This year, Computer Science Education Week took place from December 4th-10th. To celebrate, all students at MMFS participated in the Hour of Code. An international movement, Hour of Code is an opportunity for students to participate in coding, programming, and other computer science related challenges.
Coding reinforces many of the skills taught in classes each day, but presents them using visual language. This is important for MMFS middle school students as concepts like sequencing, critical thinking, and processing are strengthened by multiple methods of instruction, across subject areas. Perseverance and patience are also a central part of coding, and an important part of the academic and personal development of our middle school students as they journey to become independent learners.
At the middle school, Hour of Code sessions took place during homeroom and study hall. Students selected from a number of activities that were made available to them, via Code.org. They also had the opportunity to participate in other activities, such as programming a Bee-Bot and creating unique ways to play games using Makey-Makey invention kits. Each coding session began with a group discussion about computer science, prompting students to think about gender and economic equity in the field. They also discussed the fact that despite the high demand and desire for computer science education, many schools do not offer any courses or clubs in the subject, as we do at MMFS.
Inspired by the Hour of Code activities they have participated in over their years at MMFS, middle school students continue to visit Code.org and other sites to complete additional coding projects. Darian, a 7th grade student and member of the Tinker Time Coding and Making Club, regularly goes beyond an “Hour of Code.” He uses Scratch to create games and shares them with his classmates!
Though Computer Science Education Week has come to an end, our dedication to Computer Science at MMFS is still going strong. Code.org and Scratch are always available to families for explorations in programming. Grab a device and join the movement!
By Nerissa Sturrup, Middle School Ed-Tech Integrator