Coding At Waukee Elementary
Waukee Elementary and Vince Meyer Learning Center (VMLC) technology teacher Valerie Jansonius spoke at Governor Branstad’s press conference at the Capitol building in December regarding coding with students. Fifth grader, QiYin Weng, has shown an interest in computers and was chosen to attend the press conference Jansonius.
Coding is part of the focus of the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council. Governor Branstad signed a proclamation declaring Dec. 8-14 Computer Education Week in Iowa. The governor is also encouraged schools in the state to participate in the Hour of Code, which was an event global coding event designed to inspire innovation in the next generation.
At each of the elementary schools throughout the district, students have been working on coding during computer class. For the first time, Jansonius has started introducing Waukee Elementary first graders to coding. Her fourth and fifth grade students have also been working on coding and are given the choice to use either Code.org or Scratch.
“Code.org gives you things to do, while Scratch allows you to make your own creations,” fifth grader Gracie Fisher said. “I like to work on it outside of school. I learned just as much about coding at home. I like to use Scratch because it gives us more freedom in what we can create.”
Fifth grader Ethan Rogers had fun creating Superman using Scratch. “We would ask Mrs. Jansonius questions, but we would actually find the answers out on our own. It was like we got to teach the teacher,” stated Rogers.
These two students, undoubtedly along with the rest of their school, have enjoyed working with coding for the past couple months. Both Fisher and Rogers categorize computers and physical education as their favorite classes and are interested in taking computer and other related classes in high school.