NES uses The Force to inspire computer scientists


Staff Report



Tanasia Singley works hard to solve this puzzle and advance during The Hour of Code.


Courtesy photos

Miliani Suber was among the girls who worked on writing her own program. The Hour of Code places extra emphasis on making computer science accessible to boys and girls.


Courtesy photos

Kyon Daniels concentrates as he works through the Hour of Code.


Courtesy photos

Staff Report

Tanasia Singley works hard to solve this puzzle and advance during The Hour of Code.
http://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_CODE1-1-.jpgTanasia Singley works hard to solve this puzzle and advance during The Hour of Code. Courtesy photos

Miliani Suber was among the girls who worked on writing her own program. The Hour of Code places extra emphasis on making computer science accessible to boys and girls.
http://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_CODE2.jpgMiliani Suber was among the girls who worked on writing her own program. The Hour of Code places extra emphasis on making computer science accessible to boys and girls. Courtesy photos

Kyon Daniels concentrates as he works through the Hour of Code.
http://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_CODE3.jpgKyon Daniels concentrates as he works through the Hour of Code. Courtesy photos

NEWBERRY — The Force was with students at Newberry Elementary School this December. Thanks to the Star Wars-themed programming for The Hour of Code, students at Newberry Elementary School used Blockly, block-based programming, to write Star Wars programs.

By engaging in the process, the school was one of over 175,000 Hour of Code events worldwide the week of Dec. 7.

Students used Blockly, a precursor to programming language. Blockly uses blocks to symbolize computer code. Students moved the blocks around in a programming work space to adjust commands, events and actions in the programming.

At Newberry Elementary students in grades 1 through 4 used Blockly primarily but students in grade 5 moved on to more advanced JavaScript. If students completed the entire 15-lesson sequence, they had the option to create their own Star Wars videogame.

“Our students love the Hour of Code and it is something I look forward to teaching them each year,” said Kevin Boozer, NES Computer Lab Monitor. “The video tutorials, hands-on learning and programming process give our students lots of chances to apply their character skills of resiliency, problem solving and reflective listening.”

Pre-kindergarten students worked as one large group to tell the computer lab manager which pieces to manipulate to complete the coding. Kindergarten students used a similar learning path but also had opportunity to work the puzzles and organize code individually.

Being able to create their own videogames was part of an expansion of the program from www.Code.org, a nonprofit that promotes computer science education throughout school curriculum and beyond.

“It is exciting to see the light bulbs go on when the logic behind the programming clicks and students start creating their own programs,” Boozer said. “This year if they create effective programs and write their own instructions, we will place them on our school website for their friends or community members to play.”

Community members interested in viewing the student videogames may do so at www.newberryes.org under the student link Hour of Code_Student Games.

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