Bellevue Students Learn Coding through Dot and Dash Programs

     Published on 11/9/16   Tagged under:    District News    Academics    Bellevue Elementary School   

“Another 90 degrees really fast and we’ll reach the end of the course!”
Bellevue fourth and fifth graders are enjoying the school’s Robotics Club as part of an eight-week enrichment rotation. Using ‘Wonder Workshop’ robots Dash and Dot, the students are learning the fundamentals of computer coding.
Lining up plastic ups to create a ‘course,’ students work together on iPads to instruct the robot where to move—including how far, how fast and at what angle. They can even program sound effects! Students with special needs learn to use an app to program the robots to play a song on a xylophone.
“I like this club because I like robots,” fifth grader Violette Bailey said. “My family used to try to make robots with apps, so now I’m actually learning how to do it! We learn new stuff every time we come.”
“It’s fun and interesting,” fifth grader Shaiaja Anderson added. “It’s like using race cars, but with an app! Coding is fun because it’s like you’re making your own video game. In real life, you can actually use it to make your own games! I might want to do that one day.”
Library Media Specialist Kristian Englert said technology moguls like Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg have commented on the lack of people with coding skills in the tech industry. Starting the students with foundational coding skills at a young age, he said, is only going to help them in the future.
“I like the kids to be doing as much hands-on stuff as possible,” Mr. Englert said. “I show them how to do things, but they learn a lot on their own, too. They’re problem solving and motivating themselves to push through the challenges they encounter. And they may be on iPads, but they are also engaged with me and each other in real life, while they are acting as a community of learners working together!”
Good luck to these coding experts of the future as they develop their knowledge!