Hour of Code introduces students in Bath and Woolwich to computers

Hour of Code teaches elementary students in Regional School Unit 1 logic and problem solving. Contributed

Earlier this month, students at Dike Newell Elementary School and Woolwich Central School were introduced to the computer language: coding.

Librarians Abby Luchies of Woolwich Central and Lisa Hardman of Dike Newell have enrolled their schools in Hour of Code, an educational campaign that helps develop problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.

“[Hour of Code] a great way to lift the veil that surrounds these machines in our pockets, ”said Lucies. “It’s also a good exercise in perseverance; you are very wrong and have to keep trying to get your code to work.

Based on the age of the students, Luchies and Hardman chose different exercises – some on the web, some on machine, and some on paper. Sue Michaud’s sophomore class at Dike Newell learned basic sequencing with the library’s “Bee-Bots,” simple robots whose movement can be controlled with directional arrows.

Hardman started the course with two picture books that introduced coding concepts: “Coding 1, 2, 3” by Janet Slingerland and “How to Code a Sandcastle” by Josh Funk. The students then placed their Bee-Bots on grids and took turns programming the robots to move to specific boxes.

“Using [the Bee-Bots] really turns kids on. There is an equal interest in boys and girls, ”Hardman said. “They were funded by the Perloff Foundation and we had a great experience with them.”

Hardman and Luchies hope Hour of Code has shown students that anyone can learn to code and pursue their interest if they like it.

“It’s another way to get students to see outside the walls of our school and start thinking about their future,” Lucies said. “We tell them, ‘You can do it! “”

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