Visual Coding camp
One highlight of our work in the “Teachers Communities of Learning” program during 2019-20 was the camps conducted on visual programming at St Euphrasias Girls High School during January 2020. The objective was to strengthen STEM capabilities in the students, and we decided to introduce this through a project on visual programming. The overall intent was to demonstrate within the school context, pedagogic innovations through digital integration, even within the core subject areas.
Students were introduced to Turtle Blocks, a visual programming environment.
The objective here was for students to experience the processes involved in computing and algorithmic thinking. They were introduced to the basics of computing, the idea of software and also learnt to write code blocks for creating different images in Turtle Blocks.
Students enjoyed exploring Turtle Art to try out different kinds of instructions to the turtle. This process strengthens the thinking about providing clear and complete instructions for the code to achieve the desired result. Subsequently, students participated in the ‘Student Digifest’ in February 2020 and presented a live demonstration of code blocks.
Data analysis camp
The primary objectives of the data analyses project were to introduce students to the idea of data analysis, the processes of data collection, tools for data representation and also introduce them to possible career options in this area. With data science emerging as a major area of interest, as a basis for Artificial Intelligence, basic skills in data analyses will become even more important.
Through participatory processes, students identified areas / institutions on which data was to be collected and framed the questions for data collection as well.
Accompanied by team members from ITfC and the school teachers, students visited different institutions and areas and collected data. The groups then worked together to organize the data and analyze it using spreadsheets as well. This immersive experience was conducted in the school over a period of 5-6 weeks, culminating in students’ presentation at the Digifest.