Nov. 13, 2023
Computer Science education week (CSEd Week) is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hooper. This year the week runs from December 4th to 10th.
The annual program is dedicated to inspiring students to take an interest in computer science and develop and nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.
This year’s theme is #ImpactsOfComputing, aimed at highlighting the positive and negative effects Computer Science can have on various aspects of our lives, including education, privacy, security, and accessibility.
A big part of CSEd Week is The Hour of Code, which started as a one-hour introduction to computer science designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities, you can find out more about the hour of code and the activities for this year here.
Python in Pieces is an interactive coding environment, designed to build student and teacher confidence in the text-based coding language of Python. With the ability to easily translate from block-code to Python, in BOTH directions, students will quickly become empowered to progress from the expectations of KS2 through to KS3. The guided lessons allow students to manage their own learning and teacher solution guides enable teachers to support student learning at every step.
This Computer Science Education Week would be the perfect time to try it, so we’ve made a complete 45-minute lesson free, that lets learners explore text outputs and print statements. Aimed at ten to eleven-year-olds, the lesson teaches discrete skills and in the final stage students are introduced to the design elements of Python in Pieces, where they can learn some simple ways to control the elements on the screen.
Purple Mash has a whole range of applications and activities that you can make use of either for an hour of code, the whole week and even throughout the year. We have highlighted our top three below:
2Code is a very visual and hands-on way to start learning programming with block-code. There are some very simple pre-set scenarios, starting with one in which children have to make a bubble float upwards. Further down, there are increasingly complex challenges. In this way, even very young children can begin to have the thrill of giving a computer a command and watching it carry out your wishes.
You can find 2Code by clicking on Computing on the home screen. When you click on the 2Code folder, you’ll discover a wealth of support materials: video tutorials, a glossary, and Coding resources containing guided lessons and solutions; perfect to explore coding with your students during the week. Subscribers also have access to vocabulary flashcards, games and quizzes for all ages.
Even if you are not a Purple Mash subscriber, you can try some 2Code activities for free during Computer Science Education Week. Inside the downloadable pack you'll find:
This application is a good way of introducing pupils, especially very young ones, to the idea of programming. If the children have used a floor robot, they will understand this application right away, because it’s like a screen version of that. And if you’re familiar with the decades old program Logo, you’ll recognise it immediately too.
What makes 2Go stand out is that it has several levels of complexity. The default starting point is very simple indeed: pupils click on an arrow to make the turtle go in one of four directions. But behind the scenes, which you can get to by clicking the Settings icon, are options to make the program more complex. Alongside this by using the search bar you will also find a guidance document as well as ‘challenges’ which will give you even more ideas for activities in lessons.
A fantastic program to use during the week would be the solve The Time-Crimes of Logonator. Evil android Logonator has gone rogue. He is travelling through time, altering key events in history to suit his malign intentions. The only way to stop him is to repair the damage he has sown already, before it's too late. And the only people capable of this, your pupils. Are they ready?
Watch the briefing here:
Alongside these activities there are also a range of writing templates, activities and slideshows in the Computing Science week area of Purple Mash. You’ll find storyboards, game reviews, app planners, game planners and plenty more to keep children of all ages engaged all week and beyond.
If you don’t subscribe to Purple Mash, you can get access to all of this and much more for free. Simply register for a trial and you’ll be able to explore everything Purple Mash has to offer for 14 days.