Where are the healthy foods?

Nélia Gomes, EU Code Week teacher at Escola da Guarda AE Dr. Vieira de Carvalho, Portugal  

I was responsible for organising activities around World Food Day at my school and so, as part of the Europe Code Week initiative, I designed a programming activity and initiation to computational thinking, in addition to other activities related to healthy and sustainable food.

 

Programming and computational thinking activities allow problem solving in a strategic, critical and creative way, while at the same time being simple, direct and fun. The activity was offered to all pupils at my school (about 200), covering pre-school pupils, 1st cycle pupils and nine teachers. On the event’s Facebook page it is obvious that pupils from all classes took part in and enjoyed the activities.  

Then the activity was created and mapped on the Code Week site and posted on the Code Week Facebook page. In total, 15 teachers from seven different countries joined this initiative. Most of the activities created by these teachers were related to healthy eating and the use of the Bee-Bot robot. However, there were also activities involving feelings and the right to happiness, the autumn season, and spatial orientation with a colour code using code.org, and protecting the environment using augmented reality. 

Despite the initiative coming from Portugal, the associated activities were concentrated in southeast Europe. The participation of other teachers spread across Europe was possible thanks to dissemination and communication through the EU Code Week Teachers FB Group. As our initiative is “an initiative that aims to bring programming and digital literacy to all pupils in a fun and attractive way” it fits perfectly into the EU Code Week ethos. It was a huge success within my school, in the pupils’ homes, in neighbouring schools, as well as in the schools of all those who joined the initiative. The organisers of the associated activities published photographs on the Padlet created for this purpose, while those from Portugal opted for the Facebook social network. 

I hope that this first initiative using the Bee-bot robot will be a starting point for many other programming and computational thinking initiatives. I also hope that the pupils develop new skills and abilities that will lead them to innovate and explore more creative solutions to problems that may arise in the future.