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Technology Lab

Technology Lab

“Every student at every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.” Code.org

It is estimated that there will be one million jobs available in computer science fields by 2020, but even as those numbers increase it is still overlooked in the educational realm. At Penn Christian Academy, we are doing our part to close that gap with our students. In the fall of 2015, computer science programs for robotics and coding/programming were integrated into our technology curriculum. To better equip our students, it was vital that we begin to add these components of STEM programming.

Robotics: To ensure that each student has exposure to these programs, four weeks is dedicated to learning the basics of robotics for grades K-6. During this time, students work with gears, motors, sensors, etc., to create robots of different kinds. Some robots are powered by sensors, while others are created out of recycled materials. In addition to class time, groups of students meet monthly to build with Lego Robotics, reinforcing the concepts that are taught in the classroom.

Coding/Programming: Coding opens the minds of students allowing them to do what they didn’t think possible. Students build algorithms while working with peers to problem-solve, pushing them to think outside the box. Students share completed works with each other in amazement of what they’ve just created. The excitement that coding has brought changes the way we focus our technology. Computer lab time is spent learning the basics of coding through online resources such as Code.org, Scratch, and Hopscotch. First graders love apps like The Foos and Scratch Jr. Sixth grade students take it one step further as they are given building blocks of programming in JavaScript.

Mrs. Kara Kelly, PCA’s technology teacher, states, “I stand back in amazement of how these students soar. These technologies are giving students the chance to start young, and find passion within themselves that they didn’t know existed.”