Fourth graders, (from left) Sam Otis, Maia Mocharnuk, Avery Holmes, and Christopher Convey participated in the recent Hour of Code during their technology classes. Students who complete their activity earn a certificate. (Photo courtesy of Terri Hutsell)

Fourth graders, (from left) Sam Otis, Maia Mocharnuk, Avery Holmes, and Christopher Convey participated in the recent Hour of Code during their technology classes. Students who complete their activity earn a certificate. (Photo courtesy of Terri Hutsell)

Norwood-Fontbonne Academy was part of a major worldwide learning event where over 70 million students around the globe completed an “Hour of Code” during the week of Dec. 8-14. Participating in the Hour of Code event was a perfect opportunity for students to see how easy and empowering it is to learn programming. Only 10 percent of schools nationwide currently teach programming.

“A particular goal of our Signature technology curriculum is to incorporate opportunities that challenge our students in new and different ways,” said NFA technology teacher Colleen Hemberger. “The integration of programming in the technology curriculum develops important computational thinking and problem solving skills in our students.”

During the week, fourth and seventh graders engaged in fun, collaborative activities and best of all, learned key programming concepts that they can build upon in the future. The seventh graders drew from previously taught skills to problem solve and write code for a game called Dragon Dash, an intermediate level challenge.

Fourth graders created their own character for a game called Candy Quest and then programmed their character to solve puzzles through increasing levels of difficulty. Upon completion of their respective coding activity, a certificate of achievement is earned.

Seventh grader Zachary Albone, immediately saw the connection between the Hour of Code activity and his current programming work in his after school Robotics club.

“It’s just like what we do in robotics –it’s really fun,” he said.

Participation in this effort demonstrates NFA’s commitment to teaching critical 21st century skills.

“We want to ensure that our students are ahead of the curve when it comes to creating and innovating technology of the future – not just consuming it,” Hemberger said.

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