BURLINGTON, N.C. – High school students from Alamance-Burlington Career and Technical Education Center visited classes at E.M. Holt Elementary to teach them basics of coding in honor of Computer Science Education Week.
The high schoolers, 10th, 11th and 12th grader in the AP Computer Science Principles class, navigated through third, fourth and fifth grade classes with different activities coming from the code.org website.
Landon Gardner, a 3rd grader, says that the cool thing about coding is that, “it’s you telling the technology what to do because the computer is basically dumb if people don’t put the stuff in it.”
According to Alamance-Burlington Schools, this coding-packed day was all possible thanks to a grant provided by local foundation Impact Alamance, with elementary teacher Jamie Day and Brodie Taylor at CTEC teaming up for various STEM and robotics activities.
Throughout the school year, the high schoolers, and even Computer Science students from Elon University, gather “to help elementary students get comfortable with coding and to give the CTEC students the opportunity to share their enthusiasm and expertise with younger kids,” the school system said in a press release.
One of the Elon students, Ashley Wenz, says things have changed from when she was in elementary school.
“When I was in elementary school, we were learning about Word and PowerPoint and doing all those basic things,” Wenz said. “You never considered what was behind that like how the Word program worked or what it meant to go on the Internet or how the websites you were on are created, and it was this type of thought process, this mindset, was never really introduced and so, that was the big difference between then and now”
Among some of the games the students have coded throughout the year include Angry Birds, Ice Age, and Minecraft.
“I like that it’s got like little characters, that makes it a lot funner,” said 4th grader, Jana Dixon. “It’s just really cool how like you can make it move wherever you want to... And I like problem solving!”
Students also got to learn and interact with robotics, including a NAO humanoid robot, a two feet tall robot developed by Aldebaran with hearing and speaking abilities besides amazing dancing skills!