Cracking the Code at BNPS!

Inspired by this year’s Education Week theme, “Cracking Code”, our Education Week at BNPS began with a bang on Monday with a Coding inspired whole school assembly. We were lucky enough to have Luke Hill, a software designer at a Medical Research Laboratory in Melbourne (and the husband of our lovely music teacher), speak to our students about:

  • What is Coding?
  • Who are Coders?
  • Where do you find coding?

… and he showed us some pretty cool examples of coding and robotics from his uni days. This clip shows a robotic arm designed to play air hockey using sensors and the option to play using an Xbox controller.

The presentation was pitched perfectly for our primary aged students, as the littlies were fascinated to learn that Olaf (from Frozen) is created by coding and the seniors were inspired to think about a career in software development.

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Then we launched into an Interactive Coding session with our teachers as Scratch Sprite guinea pigs. We had prepared a Scratch animation, with teacher sprites that could enact a number of different super cool and slightly embarrassing dance moves, including a “Shake it Off” number, a Rainbow spin and a SpongeBob Squarepants jig. Our “Real” teachers on stage had to choose an action from behind a mystery door and then try to replicate the dance moves that were happening on screen. It was an entertaining way to introduce coding to a group of primary aged children.

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We have followed up our Coding Extravaganza with 2 coding lunchtimes, where children got to explore Scratch in more detail. The Foundation, Year 1s and 2s were up one end of the building exploring Scratch Junior on the iPads and the Years 3-6 at the other end were working on Scratch projects with their Acer and Lenovo netbooks. We were lucky enough to have Luke Hill in again, during their lunchtime and the students could show off their creativity and coding skills with a real software developer.

Our year 5 students are currently engaged in coding with an authentic purpose, as they create Maths animation games and animations to teach younger children mathematical concepts (Stay tunes to my blog for future posts about this exciting project). This was stimulated by the Great Victorian Coding Challenge. Entries for this have closed, but the information on this link is still useful and relevant for stimulating learning about coding. Scratch is a program preloaded with the Edustar image to all student and teacher computers. There are a wealth of support material for Scratch, including HowTo Cards and tutorials at Scratch Help. There are loads of Scratch examples that you can look inside, to discover how the coding was done. There are also plenty of Scratch How to Videos on Youtube.

Foundation Kids Explore Scratch Jnr!

Foundation Kids Explore Scratch Jnr!

Coding Wizz Kid!

Coding Wizz Kid!

Testing whether highlighters can work with a Makey Makey!

Testing whether highlighters can work with a Makey Makey!

Lines of Code!

Lines of Code!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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