Computer Science Education Week
Updated: Feb 15
by WillowWood School's Zach Lawrence
From December 6 to 12, Grade 12 Computer Science students teamed up with Grade 1 - 8 students for Computer Science Education Week 2021. The seniors found activities to lead their Lower and Middle School peers. Huni, Kyse, Allan, and Julie did an amazing job and received very positive reviews from the students they worked with and their teachers. The activities included moving characters to different positions on the screen and shooting basketballs into the net using "functions." Before long, Lower School and Middle School students formed small groups to explore other coding challenges that interested them. While it was exciting to see students learn coding by completing games, it was even more rewarding to see all the students work together to solve the challenges.
Over the last few years, numerous articles explored how automation and A.I. will impact the job market and the economy. Some of those articles are positive, and some are negative. However, there is reason to look at the future with hope. The Grade 12 students learned that tasks get completed most efficiently when humans work with machines in tandem. Without humans, automation can't handle new situations, or "curveballs," if you will, with a high degree of success. Additionally, empathy is a skill that machines will not replicate. Life throws so many curveballs that, sometimes, the only way to handle those situations, especially the most challenging ones, is with empathy and kindness. Therefore, this experience showed that people working together leads to innovation, success, and creativity. This is vital to remember in an ever-increasing digital age, with silicone, plastic, and aluminum found in abundance.
This event was such a success that Lower and Middle School teachers and students alike asked for another round in the second semester. While my Grade 11 Computer Science students are not aware of it yet, I hope to make the request a reality.