Dig­i­tal launch event at St Mary’s Par­ish Pri­mary School

Mid Louth Independent - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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.

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