"Here, let me show you how to download that file," a studious 8th grade Latina student proficiently walks another 8th grade learner through the steps to turn their document into a PDF. Witnessing the confidence that 8th grade students (especially female students) experience from learning and teaching computer concepts is thrilling as a teacher.
My classroom can be compared to a miniature United Nations where you may hear Mandarin, Polish or Spanish being used to help expand comprehension.
My 8th grade core classes are comprised of 64 amazing students, many of whom come from bilingual households and receive free or reduced-price lunch. The ability to expand my student's language skills into the digital realm through developing their knowledge about a computer language through coding will give them even more of an advantage as they continue in their educational careers.
Our school serves students in grades 6-8 and provides rigorous academics, fantastic teachers, and a safe learning environment. As a result, we are consistently one of the top-performing schools in the state every year. Our goal is to prepare our students for success in high school, in college and beyond.
This project is to fund teacher training at Pathfinders Summer Institute to support a Junior Botball program. This is an inquiry-based program which focuses on discrete programming skills and engineering design concepts which are designed to improve computational thinking skills and promote mastery.
This summer I want to learn how to run a Junior Botball Challenge, a Computer Science (CS) focused education program that will provide equipment, software, curriculum and professional development to enable me to teach my students computer science and computational thinking concepts coupled with real-life applications of the engineering design process.
I look forward to my students having to think, design an algorithm, write the code and then make changes to accomplish their goal. We can also then participate in one-day public events where student teams showcase their robot designs and challenge solutions.
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