Thursday, December 15, 2016

Coding Craze @ Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School



This week, the entire student body at Notre Dame Elementary School, JK - Grade 8,  participated in Hour of Code activities.   When I stopped in to check out all the excitement, I quickly realized that Coding at Notre Dame was much more than an activity, it is a movement.  In addition to coding with their Grade ½ and Grade 8 class, I had the pleasure of spending time with two members of their Coding Club, Antonio and Gabriel. These two coders blew me away with their knowledge, passion and ability to create and share games online.  I encourage you to take some time to read their journey below.

Notre Dame Coding Club
Gabriel:
When we first announced coding club we had a lot of students interested.  During coding club we all go into the Hub and we get devices and start working.  Some kids are working in Code.org, some play on Lightbot and some of us are making games.  

Antonio:
The coding club meets once a week, but we like to come as often as we can.  



Last year Mr. Hooper and Ms. Ouellette put out a Game/App Creation Contest for the Coding Club.  We (Antonio, Gabriel, Hunter and Massimo) not only made a game, we made an entire gaming site, called Arcade Mania. We created games called Tap Band, Brick Breaker, Pong and Tappy Road. We modelled our games after existing games, but this year we made our own from scratch.  

We created a survey to see how people like our games and what their favourite games are.  Our survey currently shows Tappy Road is our most popular game and our least popular is Brick Breaker.  We would appreciate it if you could try out our games and take our survey.


Gabriel:
My favourite game is the Pizza Simulator. I spent a lot of time making it and it is one of our newer games.  I like this game because it looks nice, it has music in the background and is fun to play.  People who play this game get to make pizzas. They earn money from each pizza they make and can use it to build their restaurant.  




Antonio:
My favourite game is Santa’s Christmas Adventure.  For this game you drive Santa through the air and drop presents into chimneys.  You have a certain amount of presents that you can deliver within 90 seconds.  The game ends when you run out of time, you run out of presents or you crash into a house.

I learned to be patient and a better problem solver because when something in a game doesn’t work, you have to keep trying to fix it instead of giving up.


Antonio, Gabriel, Massimo
Gabriel:
I’ve learned something new as I never knew how apps games worked.  Now I can make simple games, websites and I hope to learn more in the future.  

I would suggest other schools have coding clubs because it is a good opportunity for students to try something new and different.  If all of the schools did coding then we could connect school and have game making competitions.

Antonio:

I would recommend a coding club as it helps to teach kids math, to be patient and problem solvers.  It also teaches us how to work better in groups especially when you get together to make games like we did.  

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