Grade 7s Participate in Nationwide “Hackathon”

Hack•a•thon: An event, typically lasting several days/hours, in which a number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

On December 13, our Grade 7 students participated in a nationwide “hackathon”!

Schools across Canada participated in this event put on by Hackergal, a not-for-profit organization that helps introduce girls to coding. We were very excited to work with them to provide this opportunity for our students.

In preparation for the hackathon, students participated in lessons using the “Codesters” coding platform. During these sessions, students were introduced to the Python coding language and learned the skills needed for the full day hackathon.

Our hackathon started with a video call with several other schools across Canada who were also participating in local Hackergal events in their area and Kumiko Imai, the Program Manager for Hackergal, at York House, to host the call.

After introducing our group and meeting all the other schools, students began work on their projects. Students were given the theme for this year’s hackathon; “The Environment”. Though this was a very broad topic, we were very fortunate that it tied in directly with the work students have been doing with Ms. Chevreau in Social studies where they have been researching the impact of the environment on the development of early humans.

Working with their partner, students generated potential ideas and developed a guiding question. Next, students began work on designing the user experience and gathering the research they needed to answer their question. The girls then began the process of coding and debugging their program using the Codesters platform.

Our day ended with time for students to share their projects with the rest of the group and receive feedback from the judges. Programs were evaluated based on design, coding, and gameplay. We congratulate all the girls for their hard work and thank them for making it a fun and productive day.

Mr. Nathan Reimer
Junior School Educational Technology Coordinator

Category: Junior School
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ADST with Grades 6 and 7

This year, students in Grade 6 and 7 are taking classes in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) as part of the new BC curriculum. Through ADST, students have the opportunity to design, build, and experiment with new technologies. They learn to test, reflect and modify their designs and then share their designs with an audience. Throughout the experience, students better understand the design making process through class discussions, design journals, and self-reflections.

Students experimenting with light and shadow

Students choose from six ADST modules and take three different modules over the year based upon their choices. The modules include Yearbook with Mr. Reimer; Shadow Puppets with Ms. Webb and Ms. Grundvig; Dream it, Design it, Build it with Mr. Camp and Ms. Ling; Clothing Conscious with Ms. Regan and Ms. Chevreau; and Tree-preneurship with Ms. Comeau.

Chinese shadow puppets

For the shadow puppets module, students played with traditional shadow leather puppets from China and Indonesia and learned more about the 2000-year-old history of this endangered art form. Using a large white screen and an overhead projector, students had fun exploring the properties of light with simple paper puppets and small objects. Over the next few weeks, they will work in small groups to design and build their own puppets, write a story based on a folk or fairy tale and then create a shadow puppet play for the primary grades using light, shadow, and music.

Category: Junior School
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