“This is awesome!“
Any time a teacher hears that from a student, it makes the teacher’s
day week year. That phrase has been heard quite a few times this week as we’ve had students participate in the annual Hour of Code.
The Hour of Code was started last year as an initiative within the annual Computer Science Education Week, which is held every December (coinciding with the birthday of the amazing programmer and computer scientist, Admiral Grace Hopper). The Hour of Code was intended to get every student spending one hour doing some programming to get them started with programming, Computer Science and computational thinking. This year, the project has been expanded worldwide, with the goal of reaching 50 million students.
ICS students participated in the Hour of Code this year in a number of ways:
In ES, students from grade 4 and 5 signed up for a special lunchtime Art Studio. Normally, Helen Iglar runs Art Studio for students to do any kind of artwork they are interested in – this week, she focused the students on art through programming. Using iPads, the students completed a tutorial from Code.org and then moved on to use the Hopscotch app. In Hopscotch, students program cartoon “sprites” to draw shapes. With some critical thinking and creativity, students can use Hopscotch to program artwork.
An excited group of students signed up and committed to the week, coming to Art Studio every day. They finished up on Friday with a celebration and photographs with their certificates. One student said, “This isn’t the Hour of Code, it’s the Power of Code!”
In MS, all students participated last week, because their schedule this week was already full. So students had their Wednesday “Community Time” to explore the tutorials on the Code.org website to solve programming tasks. The students were excited about it and conveyed their enthusiasm to their teachers and advisors. Several of them were spotted continuing their programming after school!
This week, we opened up a lunchtime challenge for all Middle School students to use the Scratch programming environment (installed on their laptops and free to download for home computers) to build a clone of the Flappy Birds game. A number of Middle School students took up the challenge and spent their lunchtime happily programming away!
In High School, a group of students decided that an hour wasn’t enough and are organizing a Month of Programming, with tutorials, challenges, contests and prizes. This will come after the holiday and more information will be published here and in the Yezare Samint.
Meanwhile, last week’s Grade 10 Week Within Walls STEAM week included a programming component in which a group of students used the LiveCode application development program to code their own computer games. And also a lunchtime Hour of Code was held during CS Ed Week in which students looked at and analyzed the Scratch Flappy Bird game.
On Saturday, our weekly CoderDojo will focus on the Hour of Code to have students build games, take tutorials and have fun! All are welcome – parents, come along and learn some programming along with your children!