Abington Elementary School Students Learning Computer Coding!

Programs culminated in the international “Hour of Code” – the largest single international learning event in history.  A novel cooperative activity took place between Advanced Placement (AP) computer students in Abington Senior High School teacher Mr. Dave Daubenspeck’s computer class and sixth grade students at Roslyn Elementary School..

Yes, it’s novel that 6th grade students are learning code … and that it includes 6th grade girls.

Twenty AP computer students from the high school taught computer coding (Javascript) to 18 Roslyn 6th graders (9  girls and 9 boys) over a period of  six weeks on Thursdays after school in a Computer Coding Club organized by teacher Mr. Todd Shuster

The six weeks culminated in the students participating in the global “Hour of Code” event, the largest learning event in history, where 100 million students in 180 countries around the world wrote one hour of code during the week.

Additional Abington schools participating were:

  • Willow Hill Elementary School – Students were instructed on coding during flex time
  • Overlook Elementary School –  A coding club operated during lunch/recess with sixth grade students mentoring first graders
  • McKinley Elementary School – An after-school coding club provided instruction for fifteen sixth grade students over six weeks
  • Copper Beech Elementary School – fifth and sixth grade students learned computer coding in the morning and second grade students learned and practiced in the afternoon.

These students are using block code and typing code to control the movements of their characters in the software being used.  A recent article on the local economy stated that the federal government says the U.S. faces a shortage of hundreds of thousands of computer programmers.  Congratulations to these students, our future, who are heeding the advice of President Obama: “Don’t just play on your phone, program it.”

Here are several quotes about the Hour of Code from students in Mr. Tague’s 5th grade class at Willow Hill Elementary School:

“In math it helps me with algorithms to step by step solve a problem.” – Roman Clayton-Hopson

“Coding can help you with math and communication arts.  It helps you with math by teaching order of operation. It can help you with communication arts by teaching you how to follow directive notes. Learning code in elementary school can be beneficial.  It is beneficial because it helps if you want to be a computer coder or if you want to create games or make websites.” – Richard Wesh

“The code makes it fun to learn how to work with computers.  Some of the things I  did was Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.  They were fun ways to learn. “When you notice details in the code you notice details in other things.” – Sarah Lyles

“Learning about code will help you in different subjects because you have to follow directions carefully while computer coding and you have to be efficient and doing code will be good practice on following directions and being efficient. Learning computer coding can benefit you because if you want a job that involves coding it would be easy because you’ve already learned how to do it. If we learn how to do it now we will be prepared for the future.” – Fanta Sillah

“It should be taught at elementary schools because it is fun and very educational.” – Tyrese Whitfield

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