by Aaron Hovel and Jennifer ZacharisFor the second year, the Pike School has taken part in the largest worldwide learning event, known as the Hour of Code in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. This is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify coding and show that anyone can learn the basics. This year Code.org’s hope is to have 200 million participants from across the globe, and every student at Pike will help reach this ambitious goal by using Code.org’s programming platform in the Lower School and Middle School or the iPad app Hopscotch in the Upper School.
Computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets are now a huge part of our daily lives. At Pike, we want students to be proficient in the use of these devices, and more importantly, understand the basics for coding and creating with them. Computer science helps encourage this understanding by developing problem-solving, logic and creative thinking skills. In today’s world early exposure to coding will prepare students for success in many 21st-century career paths. Our students at Pike have many additional opportunities to strengthen these skills beyond the Hour of Code with some of the following projects:
- In PreK, students will be programming a Kibo Robot, building, decorating and programming their robot using physical blocks.
- In Kindergarten, students work with their Grade 2 buddies, learning to program with Code.org’s Course 1 Curriculum.
- In Grade 1, students use Scratch Jr. to tell stories and solve challenges in their new Science curriculum.
- In 5th grade, science students learn to program lego Mindstorm robots to solve real world problems.
- In Upper School, Science students build on their 5th grade experience, expanding their repertoire by programming autonomous VEX IQ robots.
We really appreciate the positive energy that faculty and students have put into this all school endeavor. It has been exciting to see students thinking, creating, and having a blast — all while learning some computer programming and participating in a worldwide event that has broad participation across gender and ethnic socioeconomic groups. During the Hour of Code last year more girls tried computer science than in the last 70 years with student’s learning in over 40 languages.
The Pike School is an independent, coed, day school for Pre-K through ninth grade in Andover, Massachusetts. Visit pikeschool.org to learn more about Pike – and visit our blog for more thought leadership.