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Massapequa Coders Join Worldwide Movement

Elementary students throughout the Massapequa School District participated in Hour of Code activities throughout December to learn about computer programming. The annual initiative is sponsored by Code.org and features fun activities for children of all coding abilities, from beginner to expert.

Lockhart Elementary School library media specialist Tara Gonzalez said that students in the upper grades have taken part in the Hour of Code for several years, so they were able to complete more concrete tasks. Her fourth and fifth graders were able to choose from among several different games. She noted that one class collectively wrote 500 lines of code in 30 minutes. 

“They enjoy the challenge,” she said. “It’s exciting for the students to see their progress. They can build on what they know from previous years.”

Ms. Gonzalez said that one of the more popular games was Dance Party, in which students programmed their characters to move along to the newest pop songs. Minecraft and Flappy Bird-themed games were also a big hit.

At Fairfield Elementary School, kindergartners were introduced to coding with assistance from fifth grade buddies. Library media specialist Claire Mitchell said the older students served as experts to help their younger peers build “the foundation of coding.” Together they used Kodable to program movements for different characters. Fairfield was among 325 million locations in 82 countries participating in the Hour of Code.

“It’s amazing from last year to this year how much more the students are able to do,” Ms. Mitchell said, adding that coding help them improve their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Melinda Alford, library media specialist at Unqua Elementary School, said there were activities for all students. Children in lower grades participated in interactive games on the SmartBoard that introduced them to drag-and-drop coding, while students in upper grades programmed in Grinch-themed games on their Chromebooks.