Welcome to BuildCodePlay

− a site that helps busy parents find science and technology kids events in the Chicagoland area


Hi, I’m Amy Woodworth. I designed BuildCodePlay because I couldn't find detailed information on educational programs and events in one place. As a mom, I’m always looking for fun and interesting kids’ events. But where do you go to find places where your child can learn to code? Where can you find local chess and LEGO clubs for your kid? How can you help your teen get ready for college or interested in a high-paying STEM career? Because I couldn’t find this one-stop resource, I decided to build it myself.

From Web Surfer to Web Developer

My girls love playing with LEGOs and building creative Minecraft worlds. My oldest daughter tells me she wants to build a flying car or program video games—she hasn’t quite decided yet. My youngest daughter is more into natural science. In fact, she’s got quite a large rock and pinecone collection hanging out in the garage right now.

I started looking for kids tech events via my local school district. I checked out local parenting blogs, library, and museum resources. These sites had great content, but were really difficult to search. Why was it so hard to find out things like the age or grade range and if you needed to register in advance?

During the summer of 2014, I decided to enroll in a Web Development program and learn how to code. I took my idea for BuildCodePlay and built it into the site you see today.

photo of Amy with her girls

Amy with her girls, headed off to an event

Why Focus on STEM?

Technology powers everything today from watches to refrigerators. In a recent parent survey, more than 90% wanted coding classes taught in schools. Yet, only 10% of school administrators thought this was a need. If you really want this type of class for your child, you need to go elsewhere.

Hands-on learning where kids can tinker and experiment has also gained traction with the Maker Movement. When kids see how the science or math formula they just learned comes to life through a robot or video game, it becomes more real and exciting for them. Chicago's a large city, but what if everyday you could find your own Google Geek Street Fair activity?

With BuildCodePlay, I’ve done the research work for you. Now, you can find great Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math events that match your child’s interests. I’ve even rounded up College Prep activities to help you find test prep, essay writing, and scholarship workshops.

Connect with BuildCodePlay

Explore our STEM Events Calendar to find upcoming kids coding workshops or hands-on science events. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Nurture curiosity – go BuildCodePlay today!