The Hour of Code takes place every year during Computer Science Education Week, which was Dec 3 - 9. In recognition of the global movement to broaden participation in the field of computer science, we visited a few classes in the Lower, Middle and Upper School to give a look at coding at Stuart.
The newly-expanded fleet of 11 Dash robots, now a common sight in Millie's, is the backbone of Jill Work's library/technology coding initiatives in the classroom and in the after-school Robotics Club. Using robots to learn coding, and using the visual programming language Blocky, enables the students to visualize how code can affect an object in the physical world. It gives them a very clear 3D example of what happens if their code has an error. Students develop problem-solving skills as they strategize on the best route to take to complete the challenge. Frequently they will stand and move like the robots to determine which way to turn. Sometimes the solution requires abstract thinking, while other times it involves mathematical concepts -- often concepts the students have not yet reached in their math curriculum. Below is a video of one of the Dash robots in action. Click here to learn more about coding in the Lower School.
Students in eighth grade Computer Class with Sarah Rusnock are learning how to code by making video games in Scratch. The first challenge was the 10 Block Challenge where students worked with only 10 blocks of code to make animations and games. They could use the blocks more than once, but had to use at least one of the blocks each. Some of the blocks were hide, show, wait and when ? pressed. Students were encouraged to change parameters in the code such as location and effects. Click here for photos and video.
Students in Dr. Ronah Harris' web design class were introduced to HTML coding language by looking at how website technology has changed over the years. She introduced the girls to the Way Back Machine where they were able to see screen captures of popular websites from the early 2000's and the 1990's. Stuart's website from 2003 elicited a few laughs and surprised responses.
AP Computer Science Principles