Coding Carnival Celebrates Computer Science in Lower School
Whirling robots took over the Debbie Goff Library for a week this December as Lower School celebrated Computer Science Week by taking part in the “Hour of Code,” a global initiative that encourages students to spend one hour doing a computer science activity. Moses Brown School has participated in the annual program since it was established in 2013 and students in every grade level can learn and build upon their coding skills each year.
This year, a Coding Carnival was organized by lower school librarian Erin Broderick and STEM teacher Erika McEnery to bring library classes together with technology classes for an hour of coding fun. Older students were paired with younger students to help them learn the basics of the engaging yet educational computer programs.
Once groups were formed, the students selected a program that they wanted to work with. Most groups used a tablet to operate a robot called Dash. The app on the tablet used code operations to make the robot perform different tasks like driving and speaking. Other students chose to work on a manual coding activity called Ozobots, where placing different colored markers on a black line changed a robot’s driving path. All the activities teach students how to use the building blocks of code to reach an end goal.
Erin, new to teaching at Moses Brown School this year, had previous experience in teaching technology classes, which inspired her to collaborate with tech classes for a Coding Carnival.
“I feel like working together with tech classes gives the event a fun twist, and students can experience it in a different way,” said Erin. “This year, we just wanted everyone to jump in and start trying the programs.”
Having the Coding Carnival include students in kindergarten and under is a big plus educationally, according to Erika.“Typically students don’t start technology classes until they reach first grade. This was a great opportunity for Moses Brown’s younger students to use this experience as a jumping off point as they begin their learning in this subject area.”