Sixth grade students in Mrs. Glander’s class at Alma Area School became coders on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. They joined more than 150,000 children across the country in leading the 12th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, teaches young people coding skills through engaging hands-on activities.
4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for students everywhere to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, this hands-on experience includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform, as well as two unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games, physical activities and puzzles. Game Changers is perfect for first-time and beginner coders, ages 8 to 14.
The sixth graders were given the challenge to create their own animated public service announcement with facts and relevant information about the public issues of either mental health or vaping. Students have the opportunity to use a coding program called Scratch to create their animations. Top PSA’s will be shared with the Buffalo County Partnership Council and students at the upcoming 5th/6th grade prevention day and via social media.
Annie Lisowski, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension Buffalo County Professor of Youth Development and 4-H Youth Development Educator, who was invited to present, said of the experience, “In the 21st century, computer science is important skill for young people everywhere to learn. Computer programming and coding skills will open up a world of opportunity for our youth to excel in school and find careers in a broad array of industries from ag, to business to the arts.”