In December 2018, all three North Shore Elementary Schools and North Shore Middle School joined a movement to help introduce all students to their first hour of computer science called The Hour of Code to coincide with Computer Science Education Week.
What is The Hour of Code? A one-hour introduction to computer science. The Hour of Code is a global learning and awareness-building event where participants from kindergarten and up can engage in hundreds of different computer science activities. Activities require no experience and can be run on browsers, tablets, or smartphones.
North Shore Elementary School Hour of Code
At all three North Shore elementary schools, students had a coding experience during the first two weeks in December 2018. These experiences included coding robots like Ozobots, Bee-bots, or Dash and Dot; exploring programming activities on www.code.org such as Minecraft, Dance Party, and Lightbot; or participating in unplugged coding activities. We are very of the fact that all of our classes are participating in this event!
Thanks to Diane Krupin, Enrichment Specialist; Adrien Kaye and Ryan Bridgwood, Elementary S.T.E.A.M. teachers; and Mary Hill, retired teacher, for planning and facilitating these experiences with all classes across our elementary schools.
The classroom teachers were very impressed with the coding the students completed and their positive attitudes about the coding and computer science. One student said, “This is the greatest lesson ever. I had to really think, but it paid off because I solved the challenges! I can’t wait to get home and continue working on it.”
Elementary Director of S.T.E.A.M, Dr. Carol Smyth said, “The Hour of Code complements the work students are doing with coding and robotics as part of our Elementary S.T.E.A.M program and demonstrates our commitment to engaging our students in S.T.E.A.M. learning and ensuring that students have meaningful opportunities to explore computer science.” She added, “These experiences really support the growth of our students as critical and creative thinkers and problem solvers!”
North Shore Middle School Hour of Code
At the middle school, Mr. Slack said, “North Shore invited all middle school students to join in the library during their lunch periods and recess time for a fun and educational introduction to coding.” The Hour of Code was organized by Secondary S.T.E.A.M Director Ms. Amy DiMeola along with technology teachers Mr. Keith Slack and Mr. Anthony Facchini. Additionally, High school students taking IB Computer Programming joined the faculty to assist their younger peers
At North Shore Middle School, students engaged in the following specifically learning activities:
Used Code.org to participate in block coding to code a “dance party” featuring top hit musical songs.
Used multiple coding applications to code a small drone, follow prompts, and carefully navigate it inside the library.
Why is this important?
Technology is transforming every industry on the planet. In 2015, seven million openings in the United States were in occupations - - including art and design - - that value coding skills. Regardless of what our students do when they grow up, knowing how to build technology will render them effective communicators and give them confidence and the skills necessary to be important in the workplace.
What will participants gain from this?
Ms. DiMeola said, “While all of us know that it's important to learn how to navigate today's tech-saturated world, many students and teachers aren't experienced in computer science and don't know where to start. This event is a chance for us all to see what computer science is all about.” She added, “The Hour of Code is designed to demystify coding and show that computer science is not rocket science - - anybody can learn the basics.”
Article written with assistance from Elementary S.T.E.A.M. Directory, Dr. Carol Smyth and Secondary S.T.E.A.M. Director, Ms. Amy DiMeola, and MS Technology Teacher Mr. Keith Slack
Photos by Shelly Newman and Amy DiMeola
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