Computer Science Week in Huntington UFSD allowed students on every grade level to explore the concept of coding. While some youngsters were experiencing it for the first time, many teenagers already have a good understanding of coding so they were able to delve deeper into it.
Computer Science Week is an initiative that has spread across the globe. This year, 835,581,513 students in more than 180 countries participated.
To kick-off the week, J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth graders in teacher Gregory Dieterich’s class visited Stony Brook University were they were invited to participate in Hour of Code activities with computer science students and Women in Computer Science club members there.
The Finley students received a tour of the campus and enjoyed an all-you-can-eat lunch in the cafeteria, which was a huge hit with the group. “Every student received a Stony Brook University backpack filled with swag,” said Marybeth Robinette, Huntington UFSD’s director of assessment, instructional technology and elementary mathematics. “It was wonderful to know that the coding our students are experiencing in the district is also being promoted by Stony Brook University. Exposing our students to a college campus and giving them the opportunity to be able to picture themselves there was invaluable.”
For other students in the district, links to coding activities were placed into Clever, a educational technology software platform. “Teachers throughout the district took the opportunity to introduce students to coding and computer science,” Mrs. Robinette said. “Teachers in kindergarten and first grade tried some unplugged activities, such as ‘coding hopscotch.’ The children followed the instructions on each step of the path, going forward, turning, performing a specific action one or more times. The students then transferred that experience to computer coding games.”
Computer Science Week was fun for the Huntington students while simultaneously being educational every step of the way. Making learning fun is always a priority.
“District librarians had students coding small robots as well as participating in Hour of Code activities such as Santa Tracker, Dance Party and many others,” Mrs. Robinette said. “Students were excited to write code and to think like a computer scientist.”