By Samantha Marquise, Baylor University Intern
Information Technology used to be the way of the future. However, for today’s children, IT is the way of the present. More and more, job applicants are expected to possess key IT skills, such as coding, in order to perform entry-level jobs. Although coding may seem like a daunting task cut out for engineers and computer scientists, in the modern workforce coding has become a necessity. Because of this, students need to know how to code earlier than ever before. Two teachers at Spring Valley Elementary School have taken on this challenge and are implementing coding into the root of children’s education, kindergarten.
Kristi Fajardo and Kathleen Minshew, teachers at Spring Valley, have seen the need for coding in the classroom, even at a young age. With the new Bee-Bot technology, Ms. Fajardo and Ms. Minshew can now teach their students the basics of coding. By pressing different arrows on the Bee-Bots’ back, students can make the Bee-Bots move to different locations. By doing so, the children practice programming commands and learn the basis of directional coding!
The beauty of the Bee-Bots is that they do not only teach coding. According to Ms. Fajardo, the Bee-Bots also help practice other skills such as counting, the alphabet, and teamwork. Kids work in small groups to complete different math and reading activities. This teaches working together and taking turns, critical lessons for a kindergarten classroom. According to Ms. Fajardo, the implementation of the Bee-Bots into the classroom has made the students “way more excited to learn”. The joy on the children’s faces is evident when watching them work with the Bee-Bots. When asked what their favorite thing to do in class is, many of the students enthusiastically respond “Bee-Bots!”.
The new Bee-Bots are working to redefine the way that coding is taught to students. By planting the seed early, the students are gaining exposure to a skill that will be present throughout the rest of their lives. The program will not just impact children in the kindergarten classroom, but will have a lasting influence that will follow them into the workforce. While the Bee-Bots put a smile on the children’s faces now, they will help put an essential skill on their resumes in the future, making these children prepared for life outside of Midway ISD.
This grant has been named in honor of Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar B Q in appreciation of their long-time support, but all of the Education Foundation’s donors made this possible. For more information about the Midway ISD Education Foundation and their programs, visit www.midwayisd.org/foundation.