Francavilla Fontana, Italy: activities to stimulate children’s curiosity for coding

As part of EU Code Week our school, the Second Coprehensive Instituite in Francavilla Fontana, in the amazing Apuglia region in Italy, organised a broad range of activities for classes in pre, primary and secondary school. Our aim was to put students in contact with computational thinking by teaching them how to programme smart objects, stimulating their curiosity and having fun during the process.

 

 

The number of children involved exceeded our expectations. Last year 300 children participated in our EU Code Week activities, which was about half of all our students. This year, we are delighted to declare a 100% enrolment rate, of which 60% were girls.

We prepared our activities very creatively – setting up signs and decorations with balloons; making banners, t-shirts and hats etc. Of course each gadget was decorated with the Code Week logo. Moreover, we build a “Code Week corner”, where students could take selfies.

We organised many activities with the aim to stimulate the children’s curiosity towards coding. Activities included: completing an unplugged route in person – or by programming a robot;  understanding electrical circuits using Arduino; identifying fruits with Makey Makey programmed in Scratch, creating simple video games as well as painting and then programming a 3D printer to create the Code Week logo and dancing the Ode to Code.

Parents were also excited about our events and supported them both morally and practically. They even surprised us with a Code Week cake, decorated with the logo, to celebrate our hard work!

Today, few of us have enough technical knowledge to understand the language of the internet-of-things, which soon will become part of every-day life. Therefore, we tried to motivate the students to become active participants – not only passive users of technology. All the activities helped explain that devices such as telephones, electrical appliances, drones and vehicles can be or already are
connected to the web.

By Angela Gatti, teacher at the Second Coprehensive Instituite in Francavilla Fontana