Thursday, December 2, 2021
How does a robot vacuum know what to do? How does a microwave know that you’re making popcorn? The answer lies in sophisticated computer language known as code.
Even the simplest computerized technology is not much more than a pile of parts without complex code to provide instructions that make it operate. On November 30, 2021, MPS students showed off their coding skills and brought the process to life through a virtual Day of Code.
Leading up to Computer Science Education Week (CSEd Week), December 6–10, 2021, student ambassadors from Golda Meir School, Washington High School, and Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language offered presentations and demonstrations for students and staff in MPS. CSEd Week is promoted by Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding computer science education.
For students in grades K–5, students from Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, led by teacher Joanne Richards, shared SCRATCH coding projects including a dice game, color spinner, Etch-a-Sketch line drawer, and an input-output machine. Sixth-grade students from Golda Meir School, led by teacher Tina Gleason, demonstrated Ozobots for younger students. Golda Meir eighth-graders shared their Sustainable Playground App that offers information about the new sustainability features on their playground while getting people moving. At Washington High School, teachers Scott Kempen and Dianthe Morgan facilitated students in demonstrating app development, creating artwork using Python with Turtle graphics, designing interactive projects using Arduino, and exploring the educational features of the Merge Cube 3-D device.
Returning for a second year as emcee for the event was Nadiyah Johnson, graduate of Rufus King High School and founder of The Milky Way Tech Hub and Jet Constellations. The computer science industry is proactively engaging with girls and people of color to explore coding as a career path, and Johnson is one of those leading the way.
The three Day of Code events are available for viewing by students, families, staff, and the community.
K-5 Session presented by Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language
Grades 6-8 Session presented by Golda Meir School
High School Session presented by Washington High School
MPS has a wide range of technology and computer science classes available to students, including a one-to-one Chromebook ratio in schools. In addition, technology spaces have increased across the district and include makerspaces, Fab Labs, culinary arts labs, robotics labs, and more.
Families are encouraged to inquire about technology available in schools and to learn more about individual school offerings by contacting school sites for a personal tour. Explore MPS schools at mpsmke.com.