Media Specialist John Hochstetler has implemented the Hour of Code at Sand Creek Intermediate School for five years running, ever since the Code.org-sponsored computing event began. Last year, John noticed that some students were ready for more — they had mastered the basics of game-based block coding apps and needed a deeper challenge.
And a challenge he made! During Computer Science Education Week 2017, Mr. Hochstetler’s Media Center became a literal computing playground. Students could choose from twenty different coding-based activities – Ozobot bowling, Sphero basketball and miniature golf, and more! In preparation for the Winter Olympics, students could practice their curling skills with mini-Spheros, or program Dash, a code-able robot, to free Dot, Dash’s smaller ‘cousin’, from captivity.
For SCI’s musical students, there was the opportunity to code Dash to play tunes on a Dash-sized xylophone. Students interested in design could use Bloxels to create scenes that they could then embed into their very own game design on the Bloxel iPad app.
Said Hochstetler, “I received great reviews from both students and teachers, some even taking the time to share their appreciation through cards and signs. That was proof enough that I should continue with this event and continue to develop it as well.”
Mr. Hochstetler reports that his own next challenge is to leverage the enthusiasm his students have shown for coding through partnering with classroom teachers to integrate coding activities into the content areas. Connection opportunities abound, especially with the roll out of Indiana’s new computer science standards. Read more about the Hour of Code – Playground Style (and see more pictures) on Mr. Hochstetler’s blog at hselibrarydude.blogspot.com.