Nauset Middle School students make robots dance - literally

Hour of Code week over, strong Computer Science focus continues
Nauset Middle School students ready to test their "Synchronized Robot Line Dancing" project. Photo courtesy of Nauset Regional Middle School

Nauset Regional Middle School set the bar high this year with Hour of Code.  As always, the school's strong emphasis on all things STEM (and STEAM) manifested itself in many ways across the school.  Students worked on everything from simple coding activities to "synchronized robot line dancing" with multiple robots.  

NRMS technology teacher Brandy Jackson reports:

Hour of Code is a national  movement that encourages students to learn computer programming.  This year it was expanded to include all of Computer Science Education. Nauset Regional Middle School accepted the challenge.

NRMS students participated in robotics engineereing, building circuits, 3D printing, computer aided design (CAD), object-oriented video game design, and coding using HTML.  Leslie Pirtle, Brandy Jackson, and Michael Moore put together lessons that took students, more deeply into coding than just an hour.  We all recognize how important computers are for the future of our students, so we work hard to infuse advanced technology into our classrooms.

Although the Hour of Code week is over,  the Computer Science focus is not.  From afterschool clubs in robotics to new classes in our MakerSpace and the new CNC in the woodshop, NRMS students will have the supports needed to excell in computer science.

NRMS teacher Leslie Pirtle added her thoughts about "digital literacy" standards recently enacted at the state level:  

In July, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued new standards for digital literacy. In keeping with these, and with an eye toward future employment in an increasingly “app-driven” world, Nauset is striving to increase and strengthen its programming curriculum.   While developing computational thinking and problem solving skills, coding offers students a chance to be creative--and have fun doing it! With so many free online programming websites, learners can choose from easy to challenging coding activities with which they can create music, art and movies, solve math problems or conduct scientific inquiry. Languages learned include python, javascript and html/css. Students who have had no previous experience, or are a bit hesitant to work with code, may begin by dragging colored blocks to create programs without having to write the actual code.  Parents may encourage their children to continue coding at home on their computers or mobile devices with the free, engaging activities at https://code.org/learn

The accompanying photo shows several students ready to test out their "Synchronized Robot Line Dancing" projects.  Be sure to watch the video!


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