Progression of the Coding Club
In December, the Coding Club at QV shared the projects they had been working on from the start of the year. Representatives from IEC Hamilton, intermediate teachers, and administration attended. 5 students were able to project their demonstrations and answer questions such as where they got their ideas from and what changes they would make. It also served as a way to close down the work we were doing with Hopscotch and Scratch.
In January, the TLLP team, along with one of the Coding Club students, took a day to work with Arduinos. Arduinos are mini-computers. Being able to create products such as flashing LEDs, motorized fans, and light theremins, connecting the world of electronic circuitry with the aspect of line-by-line coding captured the imagination of the students. Coding Club grew from the five that regularly attended to 9. I would expect this to grow as we begin to open up the club to more days with longer-term projects. One of the drawbacks to the club over the month was that our trainer, Colin, was only able to spend the 40 minutes with us. The set-up time was fairly quick, but the technique required to construct and connect the breadboard, with all its wiring, to the computer chip required a great deal of time and accuracy. As a result, we’d like to open this club time into a more open-ended “maker” time that is fluid over the school week. That way students can create, code, and add to their project. Then we can store the project so they can come back to it later.
A need I am seeing for space and organization is containers for the Arduino parts. We have been putting all the elements back in the box, which is a taxing procedure, especially if we don’t plan for a tear-down time before having to head back to class.