We are about to finish up the second FLEx Week of the school year, a week of "deep dive" STEAM/Design Thinking projects. The girls (not in Peter Pan) have been embracing every opportunity offered to them, busy making short films around the topic of "what makes a girl strong?", formulating ideas and creating prototypes addressing accessibility to alternative transportation, and getting their hands dirty repairing bikes (and learning even more about alternative transportation) at Bike Works. And last but certainly not least, they have spent time coding — creating animated stories using the programming language Scratch — every day, and participated in the Hour of Code during this Computer Science Week.
The Scratch projects were great: goofy and adorable. Through trial and error and lots of problem-solving, the girls programmed puppies, birds, and monsters to move around the screen. They created animated holiday cards and walking snowmen. One student sent a squirrel over a rainbow. Many added music to their stories. By the middle of the week, the girls were feeling empowered by their creations, and by the fact that they were learning — and writing — a new language.
At LWGMS we believe that programming can teach our girls fundamental skills like problem-solving and abstract thinking. Embedded in all disciplines at LWGMS is an emphasis on Design Education as a way of fostering fluency in creative thinking skills to solve 21st century problems. Problem-solving, risk-taking, and mistake-making are necessary skills to practice, especially at the middle school level and especially for girls.
Students experienced and familiar with Design Thinking (empathize, identify, ideate, prototype, and test) demonstrate resiliency and approach problems collaboratively and creatively — the heart of STEAM education at L-Dub.
Out of the more than ten million students who have taken part in the Hour of Code as of this writing, 53 percent of them are girls.
“Don’t just buy a new video game — make one,” President Obama urges in a video he recorded on behalf of the campaign. “Don’t just download the latest app — help design it. Don’t just play on your phone — program. No one’s born a computer scientist, but with a little hard work — and some math and science — just about anyone can become one.”
Make sure to join us Friday at 2pm at the FLExing Our Muscles Project Fair to see all of the great work our girls have done during this FLEx Week.
See more images from our coding/Hour of Code session here.