On most Tuesdays, Buckley Country Day School’s fifth- and sixth-graders—along with the rest of the students—are dressed in school uniforms. However, Feb. 7 was not just another Tuesday—it was the Day of Code. For that special event, the library was transformed into a mini Silicon Valley and they were dressed in more casual, Steve Jobs-style of attire. The result was a great day dedicated to computer programming, during which the students were fearless in making things with code.
“It was hard to believe that seventy-plus students were in the library,” said Patricia Russac, Buckley’s library director. “It was quiet with concentration and the students were totally focused on coding. It was awesome.”
The day was broken into three major sessions: Silicon Valley, Genius Hour and Made With Code.
“Watching students become more confident with each challenge was inspiring to see as a teacher,” said Stephanie Temple, a library assistant. “We read so much about too few girls in computer coding, well, that’s not the case at Buckley.”
For Silicon Valley, students started their coding journey with the website Pencil Code to learn the fundamentals of programming, how to measure distances and angles, and ways to construct arcs and circles to program their own initials.
When they moved on to Genius Hour, they used the augmented reality (AR) feature in Vidcode to program a Pokémon game and jumped right in to figure out how to code a Snapchat filter.
Finally, the day rounded out with Made With Code, an intense session of HTML and CSS. For this, Buckley’s young programmers used real coding languages to take their skills to a higher level.
“It was amazing to see students learning how to code using their ingenuity and passion with technology,” said Sam Oppedisano, Buckley IT manager. “They began to realize they could create content, and not just consume it.”
Overall, it was a day—not just of code—but of real world learning, something that cannot be underestimated in today’s high-tech world.
“We truly believe that knowing the language of computer coding can open up a host of opportunities well beyond the classroom,” Russac added.
—Submitted by Buckley Country Day School