Week of Code

The buzz around Burke’s Week of Code is a little softer this year due to the success of a multi-year initiative that has moved coding and programming from discrete grade-level projects into becoming a fully integrated part of the Burke’s curriculum in both the classrooms and our Makery spaces.  

For the past six years, Burke’s has been building on the Hour of Code, expanding it first to a Week of Code and now to ongoing projects and curriculum that teach coding and computer science all year long. Under the leadership of the Library and Makery Team, coding has been fully integrated into our curriculum and is not just an activity set aside for the first week of December. Mike Matthews, Burke’s Director of Curriculum and Program Innovation, believes that teaching coding and computer science is directly aligned with our mission to Educate, Encourage, and Empower girls. “We’re not teaching code because we expect every student to become a programmer. Rather, we’re teaching code because we believe that in doing so we’re teaching transferable skills like logic and problem-solving that will empower our girls in whatever career path they end up pursuing.”

From game design to interactive museum exhibits and more, programming and coding activities can be seen throughout the year. However, students do celebrate the week with activities including: kindergarteners programming Cubettos — Montessori-inspired robots to move through a course with not a computer in sight; first graders using TurtleArt and TurtleStich, a browser-based educational programming language to generate patterns for embroidery machines; fourth graders coding Kano Pixels — small arrays of LEDs that danced and changed colors in response to students' code; and fifth graders coding with Hummingbird Robotics Kits — a board with sensors, lights, and more, that they'll eventually integrate into their Fifth Grade Egyptian History Museum project.

At Burke's, students are given opportunities to learn, practice, and hone their coding skills through both ‘plugged’ and ‘unplugged’ coding. ‘Plugged’ coding refers to coding that takes place on a tablet or computer, while ‘unplugged' coding involves computer-free games and activities that teach coding-related skills like algorithm development, pattern recognition, logic, and other critical thinking skills. Also, by pairing ‘plugged’ and ‘unplugged’ coding activities, Burke's gives students real-world skills and experiences that they will be able to apply across a range of careers, not just those in coding and computer science.”

For more pictures from this year's Week of Code, click here.
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Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.

Katherine Delmar Burke School

An independent K–8 school for girls
7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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