Teens Teach Coding!
Written by Ella O'Hanlon, Lauren Walker, and Victoria Choo.
High school seniors at Milton Academy in the U.S. utilized imagiLabs’ tools in community service, volunteering to teach elementary school kids how to code!
The three of us— Ella, Lauren, and Tori— have been working on different projects for three years now with our high school’s Girls Who Code Club. We have competed in hackathons, educated our community about marginalized groups in STEM, and volunteered teaching programming to younger students at local elementary and middle schools. When the time arose to choose a Senior Project to culminate our time in high school, we chose to share our love for computer science with elementary school students in our greater community.
We contacted imagiLabs to discuss the possibility of using their software for our project. Our teacher Chris Hales ultimately bought 10 imagiCharms, and we were provided with lesson plans that we could tailor to our needs. The three of us then began correspondence with the principal of a local elementary school and set up our weekly teaching schedule. We created “Technology Club,” a weekly after school program where 4th and 5th grade students interested in STEM could learn more about introductory computer programming, specifically in the Python language.
Due to Covid-19, we had to teach each class remotely over the Zoom platform. Teaching young students online seemed like a daunting task; however, with our ability to share the imagiLabs slideshows on the screen and see each student’s screen when necessary, we were able to run each lesson very smoothly.
During each class we covered new topics. We started by setting up the imagiCharms and then dove deeper into both introductory and complex concepts. Our students learned to understand matrices, highlight pixels on the screen, made colors using RGB values, and utilized variables and functions in various ways. After each class, our students loved to show off the pictures they had created on their charms. As our project period wound down, we forwarded our lesson materials to a teacher at the elementary school, so the club could continue even after we stopped teaching it.
We hope to pass down our work to next years’ heads of the Girls Who Code club, so that Milton Academy can continue to work with imagiLabs to instill a love for computer programming in younger students in the Milton area.