Park Street Elementary School students combine coding with robotics

Article Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In today's world, creating computer code is a priority learning skill for digital literacy. At Park Street Elementary School in Fredericton, a Day of Coding Challenge brought 180 students together from Grades 1-5 to see if they could create code and program robots to move, follow directions and complete certain tasks.

Grade 5 students worked to develop four coding mats with help from Kayoe Stewart of Brilliant Labs and their Principal Rien Meesters. These mats were designed like mazes for the Dash robots (charged and ready to play out of the box) to move through and solve challenges. 

Each move of a robot had a code attached based on programming and software which, in turn, dictated what the robot could and would do. The coding mats carried themes such as space, the beach, rescue, and the crowd favourite for the day, candy land. 

"It was truly amazing to see the development of the mats, the problem solving and teamwork and the overall deep learning of the day," said Rien Meesters. "As we watched the teams work together, and often with the support from older students, it was amazing to see the learning, negotiations, strategy and understanding of basic to more advanced block coding."

Prizes were drawn among the participants and the six top coders of the day from Mme. Josette Turbide's class also received a Microbit Inventors package and an Apple t-shirt.  Activities began in the morning and continued at a feverish pace until mid-afternoon, the principal said.