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First Graders Show Off Their Coding Skills at DPI

Some very special first graders from DRES were offered an opportunity to showcase their computer science skills at the NCDPI CS4NC expo in December. In recognition of Computer Science Week, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, hosted a Computer Science Student Expo on Dec. 6, 2018. In attendance were NCDPI Staff, NC Board of Education members, legislators, and other community members.
Out of the 16 teams selected from across the state to participate in the showcase, Dixon Road Elementary’s group was one of them.  Four first graders, Jeremiah, Mason, Maelee, and Emmalee will demonstrate how they are learning and utilizing computer science in their schools at the expo. They presented their project, “Howdy Do with Dash”. The students, guided by their coaches, Jackie Tingen and Kelly Stewart, interviewed the attendees using Dash, a cute little blue robot that the students coded to respond to voice, navigate, dance, sing, and many other exciting functions.  “I feel that this is a great opportunity for our students to experience real world situations,” Tingen, the school technology facilitator explains. “The students will have to step out of their comfort zone and explain what they are doing and how they are learning in front of adults, which can be very intimidating to adults, let alone 6 and 7 year old kids. It’s exciting to see them so eager to participate in a very adult-like situation.”
Applications were evaluated based on the alignment to the K-12 Computer Science Framework, alignment to other curriculum areas, connection to a career, and presentation skills and knowledge of Computer Science demonstrated by students in three minute video.