Montreal elementary students learn to code thanks to Kids Code Jeunesse
For the past six years, Kids Code Jeunesse has been going to elementary schools to teach primary students how to code.
The goal is to educate the children on the uses of technology and inspire them to one day help create new innovations.
“It’s not always apparent what they thought went into the apps they interact with, with the smart boards they use,” said Mike Deutsch of Kids Code Jeunesse. “Everything that they are bathing in technologically, so why this is important is we want them to see that it’s all being produced by people and that it could be produced by them.”
This week, the grade four students at Margaret Manson Elementary School in Kirkland received step-by-step instructions to create simple things like a game to play rock, paper, scissors and a scoreboard.
“I’ve made a game where every time you pass the first stage, then you get to go on to the next level,” said Adrian Chevrier, a grade five student and future titan of Silicon Valley.
Already thinking big, Chevrier one day wants to build robots.
“That would be cool,” he said. “To have a robot that would be able to help you wash the dishes or make your food or stuff like that.”
Sheila Dunwoodie, a teacher at the school, is impressed with her students’ progress.
“There are already kids in the fourth grade who are coding beyond what I can do,” she said.
The value of the lessons goes well beyond the equations.
“They’re developing critical thinking, they’re developing problem-solving,” she said. “We have kids work in pairs so they’re collaborating and they’re learning how to work in that type of environment.”
“You get to be in control of the computer,” said grade five student Annie Ciccarello. “You get to see what you can do and it’s fun.”
It has the teacher rethinking the debate of screen time.
“Our rule is that they need to be creating something,” Dunwoodie said. “They can’t be consuming something when they’re on the screen at school.
Thanks to students like Annie Ciccarello and Adrian Chevrier, that screen time could lead to the world’s coolest robot.