On Dec. 5, IdahoPTV Teacher Ambassador Kari Wardle taught students in Weiser the basics of coding using a fun, interactive programming language called PBS KIDS ScratchJr. The program allows users to create animated adventures starring PBS KIDS characters by snapping together graphical blocks that command characters to move, jump, talk, and interact with their environment.
The hourlong workshops were part of a global campaign called Hour of Code. During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 4-10), the organization Code.org challenged educators around the world to offer coding sessions to as many students as possible. Wardle led workshops all day at Weiser’s Pioneer Primary School and stayed to offer workshops that evening during the school’s parent night. Altogether, Wardle taught an hour of coding to nearly 220 students and parents.
“It was my pleasure to spend an entire day teaching coding to second- and third-graders at Pioneer Primary School,” Wardle says. “I have a passion for computer education for young children! The thrill of seeing the students’ minds work and their faces light up when their character does what they programmed it to do is what makes it worth it! I am thankful to Sally Bovia from the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) for organizing this amazing event and inviting me to be a part of it. The staff at Pioneer Primary were gracious and so supportive!”
During Computer Science Education Week, students of all ages throughout the Weiser School District had opportunities to learn hours of coding in a variety of programming languages. Weiser High School hosted students from Annex Charter School in nearby Malheur County, where together the students learned EarSketch (a free app that lets students learn coding through music) and Python programming languages. They also learned how coding and problem-solving work together in the field of robotics.