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Medfield's Blake Middle School Students Celebrate Computer Science During Hour of Code Event
Andrea Moores
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

MEDFIELD -- Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and Blake Middle School Principal Nathaniel Vaughn are pleased to share that Blake Middle School students last week participated in several activities to learn about computer science and coding. 

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students participated in the Hour of Code event. During their math classes, students took part in a number of coding and STEAM activities and challenges.

Hour of Code is a national learning event held each year in recognition of Computer Science Week, which took place Dec. 9 through Dec. 15. The Hour of Code is meant to introduce students to computer science and show them that anyone can learn the basics of coding. 

During the event, there were 12 stations of coding and STEAM activities set up for students to explore. The stations provided a mix of technology and everyday materials for students to complete challenges. Students chose their top two stations to spend 15 minutes at during their math class. With any remaining time, they were also able to walk around to visit other stations.

"We were very excited to offer our students the opportunity to learn about coding and computer science through this event," Principal Vaughn said. "The range of activities allowed our students to choose which computer science topics were most interesting to them, and the interactive activities helped our students get out of the classroom to explore their interests in creative ways. Thank you to all of our Blake Middle School staff who helped make the Hour of Code so successful."

The stations available during the Blake Hour of Code included: 

  • AI Machine Learning: Students explored Google's AI Experiments or Code.org's AI.

  • Binary Name Bracelets: Students created a bracelet using colored beads that spelled a name in binary code. 

  • Makey Makey Operation: Students worked in teams to remove a foreign object from Sponge Bob and Scratch Cat by completing an operation with a Makey Makey kit, an electronic tool that connects everyday objects to computer programs. 

  • Code.org Dance Party: Students coded the choreography for their chosen dance team and song. 

  • Marble Run Challenges: Students worked in teams to build unique marble runs with a variety of materials. 

  • Little Bits Circuit Challenge: Students worked in teams to use Little Bits, similar to electronic Lego pieces, to build a wireless doorbell, a throwing arm or an animal that wags its tail. 

  • Code a 3D Snowflake with your Name: Students used code to design their name into a snowflake to be printed in 3D or in 2D as a vinyl decal. 

  • Code.org Minecraft Designer: Students acted as creative designers to make their own Minecraft game by programming the creatures' actions in the game. 

  • Micro:bit Morse Code or Rock Paper Scissors: Students coded a Micro:bit, a pocket-sized programmable computer, to make a rock, paper sheet or pair of scissors appear when it is shaken. Students then used their programmed Micro:bits to play the game with a partner. 

  • Build a Robot Face: Students used common materials like Popsicle sticks and fasteners to create a robotic face that can make facial expressions. 

  • Create a Virtual Reality Space: Students throughout the day added to a virtual reality story using images and 3D objects and coded the animations of the objects.

  • Create a GIF or MEME at the Green Monstah Studio: Based on a scenario card, students recorded their own GIF or MEME in the Green Monstah video production room. 

The Hour of Code was organized by Blake's Technology Integration Specialist Diane Horvath and was sponsored by the Blake Makerspace and the math department.

Check out video from the day's activities.