Briarcliff Second Graders Launch Inaugural Code Fest

Todd second grader Saam Shanani teaches a first grade buddy how to code on an iPad using the “CodeSpark” app.

The inaugural Code Fest at Briarcliff Manor’s Todd Elementary School, a year in the making, took place in June thanks to planning by the district’s 1:1 technology program and the technology department – headed by Director of Technology Erica Beasley. In the summer of 2018, Technology Mentor Dr. Tracy Campanile met with teachers to set a technology goal for the year, plan strategies and develop lesson plans. The second grade set the team goal of making Code Fest happen.

Code Fest 2019 kicked-off with each second-grade classroom screening a short coding video, followed by a group discussion about key terms like algorithms and programmers. The students then split up into small mixed groups of first and second graders who opened the “CodeSpark” app on their iPads.

Second grader Saam Shanani said, “Coding is giving the computer a message to do something. You tell the computer what to do [and] you get to see things happen.”

“Code Fest was a unique opportunity for our second graders to showcase the coding skills they have been working on all year, and to make connections with younger students,” said Ms. Michelle Kiger, a second grade teacher.

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About the Author: Evelyn Mertens