July Update

It’s been a fantastic first half of the year for CS in Schools. Our amazing fourteen volunteers have helped eight schools and ten teachers master the skills needed to effectively deliver coding classes to over 500 Year 7 students! The teachers are now beginning Term 3 without the need for our in-class support, and they’re all feeling confident teaching their students how to code. At the end of 2019, over 1,000 students will have had the chance to learn how to code! Of course, this also means that these teachers can help another 1,000 students next and every year in the future too.

We thank the classroom volunteers for their dedication to helping teachers and students: thank you to Ben, Bryce, Darren, Helen, Jack, Jeff, Jonatan, Julian, Kevin, Michelle, Nancy, and Zach. We also thank Jacqui, Toan, and Zach for their work outside the classroom. Last, we thank the employers who’ve generously allowed our volunteers to spend time in a classroom each week: MessageMedia, SEEK, Xero, and YOW!.

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CS in Schools volunteer Julian from MessageMedia helping students in the classroom.

To get a sense of what a student can accomplish in a term, it’s worth playing this game that was built by Holly, a Year 7 student from Eltham High School. Click on the link above or on the code image below, and then press “Run” at the top of the screen, and play the game on the right hand side of the screen. If you die a horrible death, press “Run” again. You can see the code that Holly’s written on the left side of the screen.

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An example of a student’s work from a Year 7 class at Eltham High School. Click on the image to play the game.

Holly’s game shows you how the building blocks of coding can be used. The CS in Schools Year 7 lessons help teachers and their students learn the fundamentals of coding: input and output, variables, branching and conditionals, and loops. This is enough for students to be incredibly creative, and our major assignment is an adventure game built in the Python programming language.

We’ve completed most of our work in the classroom for 2019. We’re now focused on expanding the CS in Schools programme. We plan to work with 100 teachers in 2020, and we’re now accepting applications from teachers and schools to join the programme that commences in February 2020. We’re concurrently expanding our volunteer programme and seeking new volunteers for 2020. We remain focused on Year 7 and we’re now accepting applications from all states in Australia. If you’ve got contacts in a school that should have our programme, please get in touch.

To help with recruiting, we’ve recorded two videos. Here’s our video that’s aimed at schools and teachers:

And here’s our video that’s aimed at volunteers:

Thanks to Adam, Amelie, Ella, Jack, Karen, Kristy, Mackenzie, Nancy, Phil, and Sam for their patient participation in our filming. Thanks also to the students and staff of Mount Erin College and Toorak College for hosting us and the film crew. It was a ton of fun!

Thanks for reading the latest, and we’ll be back soon with more.

Cheers, Hugh (on behalf of Kristy and Selina).

 

Published by

Hugh E. Williams

Founder, Advisor, Professor, and Investor. Former Tech Exec.

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