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Gates Students Participate in Hour of Code

This week was “Hour of Code” week, and the some students from the A.A. Gates school got in on the fun! The Hour of Code is intended to be a 60-minute introduction into the world of coding and computer science, helping to engage young students in a different way of thinking and reasoning. Started by code.org, there are currently hundreds of different puzzles and challenges offered by the Hour of Code event.

kids huddle around the mechanical mouse
kids use the smartboard to solve angry birds coding puzzle
kids talk about how to solve the gingerbread coding puzzle

At the Gates school, kindergarten students from Ms. Mills’ class partnered up with mentors from the third grade to help them navigate the apps being used during the Hour of Code. Three different (rotating) groups were present in the classroom, with each working on a different kind of puzzle. One group used coding to determine the path of a mechanical mouse, in an attempt to get it to stop on the desired square of a large plastic course. Another group tried to solve puzzles featuring characters from “Angry Birds,” using logic to determine the correct amount of movements needed to help the titular birds thwart their piggy foes. The third group went decidedly lower-tech, using laminated grids to help guide a gingerbread man back to his home.  

the mouse track!
the angry birds puzzle displayed on the smart board
the gingerbread puzzle track and materials

While all three of these puzzles were wrapped up in the colors and characters that appealed to the demographic, under the hood one would find reason, logic, and order to the processes that the students were undertaking. Students could not simply move the pig across the screen, as they might in a video game; rather, they had to carefully plan the necessary steps using a finite set of moves and orders, all within a puzzle that had its own set of rules.

The “process,” in this instance, was really the goal. Incorrect steps proved not be a source of frustration for the students, but rather represented an opportunity identify the misstep, undo a couple of moves, and try again. One could see the students working out their mistakes in real time, and rejoicing aloud upon finding the correct sequence needed to solve the puzzle.

The event saw students using logic, reason, and teamwork to achieve a goal, and having a blast all the while! For more information about the Hour of Code or coding in general, visit the code.org website.

To see more photos of the students coding, please click here!
Superintendent: Neil O'Brien
Phone: 315.776.5728
Fax: 315.776.4050
Address: 30 Maple Avenue
Port Byron, New York 13140