Computer Science Week

Author: Georgina Dimova

Date: 10 – 14 February 2020

Organized by: Gjorgjina Dimova and Maja Videnovic
Primary schools: Strasho Pindjur  – Negotino and Krste Misirkov – Skopje

Materials used: Computers, Egg cartons, colored paper, worksheets, Power Point, Scratch, Kahoot, Excel, QR code reader.

More on: nedelanainformatikata.wordpress.com and dig-ed.org.

Computer Science Week is an event organized in primary schools to:

  • increase students’ interest in studying Computer Science and coding,
  • improve their knowledge in coding,
  • involve younger students into coding through playful unplugged activities,
  • teach students how to stay safe online and be good online friend.

The idea for the event has arised from our belief that every student can learn computer science with carefully chosen and interesting activities, that can raise its interest and motivation.

As the idea of Escape Room has been very popular lately among the students, it was really provoking to try to find a way to use it in educational way. The Educational Escape Room was designed as an experience in which students had to solve a combination of puzzles in a limited amount of time in order to win in the game. The puzzles of the escape room were arranged as a treasure hunt – each puzzle unlocked the next one. The designed educational escape room combined computer-based and physical puzzles, in order to create a highly engaging activity without compromising its educational value. Puzzles consisted of information from Computer Science but also encouraged improving students’ knowledge and skills through teamwork, communication, collaboration, and learning from each other.

Created educational escape room was very interesting and fascinating even for its creators. That was the reason why the planning of its spreading with other teachers seemed a good idea. So, the call for the teachers that would like to participate and try this with their students was announced. In total, 36 schools and more than 1500 students were part of this event. As a result of this huge interest, more activities were planned. The idea was to develop different activities that will correspond to different students age, but taking into account their final goal – to improve students’ knowledge and skills in Computer Science.

Students from lower grades (mostly 2nd year) took part in the activity concerning making first step in coding. The workshop “Coding with egg cartons” was organized for students to learn coding through unplugged activity. The labyrinths with egg cartons were created. Colored paper for lava (that is what you should avoid) was used. The goal was to find one plastic egg that should be reached by walking through the labyrinth. Students managed to use just ↓, →, ↑, ← to create algorithms that will lead to the goal.

Coding students’ names in binary system was an activity planned for the 3rd grade students. They have been introduced with the binary code and the alphabet presented in binary numbers. Afterwards students coded their names in binary on a sheet of paper which was put on the classroom wall.

Students from 4th grade learned how to behave online. The idea was to introduce them with the bullying and cyber bullying, as a procedure that can hurt people. They should speak on this topic openly and share their thoughts. At the end of the workshop students have created set of rules how to behave online.

Students from the higher grades have participated in the workshops dedicated to the Safer Internet Day organized on the 11th of February 2020. The workshop was prepared from the students and dedicated to the students. The idea was that students learn from each other, improving their knowledge and skills how to be safe online. Power Point presentations, Scratch stories and Kahoot quizzes were part of the students’ idea how to present this concept to other students and how to reach as many students as we can. 

However, educational escape room was the one that attracted students’ attention the most. Implementation of the educational escape room has led to a lot of excitement, fun and satisfaction among the students. They were very competitive, trying to solve puzzles, to find the next treasure and to succeed. Students were enjoying during the activity and showed great interest in it.

If you want to read about all the activities in all schools please visit our web page: nedelanainformatikata.wordpress.com. There you can find and download all the materials for the workshops and the Escape room.

Summary

When we started to plan the activities for this event, we believed that everyone can learn to Computer Science with carefully chosen and interesting activities. We tried to find those interesting activities and came across Escape room. So we thought what about using this interesting game and using it to learn?  We developed Escape Room where all the puzzles are made with questions of Computer Science. Then we thought that it will be good if more teachers and students participated. We made a call for teachers to participate, and now after all week of activities we have 36 schools and more than 1500 students that coded with egg cartons, coded their names in binary, solved puzzles and compete in Escape room, learned about internet safety, played kahoot.


We organized these activities:

Coding with egg cartons

With 2 grade students we organized workshop – Coding with egg cartons. We created labyrinths with egg cartons. We used colored paper for lava (that is what you should avoid).  One plastic egg was our goal that is to be reached by walking through the labyrinth. The students just by using ↓, →, ↑, ← created algorithms that lead to the goal.

Code your name

Students from 3rd grade coded their names in binary. Students were presented with the binary code and the alphabet presented in binary numbers. Then on a sheet of paper they coded their names into binary.

Workshop Feeling barometer

Students from 4th grade learned that  bullying and cyber bullying is not good because it hurts people. Then they made set of rules when we are online.

Safer Internet Day workshop

On 11th February – Internet Safety Day we organized workshops with 5th grade students about how to be good online friend. Then students played kahoot.

All these workshops we organized by 6th and 7th grade students – from students for the students.

And every day during Computer Science Week students from 6th to 9th grade solved puzzles in the Escape room.  Students had to solve 5 puzzles in order to find the device that was hidden in the computer classroom and save the world. All puzzles were created according to the computer science curriculum.

We measured their time and the groups with the best time were winners.

This entry was posted in 2020, Uncategorized by georginadimova. Bookmark the permalink.
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About georginadimova

Gjorgjina Dimova is a Computer science teacher for 18 years in primary school “Strasho Pindjur” – Negotino, R. Macedonia. She’s National Geographic Certified teacher, etwinning ambassador, scientix ambassador, TeachSDGs ambassador, Edmodo ambassador, curriculum and British Council trainer for Critical Thinking and problem solving and using the microbit. Microsoft Innovative Educatior Expert for three years, Microsoft Trainer. She’s a curriculum trainer for the Bureau of Education in Macedonia. She has trained over 500 teachers for implementing activities for the subject “Working with computers and coding” .She has trained over 200 people in basic Software skills and coding as a trainer. She has also trained teachers for Formative assessment and Innovative use of ICT in education. Validated trainer for The British Council for “Critical Thinking and problem solving” for the 21Century schools project. She’s co-founder of the Center for Innovations and digital education DIG-ED – organization whose goals are to improve digital competencies for students and teachers by organizing activities with the schools and trainings for teachers. Chosen among 65 best teachers of Former Yugoslav Republic. E-Innovation winner 2018. Global Teacher Award 2019 winner

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