The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be difficult to plan for. As a specialist working with a six-day rotation cycle, I only get to see students twice, three times at the most – and with sugarplums and candy canes dancing in students’ heads, that short hour or two that we get together can feel like a waste of time. So this year, I decided to dedicate those few short classes to something that I feel strongly about – Computer Science Education Week.
I’m a nerd, loud and proud. I love all things computer, tech, and STEAM. You’ve read about my passion for getting girls engaged in tech and read about my STEAM related projects. And now, for the first time, I have a fellow lady nerd to collaborate with – the inimitable Kim Wilkens, founder of Tech Girls and all around coding superstar. As you can imagine, the two of us hit it off right away.
Ms. Wilkens (otherwise known as MissBits) and I had a blast working together to create The 12 Days of Tech-Mas, an exciting and engaging tech mini-intensive for grades 1-4 for the month of December. Using Code.org and their special resources for Computer Science Education Week as a starting point, we created a curriculum to help students develop and sharpen their computer science skills. During their library time students coded, programmed, debugged, and created to their hearts’ content. Younger students learned the basics of code and worked on embracing mistakes and failure, while older students further developed their programming skills and used what they have already learned to act as mentors toward younger coders. Kids of all ages – including MissBits and myself! – had a blast.
If you follow me on Instagram, you got to watch the fun as it unfolded. In case you missed it, here’s a fun video to share our 12 Days of Tech-mas experience – and some of the amazing benefits of computer science education in elementary schools. Learn more in the video embedded above.
You make me proud, engineers. Happy holidays!