Computer Science Education Week is just around the corner! Computer Science can be taught or celebrated any time of the year, but if you are focused on trying to do something for Computer Science Education Week, we wanted to provide you with some ideas on how to participate and maybe jumpstart Computer Science in your school:
Here at VEX Robotics, we, of course, love robots. That’s because we believe that educational robotics provides opportunities for hands-on computer science exploration, empowering students to learn actively by challenging them to solve real-world problems. By familiarizing students with coding, sensors, and automation via robots, they hone the critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century’s workforce and everyday life. Every student can have the opportunity to be inspired by the excitement of hands-on, minds-on STEM learning and the feeling of creating something with technology. Teaching with robots allows us to do just that!
1. Join us for an hour of VEXcode VR:
In honor of Hour of Code™, We’ve created a Coral Reef Cleanup activity, where you are equipped with a VR Ocean Cleaning Robot to help clean the Mangrove Reef. Collect as much trash as you can before the solar-powered batteries on your robot run down. Each level will complete the same activity, but the instructions will be tailored to your experience level with coding. Take up our challenge to use VEXcode to:
- Introduce CS to your students in a FUN and approachable way!
- Build a positive connection to CS principles for your students!
- Demonstrate the importance of robotics and CS in solving real-world challenges!
- Gain knowledge in VEXcode VR that directly applies to VEXcode GO, VEXcode IQ, and VEXcode V5!
- Celebrate your Success! Print your certificate to show how you helped to clean the Mangrove Reef
This aquatic challenge is a great place to learn the importance of STEM education, whether you’re a beginning VEX student or a coding expert in VIQC or VRC. Broadening participation in Computer Science is a major goal of both Computer Science education and Computer Science Education Week. Since its release in April, users have accumulated over 1 million hours of coding using VEXcode VR. Those users have come from over 160 countries. At VEX, we are proud of our contributions to CSforAll.
2. Join CSTA:
Teaching should be a team sport. If you are new to teaching Computer Science, join CSTA and join a community of teachers with a mission to share and support best practices in Computer Science education. There are two membership options for CSTA: Basic and CSTA +. CSTA hosts a conference every year that is known for being the largest teacher-led professional development event in the world. CSTA also has some great resources for Computer Science Education Week around how CS can be used to teach social justice.
3. Become a VEX Certified Educator:
At VEX Robotics, we realize that the true change-agents in education are classroom teachers. Additionally, we also recognize that teachers need the tools and training in order to feel confident and prepared in their classrooms. To that end, we are proud to share our Educator Certification Program. VEX now offers free, online training that helps educators at all different ability levels. Thousands of teachers from all over the world have become VEX Certified Educators.
4. Celebrate YOU:
Take some time to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished. Because so many of you are still teaching from your living rooms instead of your classrooms, your CS knowledge has grown exponentially over the past few months. Here are some articles that you can read over that focus on teacher self-care. You deserve it.
- Angela Duckworth: No time? Teachers can still practice self-care
- Resilient Educator: COVID-19 Tool Kit
- NEA Webinar
The possibilities in CS are endless. Help your students dream bigger by exposing them to these possibilities early. Have questions? Leave a comment below!