Public school districts across Indiana are required to include computer science in their curriculum for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade by 2021. Monroe County Community School Corp, as of 2017, had introduced introductory computer science courses for its middle class and high school students.
Elementary schools only had numerous coding and robotics clubs but lacked a computer science curriculum. This is where people like Katy Sparks, the district’s STEM, and computer science coach and a member of the MCCSS.
The MCCSS team spent much of the summer creating a computer science curriculum for the K-6 students in the district. They come up with easy-to-grasp lessons that teachers would easily teach in classrooms.
Since September, Spark and her team have created numerous lessons and come up with classes whereby they teach computer science standards. Ideally, the lesson id taught in pairs. The coach leads one while the teacher takes on the other in such a way the teacher is not overburdened.
Meanwhile, the standards include but not limited to coding. Additionally, the standards also enlighten the students on the effects of technology and equip them with necessary online ethics. Some ethics include how to use technology positively.
In elementary school, students work with block-based coding platforms, in middle school, they are introduced to a written code while in high school the actual coding takes place.
Children at elementary level do not use computers to code. Basically, the lessons are related to math and languages. Sparks refers to the lessons as “unplugged.”
In the meantime, teachers are gradually integrating the curriculum into their teachings and coaches are hopeful that they will soon feel comfortable teaching most of the lessons on their own.