Hyde Park Students Teach Family Members to Code


Students at Hyde Park School had the chance to be in the teacher’s shoes recently at Family Code Night.

“You’re the teacher today,” Jessica Hughes told her students in her opening remarks and instructions to the nearly 40 families in attendance.

Hyde Park’s Family Code night was a part of Computer Science Education Week, an annual campaign that encourages students from kindergarten to 12th grade to take interest in computer science.

Mrs. Hughes, the STEAM* lab teacher at Hyde Park School, wanted her students to feel empowered to share what they know and even break down the perceived barriers their older family members might have around coding.

Jessica Hughes, STEAM Lab Teacher, provides instructions at the beginning of the event.

“An important part of learning is being able to teach someone else what you’ve mastered,” she said.

Students in all grades were invited to the event to partake in hot chocolate (“hot CODE-coa”) and share a laptop with their family members to walk them through any coding program they’ve used in the classroom. Whether it was games like “Dance Party” on Code.org or using Tinkercad to print something on the 3D printer, many parents were impressed and proud of what their children could accomplish.

“I know nothing about code, and my child seems to just be a whipper-snapper,” said Jenna Shaifer, mother of a kindergartner. “He’ll talk about what he’s doing at school, but an event like this is really fun because I get to watch how his brain works.”

One grandparent remarked how he couldn’t believe what he was learning from his first-grade grandson.

“He’s teaching me how to code, I love it!”

Other activities for Computer Science Education Week included a school-wide Hour of Code. Upon completion of their hour at their skill level, students receive a certificate and other treats.

Hughes has a lot of plans to help continue to foster students’ sense of curiosity around technology and build their skills. For example, the school will start a GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) program next quarter in partnership with General Electric (GE) Additive. The program includes a competition with other schools in the district at the University of Cincinnati and a chance to tour GE Additive’s plant.

Keep up with the great things happening at Hyde Park School at hydepark.cps-k12.org.

*STEAM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.”

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