Lake­wood stu­dents learn to code

Simcoe Reformer - - NEWS - JA­COB ROBIN­SON jrobin­[email protected]­media.com

Young stu­dents at Lake­wood Ele­men­tary School are up to code – lit­er­ally.

On Thurs­day, teacher Joe Archer’s Grade 6 class hosted their pri­mary peers in an event en­ti­tled the Hour of Code.

It fo­cused on com­puter science pro­jects and games like Minecraft to get the group think­ing about the new wave of out­put and in­for­ma­tion.

Last year, the school held a Girls Can Code event for ev­ery fe­male stu­dent. Thurs­day’s gath­er­ing wel­comed all classes in Grades 2-3.

“I use cod­ing and Com­puter Science Week as a launch­ing point to start to en­cour­age kids to be­come a lit­tle more re­silient in their learn­ing,” Archer said. “As a teacher, the big­gest thing I want my kids to do is not just suc­ceed but to suc­ceed when they fail - to look at some­thing and say ‘why did I mess up and how can I fix it?’.”

Stu­dents could at­tend eight sta­tions that fo­cused on dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties. One fea­tured a Makey Makey kit that al­lows users to con­nect ob­jects like ba­nanas or ap­ples to com­puter pro­grams. They could also play Minecraft – a game that lets play­ers build 3D worlds and land­scapes us­ing blocks.

“A lot of them are into the game­based learn­ing, a lot of them love play­ing on their de­vices – it’s their world to­day, it’s what they do,” said Archer. “There’s so many jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties in creat­ing maps, creat­ing web­sites and run­ning a busi­ness – mar­ket­ing and what­not – and if you’re able to code, de­sign and write your own pro­grams, then you’ve got one up on the next per­son. It’s the new cur­sive writ­ing.”

Three of Archer’s stu­dents - Emma Ful­ton, Lu­cah Le­gault, and Gabby Moore – or­ga­nized much of the day. They as­signed their fel­low class­mates with spe­cific sta­tions based on their in­di­vid­ual tal­ents.

“It’s re­ally cool,” said Moore. “( This) will help with your fu­ture.”

“It’s like writ­ing on pa­per but you’re creat­ing stuff not just look­ing at some­thing,” added Ful­ton.

Learn­ing to code isn’t sim­ply some­thing that stu­dents can use in school but long after the bell rings. In fact, Lake­wood ap­pears to have some lif­ers on its ros­ter.

Said Le­gault, “We want them to know how to code so that they can do it in the fu­ture and they’re think­ing like a com­puter.”

JA­COB ROBIN­SON/ Sim­coe Re­former

Grade 6 stu­dent Parker Green (right) uses a 'Makey Makey' kit with fel­low Lake­wood Ele­men­tary stu­dent Au­drey Miede­maHunt dur­ing the school's sec­ond an­nual 'Hour of Code' event on Thurs­day.

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