How Do You Make STEM Fun for 5th and 6th Graders? Make it a ‘Bring Your Dog to Code’ Day.

Making S.T.E.M. Fun for 5th and 6th Graders

Summer Afternoons are made for Dogs and Bugs…

Although most 5th and 6th graders might prefer to spend their summer afternoon playing outside, Aubrey, a developer at CQL, led a 3-hour interactive coding crash course for 5th and 6th graders at Reeths Puffer Intermediate School.

She brought the outdoors inside and introduced the students to a different kind of bug: the technical bug. She started the day off explaining that what she does is solve problems. While computer science can seem intimidating, Aubrey cheerfully shared that she is lucky enough have a job where she gets to solve puzzles all day long.

The workshop was broken up into time for instruction, individual tasks and group problem solving. She explained how there are many facets of being a developer including coding, debugging, collaboration, and logical problem solving.

Aubrey wanted to make the day not only educational, but engaging and fun. SO… she brought in a furry assistant, Fisher.

Aubrey and Fisher modeled how to write an algorithm.

“Fisher, come.”

“Fisher, sit.”

“Fisher, lie down.”

Aubrey explained that this was the algorithm she used to get Fisher to lie down, and then asked the students to write their own algorithms.

Fisher is a 7-month old Border Collie. When not napping in my office, he enjoys playing frisbee and herding chickens. He loves to cuddle, and will willingly give hugs to everyone he meets.

Aubrey's Dog Fisher

As the students worked through coding exercises, many of them shot their hands up in the air and questioned why they were having problems. This was an ideal opportunity for Aubrey to display that working through “bugs” and unexpected errors is very much a part of software development. She encouraged each of the kids to adapt a problem solving mindset in order to write functional code and see the rewards of the end result.

The students walked away from the day empowered by their new skills, and motivated to learn more at home.

Aubrey saw this as an opportunity to get involved with her intermediate school alma mater and their larger, district wide initiative to boost post secondary education rates. Aubrey was unaware of the lack of students going to college through this school system, so when this was brought to her attention she jumped at the chance to do her part to help. Aubrey has always been very passionate about education and driven to expose kids to the field of technology. Aubrey has been involved in Girls Who Code and International Hour of Code in the past.

5th and 6th graders at Reeths Puffer Intermediate School

We Believe in the Importance of STEM Education

Our hope at CQL is to provide opportunities for the next generation to be inspired and motivated to learn. We support STEM education and see a growing future for this industry. We are proud to have team members, like Aubrey, donating their time and resources to community.

Reach out to CQL, if you want to get involved with or learn more about STEM education!

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