If one were to ask many Lower School students whether they would ever consider being computer programmers, many of them would respond with a resounding “YES”! That is because Mount Vernon recently embraced a national moment called The Hour of Code which successfully introduced the concept of coding in a fun an interactive way and in just one hour.
For an entire week, Design Thinking Coordinator Mary Cantwell worked with many students putting them in the driver’s seat as they learned the commands and key strokes to produce code for computers programs. She also worked with some the sixth graders who collectively wrote 2500 lines of code in just 45 minutes.
One of the biggest outcomes of the week-long learning experience involved a new awareness that students do not only have to respond to a computer program/application command but instead they themselves can command and create something. “The Hour of Code opened the eyes of our students and teachers in realizing how coding is not just a game on a computer. Coding is a language, a demonstration of multiple Mount Vernon Mindsets, and an opportunity to discover a lifelong passion and career, shares Mary Cantwell.
During the Hour of Code many teachers shared they too, had no idea what coding could look like, but now that they have an initial understanding, they would like to learn more. The experience also resulted in many Mount Vernon students skipping recess so they could keep working, with many even taking the experience home to share with their families.