Over 30 classrooms across the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) dedicated an hour each day to an essential skill during Canada’s Hour of Code. In conjunction with Computer Science Education Week, the Hour of Code ran from December 6 to 10 this year and introduced Kindergarten to Grade 12 students to STEM and computer programming.
“It’s important for our students to become familiar with coding, computer science and other technologies so that they are equipped with the digital skills they need to be successful,” said UCDSB Learning Partner Bryan Kearney.
Rockland Public School, Russell High School, and Russell Public School are three of the schools that participated in the Hour of Code. Kearney himself visited Kemptville Public School and led a class through a programming activity that pitted students against a series of challenges based on disease spread.
“This outbreak simulator fosters problem-solving skills using an example that students can relate to,” Kearney said.
The activity instructed students on how to code a program to predict how a disease might spread in different scenarios, including how many people might contract the disease and how prevention measures might slow the spread. Students predicted what might happen before they started and then saw if their predictions matched up with their code’s results.
This is just one example of an activity that schools use to introduce students to coding concepts. The Hour of Code website has an entire list of activities that don’t require any additional software and can be accessed free of charge.