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

Gr. 6 and 7s “Dream It, Design It, Build It”

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.

In “Dream It, Design It, Build It” the girls had the opportunity to draft an object that would serve a purpose in their day-to-day lives using SketchUp, a 3D modelling package. From there, they took saw to wood, hammer to nail, and impact driver to build their designs. All the wood and hardware was donated by Kerrisdale Lumber and our YHS maintenance staff. Had we not found a use for it all of it would have ended in the dump!

The girls did a fantastic job and were very brave learning how to use tools that they had never held before. In fact, one of our students declared on the last day of class, “Now I know what I want for Christmas—an impact driver and a drill!”

What fun!

Jason Camp
Gr. 6 & 7 Teacher

Lela Ling
Science Teacher

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