Code Naturally After School Day 1

We kicked off “Code Naturally After School” at Brook Knoll Elementary School yesterday and the students’ energy was electric! It was great seeing new and old students collaborating and helping each other to learn the basics and come up to speed. Students learned about how computers work and process requests thanks to this awesome video by Ted-Ed. After, they had a discussion about how this relates to cloud computing. I was excited to see that the 3rd-5th graders had a better understanding coming into the class than the 51% of adults that think bad weather can effect cloud computing. Below is a quick break down of the day.

09/12/2016 Breakdown:

  • Snacks, Quick Introductions, and Freeze tag for kids to burn off excess energy
  • Icebreakers: Students spoke about their favorite technology and what they wanted to learn this year. They were as specific as wanting to learn how to make balls move on a computer, to as general as getting better at basketball.
  • How does a computer work?: Students had a discussion about how they thought computers worked. Some students had great insights and compared the computer’s CPU to their brains. We watched the video above and outlined how we thought cloud computing worked on the white board.
  • Learning drawing commands: We encourage students to use the commands sporadically during the first day with as little instruction as possible to let them learn intuitively before we begin. Students asked each other questions and by the end of the day, everyone had learned enough to start building their avatar.
  • Young Innovators: I found examples of students between the ages of 13–18 that did amazing things using lines of code and resources available online. You can check out the videos here. Brittany Wenger used artificial intelligence to create a tool that improved cancer diagnoses by 99% while in high school. Mihir Garimella used his coding skills with hardware to create a robot that reacts like a fly. He hopes to use the technology to assist rescue workers.

We’re looking forward to Wednesday. Students will learn how to properly plan a project and build their avatars and personal logos.

Click here if you’d like to sign up your Brook Knoll student for Code Naturally After School.

– Sukh Singh & Code Naturally Team

Originally published on September 13, 2016.