by: Shreya Balusu, Secretary, and theWebsiteTeam
This past week, we held the first two club meetings of theCodeMatrix! First off, the club officers here at the theCodeMatrix would like to thank the parents and children, who showed such interest in our program and brought the kids out to the first few meetings. On Day 1, we started the kids off with a fun icebreaker activity, to really get to know each kid, and why they wanted to be here. Later, using multiple pictures of elephants, we explained how a computer needs to be programmed in order to identify a type of object despite changes in angle, size, color, or etc. Basically, we went over what computer science is, what it consists of, and what the endless possibilities of application are. Next, we introduced an activity called “Codebots and Programmers” which is inspired by Thinkersmith. In this activity club members wrote out a “code” or set of directions in order for their table’s robot to create a design out of stacked cups. The purpose of this activity was to teach the kids that the computer will follow exactly what you input, so you must be accurate. Also, they learned that being concise and using correct syntax will help the robot understand the code better. In addition we introduced a few very important vocabulary words for the kids to understand, including functions, parameters, bug, debugging, coding, and algorithm.
The Quote of the Day is a daily tradition that theCodeMatrix has where we start the club meeting by reading the quote and then end the meeting by explaining its relevance to the club meeting.
We closed off the successful first day with a Quote of the Day, this meeting’s being: “Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old” by Robert Brault. We really wanted to reinforce to the kids that even though each day we will move on to a new topic, revisiting past one’s will help build a strong foundation for code.
As club officers, it was very encouraging to see that the kids were extremely passionate about solving the puzzle we had given them, and were working together as real teams to solve it.
Moving onto the second day, we introduced to the kids Blockly, a drag and drop method to code, to ease into more complicated text coding. With that, we entered the Hour of Code, and this meeting we had a Star Wars theme. We helped the kids build their own galaxy using Blockly, and they successfully completed the first six lessons. The kids worked very diligently, and in turn we had extra time to play a game to review the vocabulary words we learned the previous meeting. To close the day off, we discussed the meaning of our Star Wars Quote of the Day: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can ever imagine”, said by Anakin Skywalker. This quote was chosen to really show to the kids that even if they do mess up and end up with a couple of bugs, rather than let it discourage them, it should only make them motivated to correct themselves and try to explore new methods of solving problems. After the first week of club meetings, we are very pleased with the hard work the kids put in each day, and are looking forward to more club meetings like this one in the future!
Check out our Day 1 video in the Code Corner!
May the Force Be With You
- theCodeMatrix team