Grant recipient: Utica Community Schools
Utica Community Schools (UCS) is comprised of 25 elementary schools each with a Media Specialist in charge of delivering technology curriculum using the ISTE standards. UCS was the first Michigan school district to partner with Code.org to integrate coding lessons with elementary media center curriculum and expand programs for secondary students. Elementary students begin learning to code in kindergarten and their knowledge grows each year by engaging in lessons focused on algorithms, digital footprints, technical vocabulary and problem solving. Some of our elementary schools have taken the next step and integrated beginning robotics concepts with the curriculum provided at code.org. This is a natural step for students to see the efforts of their coding come to life by programming a robot to perform tasks. Developmentally appropriate, hands-on coding helps elementary students make connections to their STEM curriculum. The project’s goal is to bring this interactive coding experience to every student by designing mobile coding labs that will be transported to each of our 25 elementary schools. Each elementary building will utilize the mobile coding lab for 2 to 4 weeks per school year. Project C.O.D.E. ensures every elementary media center teacher can promote collaboration, communication and problem solving using the mobile coding lab resources.