“Pinewood is the best place to prepare young talent for the 21st century – to live, learn, and work.”
– Pinewood Parent
This year, we are thrilled to offer a new Coding & Design and Engineering course at Pinewood's Middle Campus. The course seeks to best prepare our students as thriving contributors to our world's technological landscape of connection and innovation. Split into two semesters – the first focusing on coding and the second on design and engineering – this course is an exciting addition to Pinewood's curriculum.
Since Jonathan Brusco, Pinewood’s Technology Curriculum Coordinator, joined our staff in 2016, Lower and Middle Campus has prioritized the fostering of technological skills in our students. During the 2016-17 academic year, we introduced the iMaginarium, a makerspace and computer lab dedicated to promoting creativity and technical acuity. Since its genesis, the space has served all of our Middle Campus students through specialized workshops, cross-curricular incorporation, and an open door for the curious during the school day. In this space, our Maker Club members have also been tinkering, experimenting, and building after school. Last year, club members brought home several awards from the TechChallenge, California's biggest design engineering competition.
Enthusiasm from our Pinewood parents, generosity from our community, support from our administration, and Pinewood's constant dedication to best preparing our students to thrive in their world have all contributed to this exciting addition to Pinewood's well-considered, agile curriculum. The Coding & Design and Engineering course is now part of every Middle Campus student's schedule and will serve to best prepare each one for a future in our ever-growing technological world.
The coding unit will focus on three block-based coding platforms: Scratch, Swift Playgrounds, and Ozoblockly. Students will spend approximately six weeks in each area learning the basics of Scratch and building a few games on their own, utilizing Apple’s Swift Playgrounds curriculum for introductory lessons to this app design language, and programming our Ozobot EVOs using Ozoblockly. Students with prior experience in these areas will be given extra tasks that build upon their previous knowledge. Over the next few years, we will differentiate the content to a greater degree across the grade levels, expanding on these programs and adding new ones along the way.
At Lower Campus, our coding instruction takes place as part of our math enrichment courses. Approximately once a month, students work with block-based coding languages in the code.org curriculum, Tynker app, and Scratch Jr. The students also have their own set of Ozobots Bits, which use the Ozoblockly language. Two "Maker Carts" help bring the creative facilities of our iMaginarium to the Lower Campus and allow teachers to integrate design and engineering skills into their core instructional units. These lessons build the foundations for our students’ expanded technical knowledge, capabilities, and confidence as they head to Middle Campus and beyond.