STEaM micro:bit

This workshop was held on April 25th at Primary school “Sreten Mladenovic Mika”, Nis, Serbia as a part of join activities within NiSTEaM initiative of Scientix Ambassadors from the city of Nis for taking part in SDW 2019. It is an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new micro:bit micro controller board, and Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. It is a project-based curriculum with a maker philosophy at its core; the idea is that by making physical objects, students create a context for learning the coding and computer science concepts.

We found that existing curriculum for beginners focused mostly on solving math problems or constructing geometric shapes and that there was a certain type of student that signed up for computer science classes and these students were almost always boys. We wondered whether a different approach to teaching the basics of computer programming would be more engaging and also attract a larger variety of different types of students, both boys and girls.

We decided to focus on what knowing how to program allowed you to do and create. Ultimately all programs are created to solve a problem or serve a purpose. The problem may be local or global, the purpose may be anything from helping doctors treat patients to pure entertainment. By starting with interesting problems the students wanted to solve, they were much more engaged in learning to code. They saw coding skills as an important part of building creative solutions.

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About Dalibor Todorovic

Dalibor Todorovic graduated from the Faculty of Electronic Engineering with a degree in Computer Engineering and Informatics. He works as a teacher of Informatics and Computing. In his teaching practice he seeks to develop his students' digital competencies through project-oriented teaching while encouraging their analytical and critical thinking skills and their ability for problems solving. He teaches his students not only to be consumers but also creators of digital contents, for what they are rewarded at different national and international competitions. As a member of the Pedagogical Society of Informatics in Serbia, he is institutionally committed to improving the quality of IT education by participating actively in working groups, competitions, trainings and events that this society actualizes or supports. He is a member of the working group of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development for the redefinition of IT content in primary and secondary schools. He is in charge of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Manuscript Assessment of Textbooks for Computing and Informatics. He is one of the Scientix ambassadors for Serbia, the science community for the promotion of STEM education in Europe. He is also the ambassador of the Erasmus plus program for Serbia, as well as for the eTwinning European network that promotes collaboration among European schools through the Internet portal using information and communication technologies in a safe way. Within this network he provides training and support to teachers, educators and professional associates both at the national and European level. He is the winner of national awards and recognitions such as "Digital Class". He is also the winner of the "eSkills for Jobs 2016 - Outstanding digital skills developer" competition by European Commission for excellence in digital skills through extensive use of ICT in teaching, an innovative way of developing students’ digital skills and a cross-curricular approach to teaching digital skills.