Chestnut Ridge Elementary School second-grade students were introduced to computer coding as part of the international Computer Science Education Week. As this was their very first experience with writing lines of code to control the actions of robots, they started with a lesson called Coding Unplugged. There wasn’t a computer or a robot in sight: at this point the learning was all conceptual.
“We begin by getting students comfortable with the vocabulary of coding,” Instructional Technology Specialist Megan Hugg said. “Terms like logarithms, bugs and debugging. Then they imagine the instructions they would need to give to direct a robot to move cups and place them into a pattern: pick up, move forward and put down. Students learn how to work in teams, writing simple code. They role play and become ‘robots,’ testing the code instructions to see if they actually work.”
From this basic beginning, students quickly move on to working with real robots and programming kits. Children as young as kindergarten are learning the principles of computer science at Churchville-Chili elementary schools.