Through a unique partnership, teens teach coding to younger students as an extension of the “Hour of Code” national program. In Sparta New Jersey, fifth grade students visited Sparta High School where teachers and high school students teamed up to teach the younger children more about coding and programming.
Fifth grade teacher Karin Rennie arranged with Margaret Incantalupo to have the students visit the high school. Incantalupo is a math teacher instructing classes in Visual Basics, AP Computer Science using Java and AP Statistics.
In December students throughout the district participated in a national initiative program called “Hour of Code,” exposing the students to the basics of writing computer code. After that program three of Rennie’s students expressed a strong interest in doing more.
Rennie, together with Technology Coordinators Melissa Postorino and Patrick Chodkiewicz, arranged for the younger students be able to learn code from Incantalupo and her students. Code writing is also called programming. Coding is usually done using a programming language such as Java or C++ to create a sequence of instructions to solve a problem or perform a task. The students also had the opportunity to learn about the internal components of computers.
Explaining the impact of learning how to code, Incantalupo says, “I tell my students and I truly believe that knowing how to code gives students a superpower with which they can make important contributions in the world.”
The project chosen for their session together was to create code for a Magic Eight-Ball application, based on the familiar prognosticating toy. All of the fifth grade students were able to successfully design, code and run their applications.
High school student Clair Incantalupo said, “They were so cute, so excited and it was amazing that in such a short time and no coding experience, all of them created and programmed working Magic 8 Ball applications.”
Margaret Incantalupo shared, “They were such attentive and enthusiastic learners turned programmers. We would love to have them come back anytime. We have loads of computer science skills, resources and projects that we can share with them and I think that having the high school students really gets both the older and younger students engaged in the coding process.”
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