Tuesday, March 15, 2016

EIPS Scratch Day 2016 Reflection

Our fourth annual EIPS Scratch Day was March 10, 2016 in the Bev Facey main gym. Over 300 students in grades 4 to 9 participated in coding challenges designed for beginner through experienced Scratch users.

Students were given a list of challenges to complete, and were awarded points for completing each. The supervisors had access to a form (see below) that they used to assign points to a school as students completed challenges. For an overview of how that worked, check out Creating a Leaderboard using Google Drive, but note that the "on form submit" trigger was overwhelmed by the speed at which student were completing challenges.

Throughout the day there were just over 3000 completed challenges recorded, about half of them "beginner" level, and the school with the most points per student was Rudolph Hennig Junior High with 6479 points recorded for their 42 students. In second place was FRH (3387/23) and third was LLR (5303/39).

Of course the event wasn't all about getting points. After lunch we had an unplugged computing science activity inspired by csunplugged.org/binary-numbers where students got into groups of four and represented 4-bit binary numbers by standing (1) or squatting (0). We even did some adding and subtracting of binary numbers, such as 1101 - 0100 = 1001 (13 - 4 = 9).

At the end of the day, once a few schools with longer bus rides had left and the tables had been cleared out, we repeated that activity with 8-bit binary numbers.

Along the side of the gym we also had some booths set up where the amazing Mr. Chung's students had set up technology demonstrations of cool things like Makey MakeyOculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and mBot.

Hopefully the students and staff learned some things and are inspired to try other coding activities such as code.orgcodecombat.com, or even more advanced things like robotics, microcontrollers, or app creation.

Some feedback we've received about the event includes:

Omg soo hungry and this is awesome food #eips16scratch
via @B_taylor2016

I just wanted to pass along a big thank you from FSCS. We really enjoyed scratch day yesterday and it provided our grade six with valuable skills that they will follow up in class. I loved the way the challenges were done this year with the score keeping. via C. Charest

Hey guys I'm here at scratch day and I'm making pacman #scratchday #eips16scratch via @_Disco_Potato_

I just wanted to say thank you for such a great day yesterday.  I think that 320 students had an amazing day. Those kids were pumped and excited about Scratch and worked the entire day.  To maintain their attention and concentration that long was impressive.  Thanks for all your efforts and organization.  I was happy to help out, and enjoyed my entire day.  I thought the inclusion of the high school students and their demos was really cool part of the day. via D. Nelson

Just got back from Scratch Day! 350 kids, tech, tech support, consultant support, coding, all levels of students- what great opportunities for our learners. via D. Barron

Thank you again (and also to your team) for a wonderful day. The grade 4s were abuzz and felt so special to be part of something with the older students. We will definitely see you next year! via H. Bianchini

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped out, hopefully I haven't forgotten to include anyone here. The staff and students at Bev Facey were amazingly helpful and accommodating, in particular G. Chung and A. Mali coordinated so many logistical things. J. Steele-Watts and her commercial foods staff and students also put together a great lunch. Thank you as well to FRH and B. Salyzyn for lending tables and chairs.

Events like this can't happen without the support and encouragement of Central Services staff, particularly Learning Technologies and Supports for Students. Thank you to G. Kloet, E. Carrasco, and E. Diaz for setting up the network and making sure all of the technical details worked. Thank you to D. Nelson, J. Ference, J. Sundar, L. Sereda, D. Barron, and J. Clark for coming out and helping, and to J. Clark and L. Skitsko for paying for busing and some substitute coverage from the Learning Services budget. Of course a big thank you to all of the school staff that brought students and arranged all of the related logistics, and to E. Zimmerman and M. Liguori for being supportive of this event.

We're looking forward to our fifth annual EIPS Scratch Day on March 8, 2017.

1 comment:

Drew Watts said...

Thank you so much for sharing details of this conference! I wanted to attend it but got busy in doing arrangements at a Seattle convention center for cousin’s wedding. She met with an accident and sought my help!