Click here or scroll down to see the coding activities.

Project Goals

Do students really need to learn how to code?

There’s increasing momentum for coding in schools and that’s a good thing. Every student should be exposed to computer programming – equal access to lucrative careers depends on it. However, a dedicated computer science course is not the answer for all (or even most) students. Math and science courses are prime territory for this task. You may be surprised to see the salaries and backgrounds of computer programmers in Central Florida, courtesy of Orlando Devs. Here are some ways my colleagues and I are making that happen. Have a question or want to contribute? Email me at adamlamee@gmail.com.

Teachers have enough to cover without adding computer programming to the list. Our goal is to use computer programming as a tool to address science content - the coding is secondary. You won’t see loops and conditionals taught explicitly, but that allows non-CS-fluent teachers to use these activities with their classes. They also don’t have much extra formatting, answer keys, or explanatory text. They work well for teachers new to scientific computing and, if you’re a minimalist, can be used as-is with your students. If you prefer your students to have more detailed instructions, they’re easy to edit for a different presentation, sequence, question type, etc. Google’s Colaboratory has become our go-to platform for easy implementation in a variety of settings. It lets you run these Jupyter notebooks from any device with a browser (desktop, mobile, or otherwise). Want the raw notebook files? See the project GitHub.

The resources you’ll find here were developed by middle grades science teachers, undergrads at UCF, and me, Adam LaMee. It all started with a mini-grant from US-CMS We piloted a few activities in Seminole County, FL in 2017. That caught the eye of neighboring Orange County Schools, currently the 9th largest district in the US with around 15,000 students per grade level. Orange County students now see these activities embedded in their 6th grade and 7th grade science curriculum, with plans to add grades 8th through 12th in the coming years. Those students will have a huge competetive advantage over their peers when applying for skilled labor jobs, trade school, or university admissions. Want to do the same in your area? Drop me a line at adamlamee@gmail.com.

Use the activities linked below, write your own, or let us work with your team. We can also help you develop an implementation plan that suits your site’s needs and resources. My colleagues and I conduct teacher workshops and district-wide professional development on coding, physical science content, reformed pedagogy, and digital literacy. These resources are free to use and modify (with credit), but not for resale. If you’re a teacher using this with your own students, let us know how you’re implementing it (because we’re interested in that sort of thing). All others: see the license here and kick an email this way.

Coding Activities

Note:

Start here

Earth & Space Science

Physical Science

OCPS 7th Grade (in development)


More resources

Creative Commons License
CODINGinK12.org activities by Adam LaMee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.