According to Mary Ann Powell, ECPS Technology Facilitator, the purpose of the event was to spark interest in coding with students and give them exposure to topics they may not learn about in a typical school day.
“We decided to start small and build interest and capacity to spread this movement across the county,” said Powell. “If we truly believe that we are preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow, jobs that may not even exist yet, then Computer Science (CS) is the best vehicle to get there.”
“Technology Nights not only expose students to career possibilities, but it helps foster critical thinking and creativity skills to prepare them for the world we live in,” said Matthew Mayo, ECPS Director of Technology.
The students participated in an introductory activity provided by Google through their CS First program, called “High Seas Adventure.” It introduced students to “Scratch,” a programing platform used by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scratch uses blocks to teach young people computational thinking and beginning code writing.
There are plans to continue the work the students started with an online Coding Club, using Google Classroom to connect students from across the district to continue to build their interest in Computer Science.
“If we build the desire to learn computer coding in these young students, we can cultivate that desire and grow our hometown computer scientists of tomorrow,” added Powell.
For more information about Google’s CS First Program, please visit cs-first.com.