AAPS Updates

AAPS focus of national video highlighting coding opportunities in elementary schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools is taking center stage in a new video from Project Lead the Way focused on coding opportunities in elementary schools. The video released this week as part of the celebration of Computer Science Education week focuses on PLTW Master Teacher Sarah Schemanske and students at Carpenter Elementary.

In the video Schemenske highlights that most of these young students have no experience in computer science but they all take something away from PLTW classes. “It not only taught them the basics of computer science and coding, but it also taught them to try things they had never tried before,” she said.

Schemenske added that students really become their own teachers and are all able to feel successful. “It’s absolutely remarkable to see how engaged the students are, to see how excited the students are. Cheering every morning when I walk in, ‘Woo hoo, it’s PLTW time,” she said.

It’s appropriate for the video to be released during computer science week, which serves as a reminder that each and every student needs to be introduced to the skill of coding.   Ann Arbor Public Schools Executive Director of Technology and Information Services Merri Lynn Colligan says coding will be a basis for not just many careers in the future but everyday life as consumers of integrated devices and wearable technologies. Colligan adds Project Lead the Way has been a great way to introduce coding to students. “The PLTW Launch has provided a vehicle for teaching the important skill of critical thinking and opportunities to ‘fail forward’ using the design thinking framework to revise and retry new ideas,” she says.

AAPS was one of the first districts in Michigan to have Project Lead the Way in every school at all grade levels. This emphasis on STEAM can be seen across the district in events like this week’s Third Annual AAPS STEAM Expo, Pattengill’s Elementary’s Tech It Out and the A2 STEAM at Northside STEAM Expo.

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