Kode2Learn Day teaches kids coding is fun

Students work together to stack cups

Students react after dropping a cup during the
cup stacking challenge

Benton Hall was bustling as fifty elementary students came for Kode2Learn Day.

Kode2Learn is an organization founded by a (now) Miami alum in 2014. Miami volunteers go to four local elementary schools (plus one at Benton Hall for kids who don’t have a coding club at their school) and conduct challenges to illustrate coding concepts.

Kode2Learn Day was a six-hour event held on Saturday in which local elementary students rotated through six activities.

“At our coding clubs, we do one technology at a time and really delve into it so the kids become experts on it. At Kode2Learn Day, we kind of give them a taste of a lot of different things. The main idea is for the kids to have lots of fun and see that coding and engineering are fun!” said Molly McConaughey, the president of Kode2Learn.

The activities ranged from stacking cups using rubber band webs to systematically sorting objects using an algorithm to programming robots.

Student with coding board

Student using a littleBit circuit board

Several faculty members also attended—not as instructors, but as parents and grandparents. Brian Kirkmeyer and Lei Kerr brought their kids, and Jim Kiper, the chair of the computer science & software engineering department, brought his granddaughter.

“Outstanding! That is my summary of your Kode2Learn workshop on Saturday. You were able to teach that group of third-fifth graders in a way that kept their interest and built their enthusiasm for learning in general and coding in particular,” Kiper told the Kode2Learn volunteers after the event.

Kids who are interested in continuing there coding journey can join the Kode2Lean clubs at Kramer, Marshall, Bogan, or Highland Elementary Schools or at Benton Hall. This semester, the clubs are focusing on teaching kids Scratch, a free programming language designed for young students.

By Paige Smith