Kids and parents learned how to code with computer games and puzzles during Great Salt Bay Community School’s first-ever Family Code Night on Thursday, Dec. 7.
Great Salt Bay Community School Technology Coordinator K.J. Flewelling and gifted-and-talented teacher Alison MacMillan organized the event with assistance from the GSB PTO.
Flewelling said one of the primary purposes of the evening was to demonstrate that everyone can learn how to code. By writing code, a person essentially tells a computer what to do.
Participants worked in teams of two at their own pace through the games and puzzles, which featured characters from the popular Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies mobile games. One person was the driver and entered the code, while the other served as the navigator and provided assistance. After every puzzle, the teammates would switch to ensure everyone had a chance to code.
Attendees had various reasons for why they wanted to learn how to code. Wesley Belknap, 5, enjoyed telling the computer what to do, while his father, Sam Belknap, liked working with his son on the problems.
Fourth-grader Helen Duffy said she has always wanted to learn about robotics and coding, while eighth-grader David Shaw hopes to one day use his coding skills to make video games.
Throughout the evening, Flewelling would call for participants to pause their programming as he imparted a tip or brief lesson. Attendees participated in a quiz game about the information they learned throughout the evening to win prizes donated by local businesses and organizations.