An entire school participates in Code Week!
By Angela, Code Week Teacher in Italy
As part of Code Week, our school, the Second Comprehensive Institute in Francavilla Fontana, in a town in the amazing Apulia region (Italy) has planned many activities. These activities have been promoted in all the classes of our school, whether Primary or Secondary, to involve as many pupils as possible and put them in contact with computational thinking. The activities created aimed at teaching the children to program smart objects, stimulating their curiosity and keeping them entertained during the process.
The number of children involved in the activities explained above has exceeded initial expectations. Last year 300 children participated in the activity; approximately 50% of the enrolled pupils.
As a consequence, our school earned the Certificate of Excellence for the high number of participants. In regards to this year, we are delighted to state that there was 100% of enrolment in our school, 60% of which is of the female gender.
The period dedicated to the preparation was particularly focused on creativity, where students set up billboards and decorations with balloons, banners, t-shirts, hats etc. Of course each gadget has been decorated with the Code Week logo. Moreover, a very important part was the equipped corner dedicated to Code Week where anyone could take selfies with the result of their activities.
The majority of activities were oriented to stimulate the children’s curiosity towards programming. With the right balance of ludic and didactic moments, both experts and teachers could show
the pupils the fun part of the programming and increase their feeling towards the tools.
The activities ranged from the completion of an unplugged route on the checkerboards, both on the horizontal floor and vertical on Lim, to realizing the electrical circuit with the Arduino or identifying the seasonal fruit previously programmed via Scratch with a touch of Makey Makey. Other kinds of activities were the creation of a simple video game, painting and then programming the 3D printer to create the Code Week Logo and dancing on the Ode to Code algorithm.
All the activities helped explain to the pupils that every single device such as the telephone, electrical appliance, drones and vehicles could be, or are already, connected to the web. The core purpose is to explain to the young generation and especially motivate them to be the active participants and not passive users in order to better understand that the world around us is made of smart objects.
Today the number of these intelligent tools is clearly growing. Few are currently holders of the technical knowledge that allows it to function, but future generations have to know the language of the Internet of Things, which for obvious reasons will become part of the everyday life. Indeed, the European Union promotes Code Week every year in order to encourage people to start from a very young age. The ability to know the programming language of a computer and the knowledge of how to program accordingly are part of the so-called «digital skills», digital skills of the 21st century, which are now required to play the game of digital innovation as a protagonist.
It is also important to mention that the parents of the pupils of our Institute got so excited about the event, that they showed their support, both psychological and practical, and surprised us with a cake, with the Code Week logo on top, to celebrate our hard work.