Digital launch event at St Mary’s Parish Primary School
St Mary’s Parish Primary School recently resembled a scene from a sci-fi movie as an army of mini robots trundled and beeped their way around the halls.
As part of the European Codeweek initiative, students from a range of classes got hands-on with science and technology as they built Lego robots and then wrote computer programs to control their actions.
The digital activity at St Mary’s began with a day long event was entitled ‘3,2,1 Code’ and was the launch of a year long science project which will introduce computer science and coding to students at the school.
In September the school were the lucky recipient of a grant from Google to run a coding event.
It was decided to use the grant to acquire LEGO WeDo 2.0, a hands-on kit that blends Lego with computer programming and develops science in the classroom through a robot-based learning system.
The school aims to integrate the use of digital tools to improve students computational thinking skills, communication and collaboration.
This coding project is part of a broader collaboration with some European partner schools on an Erasmus+ project which is looking at the use of structured play in Early Childhood education.
Using computers and Lego will allow older primary classes to engage with the project as they develop basic programming skills to create digital resources for junior classes.
The digital project will continue over the remainder of the school year. Students will gain experience of computer programming using resources from Google’s CS First program and the Scratch programming language.
Deputy principal John Weir is coordinating the program and was delighted with the reaction of the students and teachers to the launch event. “Learning to code will help our students to unleash their creativity and work collaboratively with people at school and our European project partners”, he commented. “In all areas of life we see rapid advances in technology. Schools have an important role in helping students to cope with these rapid changes and to develop skills and capabilities that will help them to adapt to living in this new era”.
The coders from St Mary’s school, above and right.