to some, but it doesn’t have to make you miserble. Are there other ways to make it fun? Let us know in the comments!

There are thousands of ways to study; some do it in chunks with timed and manageable breaks, others cram it all into one hour, and some have zany, yet effective, ways to get the brain juices going. Everyone’s style is different. Whatever way you study, there is oftentimes music involved, right?  That’s because music actually helps you retain more information! It has to do with triggering certain centers of the brain that help you absorb all that scholarly goodness. There are some music types that hinder studying, too, so it’s important to remember the kinds of music that are good for this specific task: lyricless. (This is something that applies to a lot of people, but not to all!) The types of lyricless — or instrumental — music are just about as vast as other genres with lyrics in them, so finding the right one might be hard, but many streaming music apps and websites have pre-made lists for you to browse! Don’t worry; we know it’s overwhelming, so we’re here to offer up our top twenty list of songs that are perfect for study time.

Before we get into that, you should know that you have the ability to choose between instrumental, ambient, and nature noises! Instrumental is pretty self explanatory: you have a song typically played by one instrument — a piano or an acoustic guitar — with gentle rhythms and melodies. (Our list also includes a violin sonata or two.) Ambient music is done almost completely electronically with no real pattern, and is used specifically to enhance emotions. Nature noises are, well, nature noises. That being said, here we go:

#1. Welcome Home by Sigriour

#2. The Watchtower by Sigimund

#3. Iles de la Madeleine by Tommy Berre

#4. Gotham (acoustic) by Claes Nilsson

#5. The Ludlows by Cristopher Varela

#6. Literally anything by Bach.

#7. Serenade: IV by Leanard Bernstein

#8. Road Movies I by John Adams

#9. Scottish Fantasy, OP:46.1 by Max Bruch

#10. Oblivion by Gidon Kremer

#11. Trancemission Four by Delta Rain Dance

#12. See by TENGGER

#13. Walking in a spiral towards th house: Side C by Nivhek

#14. Everything All at Once by G Jones

#15. Badlands Train by Stubbleman

#16. Rhapsody in Green by Mort Garson

#17. Nevergreen by Emancipator

#18. Nest by Justin Nozuka

#19. Second Sun by Bonobo

#20. A Spark, A Beginning by Corre

Note: When it come to nature noises (you’ll notice we don’t have any listed here) that just about anything will do; a thunderstorm, a light rain shower, wind in the grass, crickets, the ocean, a stream… You see where we’re going with this? If you like to study to the music of Mother Earth, then you will just have to pick a sound and go from there! There are no “top favorites” in nature!

Let us know in the comments what songs get you in the studying mood!