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Thinking "Computationally"

January 19, 2018
By KCS Staff

A visit to Computational Thinker for a class in game design proved to be a valuable and eye-opening experience for 6th grade students. On Monday, Samantha Kimsey, instructor at the learning center located on Waialae Avenue, presented a complete definition of “computational thinking,” helping students understand that thinking “computationally” goes beyond computer science and can be applied to other disciplines such as art, chemistry, and music.  

While students enrolled in the 6th grade computer elective have learned the basic tools of game design through a program called Scratch, Ms. Kimsey’s lesson dove deeper into concepts of programming with code. She revealed the different programming languages used to write some of the most well-known computer games and programs. For their hands-on activity, students got a taste of coding by learning the basic setup for JavaScript, the language of the popular online game, agar.io. 

Technology teacher, Miss Villanueva, observed that this introduction to coding helps students grasp how things work. She also believes that coding involves multiple intelligences, as student use creativity, design, math & logic, and elements of storytelling. Her students were quite excited when they created their own maze games last quarter.

Mrs. Takahashi, middle school math/science teacher, noted that the experience at Computational Thinker also helps students see the detailed-oriented nature of writing code and the types of STEM jobs that may interest them in the future. Grace Hart, reflecting on the excursion in her science journal, wrote, “I realize just how much detail and work goes into the creation of a new piece of hardware.”