On Wednesday, the Grade 7 App Design Elective showed their final projects to The Hamlin School’s Technology Advisory Committee. The semester-long course started with identifying real-world problems and researching existing options for solving those problems. Students then came up with their own solutions keeping target users in mind. Girls created a digital prototype of their app using Balsamiq Mockups and then used code.org‘s App Lab to design and code their app. The presentations included a slideshow of the process as well as a live demonstration of the app.
The student-created apps were:
iStretch: This app encourages users to stretch throughout a busy day to improve health and wellness.
reminDING!: This app acts as personal assistant and helps people juggle day to day tasks.
PACKit: This app helps users pack the perfect clothes for trips anywhere in the world.
Carpool: This app helps families better coordinate getting kids to and from activities.
When asked about the app development process, students shared:
“I really liked doing the coding.”
“It was so much fun turning a drawing on paper into a functioning app.”
The following apps were shared and demonstrated:
Mayn Task: Allows users to pair timed tasks with music from a playlist.
Seen: Allows users to set up reminders for when to change their contact lenses.
Movie Meter: Allows users to select movies tailored to fit their mood.
Anchor: Allows users to de-stress by selecting from a menu of healthy options.
Lemon: Allows users to hire chefs to prepare meals for them.
Below is a video clip of Mayn Task showing their demo:
Grade 6 students are working in teams to design an app that describes what they are learning in their PE rotations and how those skills relate to The Hamlin Creed.
The apps have four screens — one home screen and one screen for each rotation (climbing, dance, and group sports). Each student is responsible for creating one screen that describes the current rotation. The team works together to make the home screen.
Students brainstormed what the app would look like, considering colors, button types, and font size, while designing a uniform appearance for all four screens.
Below is an example of a screen that incorporates courage and respect from The Hamlin Creed:
An interview with Middle School Technology Integration Specialist, Jim Lengel and Rachel Davis, Middle School Science Teacher and Integration Specialist:
Q: What were your goals going into Hour of Code?
A: (Rachel) – I wanted the girls to get more comfortable with coding and feel like it’s something they can tackle or try in the future.
(Jim) – I wanted to show the girls that coding can be fun! Like Rachel, I think if the students have a chance to experience coding they find find out that they love it.
Q: How did you think you were successful in meeting these goals?
A: (Rachel) – I’m so glad that most of the Middle School students attempted coding. Some students even told Jim and I that after their Hour of Code activities at school, they went home and coded that night!
(Jim) – It was amazing to look over and find a sea of girls in 5th and 6th Grades coding. We really had an enormous amount of Hamlin girls coding.
light bot; one of many coding apps used
Q: If you could do it again, how would you change the Hour of Code week at Hamlin?
A: (Rachel) – I think an hour dedicated for each grade to code during the week would be great so that even those who felt like they were not good at coding would at least give it a try.
(Jim) – I’d like to develop an integrated project that would then be taught via scheduled classes during the week. I’d also like to have more time to teach girls coding in general.
Leah Busque from Task Rabbit encourages the girls to build their dreams
Q: How did you celebrate the Hour of Code in your life?
A: (Rachel) – I really enjoyed watching the girls code and was impressed with their critical thinking skills. I Wish I had had the same opportunity when I was in Middle School. I was really inspired hearing Leah Busque from Task Rabbit speak on Tuesday, I thought she was incredibly inspiring.
(Jim) – I took a coding course “code school“, it will allow the technology team explore any only courses until the spring. I’m excited to integrate the lessons I am learning into my classes at Hamlin.
T-shirts to award successful completion of an hour of code!
Q: Can you share two highlights that particularly stick out in your mind?
A: (Rachel) – Wow, there are so many – picking two is a challenge. Watching Ms. Helm code with the girls was a real highlight for me. Seeing the excitement in a student who was able to light up a tree in Alaska, and how proud the 7’s and 8’s were when they received their hour of coding certificates.
(Jim) – One morning I walked around the corner to virtually the entire 6th grade class coding together. They were excited and really into it – I felt like I had reached the masses! When we gave the girls their T-shirts as a reward for completing the hour of code it was a fantastic wrap up to the project.
The room was at capacity as Leah explained how coding has given her the power to bring her thoughts and dreams to life. “No one understands your ideas better than you” Leah explained as she explored that what has made Task Rabbit so successful has not been an entirely original idea – but instead the skills to realize that idea.
Hamlin is leaning in this week, celebrating with speakers, alumnae visits, and the goal of having every Hamlin girl and staff member spend an hour coding (more details).
Leah Busque with Head of School Wanda M. Holland Greene, and members from the Hamlin parent community.