Yunseo(Elizabeth) Lee/ Monta Vista High School 10thGrade
Throughout the month of October and the first two weeks of November of 2018, BAKG, short for Bay Area K Group, which is a non-profit organization consisting of technology experts from various different companies, taught a four-week program of teaching students in elementary school and middle school, which has been successful in terms of creating many new experiences and knowledge on the topic of coding and robots. Since day one, students, teachers, and volunteers from Hwarang Silicon Valley District, which is an organization of leaders from all different grades of schools who volunteer in different communities, have worked extremely hard to make the best of the whole class. They were also very interactive with each other as well as the material that was presented each week during class. The lessons were stacked on top of each other, continuing on from previous weeks’ lessons to enhance the student’s learning and their ability to code. This way of teaching by K group was a way for Hwarang leaders to gain experience themselves as well as encourage younger students to pursue their interest in coding.
Students come in for their class every Saturday morning at nine , and using these certain mechanisms and resources of the Hamster robot, the program of Scratch, and RobotCoding, these students have been able to do various activities consisting of creating simple games or programing the Hamster robot. For example, the students have been able to program the Hamster robot to stop in front of objects that they sense and turn to avoid it. Being able to learn how to control a robot through the thinking process and analysis of the miscalculations have been educational as well as fun for these students because they have been able to make new friends and collaborate with the teachers and volunteers.
The K group teachers come in the morning prepared with a lesson, which varies every week, to teach the students more in depth about the importance of coding and the different steps it takes to assemble tasks for either the program, Scratch, to follow or the Hamster robot to follow. Teachers have been really accessible with the students by going around the classroom, helping each student fully understand the material and the meaning of each specific program. Through the work times, teachers have been going from table to table, showing the diverse actions of the robot and of Scratch.
To support the teachers, Hwarang leaders also participate in the lessons. Leaders come in Saturday mornings an hour in advance to prepare the classrooms for the students when they start to arrive for their class. With the two classrooms of elementary and middle students, the volunteers take on different tables or classrooms, enabling them to connect and guide each of the students at their table to successfully cause the robot to move in a certain direction or make different sounds after a specific time. Volunteers, after getting a day of training in the second week of October, were able to support the teachers and students, while learning more about coding that they haven’t known themselves. These volunteers have been interacting with the students during the work time and the break time that the K group teacher’s give, so that the students could get comfortable with the material that was just explained or viewed. Even though these volunteers are seated in a specific table, they often moved around the room with the teachers to help those who needed help understanding the material on the board.
Overall, the four week program provided an unique experience to all of those who participated, including the teachers, Hwarang leaders, and lastly, the students. With a program that focused mainly on coding and robots, the students were able to learn the basics of coding through simple programs like Scratch and RobotCoding. The Hwarang leaders were able to give back to the community and help out with answering questions of the students during the lessons. Finally, the K group teachers were able to give detailed and informative lessons to teach the students about coding.
<Yunseo(Elizabeth) Lee/ Monta Vista High School 10thGrad