Jennifer Moreno had always been interested in computers. She even served as the secretary of Sam Houston MSTC High School’s computer hardware team, Skills USA. At the time, she hadn’t considered specializing in software.
HISD had just rolled out an SAP internship. Although specified as available only to seniors, Moreno was encouraged by her former teacher, Eduardo Cantu, and internship recruiter, Ty Matthews, to apply as a junior.
Coding helps students solve problems, use logic, and think creatively, and it gives them a foundation for success in 21st century careers. The activities in these three calendars for elementary, middle, and high school include lessons such as designing web pages with HTML, creating a virtual pet, developing interactive art, and even teaching a robot to make crepes.
Design an iPhone game. Track Santa’s movements. Animate text. Those are just a few of the ways students can participate in Computer Science Education Week , which is Dec. 3-9.
The HISD Instructional Technology team has shared the 12 Days of Code with an activity board that allows students to engage in a new coding experience every day.
The activities in these three calendars for elementary, middle, and high school include lessons such as designing web pages with HTML, creating a virtual pet, developing interactive art, and even teaching a robot to make crepes. Continue reading →
Hundreds of HISD employees participated in a Coding Bash and Technology Showcase at Hattie Mae White Education Support Center on Friday, Dec. 8, in support of Computer Science Education Week.
Microsoft and HISD’s Advanced Academics Department partnered on the event, which demonstrated the importance of coding as a way to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The district is leading by example to show students, teachers, and staff members that coding impacts everyone.
On Saturday, Dec. 3, HISD Advanced Academics and the STEM Teacher Development team hosted “Crack the Code: A Coding Challenge Day” with HISD students to kick off Computer Science Education Week, which is Dec. 5–11. Students and teachers from 27 district elementary and middle schools participated in the challenge day, which was held simultaneously at two locations – Southmayd and McGowen elementary schools.
Did you know you could program a computer to play a piano using fruit or PlayDoh as a conductor? That’s what teachers and students learned at a “Crack the Code” event held Jan. 9, at HISD’s Southmayd Elementary School.
Sponsored by the Innovative Curriculum STEM Teacher Development team and funded through the TIF4 STEM grant, “Crack the Code” created an opportunity for teachers to develop coding skills and explore new ways to implement coding in their own classrooms, even when they don’t have computers available. More than 200 students, teachers, and parents participated in the event, which offered a variety of coding activities — both plugged and unplugged — in an exciting day of challenge and learning.
Teachers participated in the learning right along with their students, as they worked their way through the station activities. From creating obstacle courses and navigating mazes to working with Scratch programming and physical computing, participants expanded their coding skills and understanding.
“This was a wonderful experience for my students,” said Judy Salmon, a teacher at Milne Elementary. “They didn’t want to leave and neither did I.”
Managed by the Office Innovative Curriculum and Instruction in partnership with the Department of Research and Accountability, the TIF4 STEM grant is a five-year federal grant in its third year of implementation. The grant provides program support to 23 schools: 18 elementary campuses, three middle schools, and two K-8 campuses.
See more footage of students and their project in the #HISDecoded Twitter feed.
The Innovative Curriculum department will hold its first ever invitational coding event for its TIF 4 STEM grant schools on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 9 a.m. to noon, called “Crack the Code.” Students, teachers, and chaperones from 18 of the grant’s middle schools and elementary schools will convene at Southmayd Elementary School, the host campus, for the day’s festivities.
Over 200 people are expected to participate in the day’s coding activities. A unique aspect of this event is that participants will learn, test, and refine their coding skills alongside each other, highlighting the ability of students and teachers to be co-constructors of STEM-based knowledge and skills.
The purpose of the invitational, is to serve as a “pilot” coding event for HISD. Any business entities, philanthropic organizations, or non-profits interested in helping to support the vision for a district-wide coding event in the future, should contact Annie Song in HISD’s Strategic Partnerships Office at 713-556-7218.
Current funding provided by the TIF 4 grant supports the TIF 4 STEM team, responsible for leading and preparing the day’s activities, busing to the event location, and recognitions for all participants.
Hour of Code is a global initiative that calls for students to do at least one hour of coding during Computer Science Education Week, which runs from Dec. 7 to 13. Basically, coding is typing step-by-step commands into the computer that tell it what you want it to do. When coding, also known as programming, students will use language that computers understand to create computer games, applications, web content, and much more.
Critical thinking is a key part of HISD’s Global Graduate profile. That’s why students from 59 HISD schools are taking part in a worldwide challenge that introduces computational thinking through online challenges.
The team from McGowen ES, who won first place in the beginner division
About 50 teams of students from various HISD elementary and middle schools came together on the campus of Hamilton Middle School May 2, and all were eager to test their mettle as coders in the school’s inaugural “Scratch Off” contest.
Named in honor of the free programming language developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the competition challenged students to complete 20 tasks using Scratch, such as making an animated character called a “sprite” change color or move in particular ways on the screen.
By the time the competition was over, Pin Oak Middle School had nailed down the victory in the advanced division, while a team of students from McGowen Elementary School took home the laurels in the beginner division. Continue reading →