two students work on computers while watching their Ozobots

The 5th grade computer club has spent many days after school learning key skills like coding and programming.

Starting in March, students were introduced to Scratch, a website that promotes itself as the world’s largest free coding community for kids. The site is hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was also founded by the National Science Foundation, Siegel Family Endowment and the LEGO Foundation.

After getting comfortable with coding, the students were given Ozobots. Ozobots are mini robots that can be programmed to move in different ways, blink different lights and make noises. The club members are given challenges where they have to write the code to make their Ozobot act in certain ways. They can also have their Ozobots interact.

Elementary school computer teacher Katie Reith advises the club with help from retired teacher Megan McDonald. It has proven to be a fun and hands-on way to get students interested in STEM at an early age.