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Teachers Participate in Code Camp

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Teachers from all over the Grand Valley returned to class Saturday morning but this time they were the ones sitting in on a lecture.

Sounds of cats meowing and bells ringing had educators learning ways to incorporate new technologies into classrooms.

"You can see how excited everybody is inside because we're all looking at each other like 'We can take this back, oh! we can do that for the next unit,'" said 7th grade teacher Rebecca Jones.

It was all part of a day-long code camp --where teachers are trained on computer science and how to work with STEM tools.

"We're going to be able to bring to all of the students and incorporate it into some of our projects and letting the kids actually create."

The camp taught by the University of Colorado-Boulder Science Discovery instructors set no boundaries as to who could participate --"Whether it's a science classroom, a math classroom, we have a high school business teacher here, ESL. This can bring learning alive to kids and we want to be able to provide a fun way of integrating coding across our classroom," said Code Camp Coordinator Heidi Ragsdale.

Teachers sat in groups of four to help each other create and innovate with two types of technologies --the Makey Makey, "It's a basic bread board, circuit board and it can turn any flat surface or any surface into a circuit" and the Edison Robot --"You can take math lessons and turn them into coding scenarios where kids are actually coding the robot to do geometry angles. you can have races, competitions with these things."

By the end of the Code Camp the teachers will not only leave with the equipment provided, but a goal to help bring coding into classrooms.

Jones said, "So not only are they going to know photosynthesis and cellular respiration but they are going to be able to work with groups and they are going to be able to incorporate new horizons of technologies into sharing their knowledge."

A Western STEM Conference will be held on April 14th for girls in third grade to eighth grade at West Middle. If you're interested and would like to register you can email Heidi.Ragsdale@d51schools.org

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