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Have technology, will travel
Have technology, will travel
Posted on 11/15/2019
Students using iPad to program small, blue robotsDresden Elementary fifth grader Georgia DiFalco knows how important it is to learn computer science at an early age.

“I think learning is important because in your future you will need to learn code,” she said.  “I think it’s fun and it is so important to learn how it works.”
DiFalco and her elementary peers from across the school district now have access to more computer science materials, thanks to Project C.O.D.E.  (Creating Outstanding Digital Education) – an initiative of UCS media specialists. 

Media Center teachers recently received a $40,000 grant from the Community Telecommunications Network to create a mobile learning unit that provides iPads, robots, and programming kits that can travel between all 25 UCS elementary schools.

“We want every student to have access to coding and computer science materials,” said Dresden Media Specialist Cheryl Boes. 

The Project C.O.D.E. mobile coding carts are spending several weeks at each school throughout the district.

Recently, the mobile materials were at Dresden Elementary, where students used iPads to make their miniature robots follow special routes or retrieve materials, such as strawberries. 

“I like coding because when you succeed, it is very satisfying,” said sixth grader Van O’Brien. “You do a bunch of work to get to the end and accomplish something. You learn to work with other people and put other things together to make something big happen.”

O’Brien is part of a team of students who will be going to Lansing in early December to share Project C.O.D.E.’s success with state lawmakers at the 19th annual AT&T / MACUL Student Technology Showcase.

Their message for the lawmakers and other conference attendees is that learning how to code in elementary school will build a foundation of problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills. The basic computer science principles learned by UCS elementary students encourage them to be creators with technology not just consumers. We want to inspire the creators of the future.

“Project C.O.D.E.  is really fun and interesting,” said Dresden fifth grader Lilly McNair.