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Saturday , 10 April 2021

Dr. Brosseau students fill the gym to learn computer code

Modern technology collided with the classroom at Dr. Brosseau school Wednesday.

The middle school students participated in One Hour of Code, a global movement that highlights the importance of learning new critical skills for the next century.

Over 350 students filled the gymnasium with smart devices in tow, and many of them got their first introduction to coding.

“Last year, me and Madame Smyl did this with our class and her class. This year we wanted to give every kid opportunity to do it in the school,” said Mr. Barlow, social studies and computers teacher at the school.

Each grade was given a different assignment that taught them some of the coding basics: the Grade 5’s had a dance party game, the Grade 6’s were given a Minecraft adventure, and the Grade 7-8’s built a digital story.

“The kids are starting off by putting characters in and getting their characters to do stuff…they’re learning the language of code, but at the same time they’re doing a lot of problem solving today, and a lot of critical thinking,” said Mr. Barlow.

“There’s a lot of skills that go along with it as well…these days there’s a lot of push of computer science and this is the beginning of it.”

Grade 8 student Joel Martin was part of the helping group of older students, who understand a little about code and can assist the younger kids when they have questions.

“So far I’ve just been going around, if kids don’t understand or have trouble I’ll try and send them back on course,” he said.

“They don’t understand where to put the code or how the sequence goes yet, so it’s just explaining to them how it works.”

Nearly 3600 schools across Canada are participating in One Hour of Code this week to celebrate Computer Science Week from Dec. 3-9.

“The great thing about this is all this is free. All of it is online, as long as the kids have a device at home they can keep up and do it there,” said Mr. Barlow.

“I’m trying to get it more and more into my classes every year, I think it’s gone pretty well today.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.