Computer Science (CS) in the Schools is the club’s annual outreach initiative. This year, CSHS visited Prairie View Elementary and Eden Lake Elementary, and will be visiting Cedar Ridge Elementary later this month.
At Eden Lake on Dec. 4, CSHS leaders explained to students what the club does. They also talked about computer science course offerings at EPHS, which currently are AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, Cybersecurity, iOS App Development, and Advanced iOS App Development.
CSHS members then led students through a series of activities designed to teach them about different aspects of coding and computer science in general:
- Parity Bit, a “magic trick” card demonstration showing how parity bits in computers work.
- Creating bead bracelets to spell out their initials in binary.
- Robot Maze, an activity that teaches what algorithms are. Students learn to write their own algorithm using commands to move the robot out of the maze in as few moves as possible.
Sophia Lin, CSHS co-president, said she enjoys teaching younger students about computer science.
“I adore witnessing their curiosity and excitement when learning about these pretty complex topics,” she said. “I hope our work for CS in the Schools inspires them to pursue the field.”
Lin also encouraged more high school students to join CSHS. “CSHS is important because it provides a supportive community for students passionate about computer science to engage in discussions, learn from each other, and inspire younger kids to pursue computer science,” she said.
Megan Skogstad, who teaches fourth and fifth grade Mosaic students at Eden Lake, said the visit was a great experience for her students. “The students really enjoyed the hands on activities that CSHS taught, and it was a great jumping off point for the kids,” she said. “They were engaged the entire time.”
She added, “It allowed my students to learn and see the possibilities of courses that they can take in high school that support their interests.”
Weston, one of Skogstad’s students, said: “I thought it was cool and interesting because it was a fun subject to learn about.” Classmate Ranvir agreed: “It was very fun and interesting to learn about what high school kids are learning and to have them teach us.”
Isla, another student, said, “We learned so much about coding,” and Pritish said, “I loved it. It was super interesting, especially the magic trick that they did.”
Skogstad said this event was extra special because many of the visiting CSHS members were her former students.
She said, “It was so fulfilling to see how these kids have grown in their coding experience since elementary school and all that they can do with it now as high schoolers.”
Editor’s note: Juliana Allen, Eden Prairie Local News education reporter and writer of this story, is the mother of Sasha and Nico Allen, who are pictured in two of the accompanying photographs.
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