6th Grade


In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, today’s sixth graders need to learn how to create digital environments, not just use them.  Coding introduces kids to the process of computational thinking, in which students break a problem down and express a solution in steps that a computer can understand.  After all, in the 21st century the ability to code will be as critical to their success as reading and arithmetic were for their parents.  No matter what field they choose, computers will be part of their work and daily life, and they will find themselves more capable and independent if they understand how computers work.


For sixth graders, we spark their curiosity about the internet, apps, digital media, and digital devices, and how to use them responsibly.  With our 1:1 iPad program, we give kids daily practice asking and answering questions like:

What does it mean to be a digital citizen?

What are my rights and responsibilities?

How should I act and behave online?

How can I enjoy the benefits of the Internet while remaining safe and secure?

How can the iPad help me with organization, research, collaboration, and curation?

How can design thinking and programming empower me to solve challenging problems?


In addition to understanding their roles as consumers and users of digital media, students are encouraged to become creators, makers, and inventors through hands-on projects involving digital content creation, coding, prototyping, and robotics (out of a mix of repurposed materials and 3D-fabricated parts). Students write, produce, and edit their own PSA about digital citizenship.  They create and code interactive holiday cards, produce animated multimedia presentations for literature and history classes, and use CAD tools and materials to design and prototype a toy, musical instrument, household object, or consumer product.  Working in concert with science faculty, we support students’ study of natural processes by developing computer simulations of photosynthesis, cell respiration, DNA replication, and more.

With clubs for robotics enthusiasts, chess players, and more, students have ample opportunities to stretch their abilities with interested faculty and like-minded friends.  And in addition to class work, they have access to Moses Brown’s 5,000-square-foot Y-lab, a maker space open to everyone in the Moses Brown community that serves as a home for tinkerers, inventors, and entrepreneurs of any age.

Spotlight on innovation

Robotics in action

As a spotlight on MB innovators, and to spread the word about an upcoming event, we visited MS Robotics as students demonstrated their robotics skills by reassembling a foam board event poster cut up like puzzle pieces.


Abigail Isom

STEM Director, Upper School Mathematics, Expert Thinking Tri-Clerk


Abigail Isom

Hobart & William Smith Colleges – B.A.
Roger Williams University – M.A.

Dave Wasser

Middle School Technology, Upper School Technology and Technology Integrationist


Dave Wasser

Union College – B.A.
University of Connecticut – M.A.

David Husted ’86

Director of Innovation and Design


David Husted ’86

Roger Williams University – B.S.
Harvard Graduate School of Education – Ed.M.

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