GDST Juniors go eco-coding

More than 1,000 pupils from across the GDST family came together for the Junior Techathon this term

More than 1,000 pupils from across the GDST family went on an ‘eco-coding adventure’ with Al the Robot during the Junior Techathon earlier this term. The virtual event for students from Year 1 and Year 2 was presented by Professor Trice and her robot friend Al from the social enterprise Get with the Program (GWP).

GWP partnered with the GDST to deliver the environmentally themed event for the young pupils, using a blend of storytelling, performance and coding to explore solving some of the planet’s trickiest problems together online.

The focus of the day’s activities was reducing waste whilst shopping, with the online event helped pupils combine their concerns for the environment while learning about algorithms and robotics.

Sam Shallcross, Head of Computing at Bromley High Juniors, said:

“The Eco-Coding show gave a wonderful opportunity for our youngest learners to engage with computing concepts in a fun and relevant way. Understanding how algorithms are a part of our everyday lives helps to demystify the concept from a young age. The girls have enjoyed applying their algorithms to an environmental problem, to encourage reducing packaging and recycling materials.”

 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our youngest learners to engage with computing concepts in a fun and relevant way”

 

With pupils spending so much time on screens in the past few months, it was also important for the event to incorporate practical elements, too.

“We wanted to encourage girls to be active,” said Amy Icke, GDST Online Learning and Innovation Manager. “To put what they learn into practice, reinforce ideas and concepts, and encourage them to have time away from their screens and be creative.”


Grace, a Yr 2 pupil at Bromley High who took part in the day, said:

“I really enjoyed working out the algorithm to move the shopping trolley and I can still repeat the rhyme – Robot, robot go go go, follow your algorithm, don’t be slow!”

Ahead of the show, pupils were encouraged to create pictograms measuring their household waste and to come up with innovative solutions to reducing non-recyclable materials. After the Techathon, they designed their own waste-reducing robots using recycled items and took part in a follow-up show, sharing and celebrating their wonderful creative responses.