inSTED Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

By Hayley Roberts
Our inSTED program strives to inspire joy at the idea of discovery, create a culture that fosters innovation, and equips our students with the skills and mindsets they will need to navigate the world they live in. So when Computer Science Education Week launched this week, the JTD robots plowed snow, paraded around classrooms, and even played golf! 
Computer Science Education Week is celebrated from December 6 to 12 this year, across 60,000 schools and 140 countries. This week, under the guidance of Emma Hedgcock, our Education Technology Specialist, all students are taking part in intentionally designed computer science activities, which focus on developing students' logical thinking and problem-solving skills using robotics, various programming languages, and engaging coding games. 

Highlights from this week include: 

Kindergarten: INDI’s Thanksgiving Parade 
After hearing the story about the puppeteer who invented the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, students designed their own balloons, and then programmed their INDI robots to follow the parade route. 

Grade 1: Binary Bracelets 
Students first read “Computer Decoder,” a book that tells the story of Dorothy Vaughan, one of NASA’s first African American managers and one of the groundbreakers on the front line of electronic computing. Then they used Binary Coding to create a bracelet using the binary alphabet.

Grade 2: Dash on Snow Patrol
After making sure Dash, our robot, was prepared for cold weather, students had to work with their partners to help Dash collect snow. They used Block Programming to code the robot to clear all the snow. 

Grade 3: Hour of Code: Classic Maze 
Students used Blockly, a visual programming language where you drag and drop blocks to write code and learn the foundations of computer science concepts, which are used anywhere from making apps to controlling the Mars rover. 

Grade 4: Sphero Mini Golf Course 
Fourth grade designed their own mini golf course and used Sphero to code the robot through the course. For this challenge, students could choose to code using Block Programming or Text Programming (Javascript). 

Grade 5: Hour of Code Silent Teacher  
Without any word or explanation, students discovered the basics of Python, a high-level, general-purpose programming language. Silent teacher gives several series of challenges that lead students to guess some rules and learn from their own mistakes.

Grade 6: Micro:Bit Step Counter  
For this challenge, students had to design a fitness tracker to help measure the steps needed to burn off the calories from their favorite snack foods. They used Micro:bits and Block Programming to code a step counter that they can use in real life. 

Click here to access photos from JTD’s Computer Science Week.

Recent Spotlights

The John Thomas Dye School

11414 Chalon Road
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 476-2811
The John Thomas Dye School admits students of any race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs.

Located In Los Angeles, CA, John Thomas Dye is an independent school for grades K-6. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.