KENILWORTH, NJ - At the Board of Education meeting February 10, 2020, three Harding Elementary STEM students were introduced by their teachers Mrs. Goger and Mrs. Griffin because they have shown a keen interest in coding. Each student was selected to demonstrate what they have learned during their time spent in the school’s new makerspace.
December 2019, students at Harding in all grades were introduced to coding. Mrs. Griffin pushed into classrooms and used code.org and a variety of unplugged lessons to introduce the concept of coding. Students in first and second grade learned to code Dash. This is a colorful and engaging robot, using a laptop and colored blocks of code. Students in third and fourth grade worked with Ozobots, which are approximately the size of a golf ball and have a sensor at the bottom that reads colors in its path. The students used both colored markers and “Blockly” on the laptop to code. Students in fifth and sixth grade worked with a robot called Sphero. This robot is larger than the Ozobot and more sophisticated, making it ideal for both beginners and seasoned programmers. After practicing how to code them, they determined the heading, duration, and speed a Sphero would need to travel to successfully navigate a maze.
Arya Shah who is in the second grade introduced Dash which was equipped with a snap-on bulldoze bar. Shah demonstrated how to code the robot to move a mound of imitation snowballs in the direction he chose. Matteo Raimondi, a third grader, used markers to create a coded path on a piece of white paper for his robot Ozobot to follow. Kevin Maytidu who is in the sixth grade, coded Sphero to follow a specific path on the floor.
Learning the basics of coding has taught Harding STEM students how to solve problems logically using math while also having fun.