Summerwood Primary School Coding and Robotics: Creating a Legacy in 2022
Article by Ms B. Jonson - b.,email@example.com
Coding began at Summerwood in Term 2 this year. Learners from grade 5, 6 & 7 were invited. The Leva Foundation (a non-profit organization) trained a group of learners in Tanks and Rangers Unplugged Coding. Unplugged coding is coding using cell phones and tokens. No internet connection is required. Throughout the whole year there has been an amazing support system for our school.
Throughout the year we competed in a variety of tournaments.
In term 2, we attended the Rangers Unplugged coding competition and the Mandela Day Coding Competition at Father’s House Church. We hosted the first Inter-Schools Competition at Summerwood. This was a huge success. Prizes were sponsored by parents and Bargain Books SA. David Brown from Amazon Security sent a message to the learners encouraging them to follow their dreams. This event was used to promote unplugged coding in the metro.
In Term 3, we hosted our own Extreme Unplugged Photo Competition. Learners were encouraged to find the most extreme place to code. Photos were submitted and members of the Leva Foundation voted for the most extreme photo. The top three learners won prizes and their photos were displayed in the Herald Paper.
At the end of term 3 we hosted the first Unplugged League Event in the metro. Summerwood competed against Greenwood and Herbert Hurd for a floating trophy. These league events will be held once a term and the winning school will keep the floating trophy for the term and host the event the following term.
Summerwood was one of a few schools chosen to test run the Unplugged Boats App. The learners were given an opportunity to play the game on their phones. A Summerwood learner won the R500 first prize.
The National Unplugged Boated Competition was launched on Heritage Day and ran for two weeks over the September holidays. One of our Summerwood learners managed a 27th place in the country. This is a mammoth achievement, as the competition was open to high schools and junior schools.
We were invited to the Stulting Primary School Robotics Competition. Schools who had never done Robotics before, competed against one another to create a Water tanker which could operate using solar or wind energy. The learners had to build their model; promote / advertise why their model was the best; and code their model to deliver water to three different houses.
The learners thoroughly enjoyed the event. Our Grade 6 group won gold, and our grade 5 group won silver.
CodeAbot approached our school and offered 10 of our grade 4 & 5 learners a 6-month scholarship at CodeAbot. The 10 learners who attended were exposed to coding and robotics.
Our teachers attended an Integrated Coding & Robotics with Six brick workshop. This workshop was run by the SAOU and showed our teachers how coding can be integrated into the classroom. We are waiting for the Department of Education to confirm when Coding and Robotics will be official part of our curriculum. In the interim we are training our teachers and sourcing the equipment needed to implement coding in the foundation phase.
Looking to the future.
Summerwood has applied for a coding grant from UNISA. This will allow us to expose the coding club and certain grades to Lego Robotics.
CodeAbot has been invited to run a workshop with our grade 1 and 2 learners.
All the learners who have represented Summerwood at coding events and attended the coding lessons throughout the term, will receive their coding badge in 2023.
A wish for 2023, would be for our Coding team, which competes at competition, to have a coding shirt to wear.