BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Fifth-graders at Todd Elementary School coded interactive video games and recently shared their projects with the school's kindergarteners.
“Coding is something that everyone should be exposed to because the future is all going to be based on technology and if you know how to code, the sky is the limit,” said technology teacher Lori Whitman. “There are so many coding jobs out there, especially for girls. Starting at this level with coding is really building the future.”
The technology students used the free educational programming tool Scratch to craft interactive stories with scenery and age-appropriate vocabulary.
“I wanted the fifth-graders to get excited about what code could do and I felt they had enough background to create something that could be shared with the kindergartners,” said Whitman. “I also wanted the young students to see the potential of coding.”
Some students included voice recordings and characters that could be moved with arrow keys. One created a game where the user chose what the character wore and where its birthday party took place.
“I liked that it was like a challenge to create the game and you could really do anything you want with it,” said fifth-grader Coby Rinke, whose game included a knight who had to answer a dragon’s questions in order to get to the princess. “It looks really simple, but when you look at the internal parts of the game it’s really complicated.”
“They were cool because they had stories and I love stories,” said kindergartner Dino Horgan. “The fifth-graders have smart brains because they made the games.”