Active exploration is an integral part of the lower school experience at Episcopal. Our fifth grade coding and robotics students have been learning about algorithms and step by step instructions using LEGO®!
Each student was given an identical set of LEGO® bricks and was asked to build a structure out of their set. The goal was to write a set of instructions so that a partner could duplicate the structure only by reading the directions.
LEGO® instructions are almost entirely pictorial, making this a uniquely challenging activity.
With the opportunity to redo their instructions, and with a little help and class collaboration, students discovered a common language everyone could use to describe the assembly of LEGO® pieces. This became our "coding language"
The LEGO® building activity helps students understand how clear and specific their instructions need to be and will eventually transfer the skills they learned to writing computer code.
By highlighting the importance of common programming languages, clear communication, and engaging in hands on projects that demonstrate key coding concepts, Episcopal Lower School students are becoming prepared for their future.
Rory McCracken, Episcopal senior, embodies the true meaning of “engaged scholar.” If you’ve followed Rory over the years, you know he is no rookie to this persona. As a young student, he was active in conservation efforts, and his “Kids Love the Gulf” book, t-shirts and other initiatives have benefitted restoration projects and awareness across the region. Currently, as a member of the Honors Diploma Program, Rory has channeled his passion into his thesis project, which is titled “If You Can’t Beat Them, Eat Them: An Elegant Solution to Possibly One of the Worst Ecological Disasters in History.”
“Rory is living up to the full mission of the Episcopal program,” says Thesis Program Director, Katie Sutcliffe. “It is our dream to see a student embrace a passion, conduct sophisticated research around that topic, and then find ways to dynamically engage with that research to impact their community in some way. Rory deserves this honor and recognition!” Over the summer, Rory partnered with Louisiana Lagniappe to serve lionfish on a special menu to showcase how the fish could be “controlled” as a game fish rather than a mere pesky invasive species. Rory’s thesis seeks to address this lionfish problem, and this won’t likely be the last time we see Rory engage with his community regarding his mission.
To hear from Rory directly, watch this short video. Most of all, Please help support Rory by voting!