On Thursday, April 7th, a group of 31 girls in grades 6-8 at Broadview Thomson K-8 had the opportunity to attend the inaugural event of the partnership between TKP (Teaching Kids Programming), and IGNITE, held at one of Microsoft’s facilities in the Civica Building in Bellevue, Washington.
During the 3.5 hour event, co-instructors Ashley Myers – Microsoft employee and TKP’s newly appointed facilitator for this program – and Kenny Spade – Academic Developer Evangelist for Microsoft – introduced the girls to the basic concepts of pair programming and fail-based testing, using the core principles of Agile team-based development.
The girls worked in pairs, trading responsibilities throughout the process of learning how to write code using Small Basic. The two instructors were aided by proctors Ed Donahue, who is also an Academic Developer Evangelist, and Rick Morelan, of More Technology and Joes 2 Pros, who generously supplied a small army of laptops for the girls to use during the class.
After the initial session of demonstrations and hands-on exercises the girls took a break for lunch. After lunch they reviewed the material from the earlier session. The girls were fully engaged throughout the class and proved that they had absorbed the information when each group successfully completed the end-of-lesson quiz. At the conclusion of the event they were each given a thumb drive with the exercises and training materials they had used so they could continue practicing and learning at home.
Thank you Microsoft, TKP, the instructors, the assistants, and to Mithun Dhar, Microsoft Developer Evangelist, who secured the location for the event and provided essential logistical support before and during the event. Thank you also to Emma Hong, school counselor at Broadview-Thompson, who organized the event at her school and accompanied the girls at the event.
Dear Microsoft, Thank you for this very awesome experience. Every time me and my friends go to Microsoft for a fields trip we think about working one day in Microsoft. I really enjoyed making the square and houses. I am going to keep on working on the house since we didn’t finish working on it. Thank you for the flash drive.
Today was an exciting experience. And it was really fun! But the best part was learning how to use the software. Thank you sooo much for this experience! Oh and thanks for the free flash drives.
Dear IGNITE, I loved the field trip. I loved to play around with laptops and computers. I had fun! My favorite part was the flash drives so we can play them at home.
Dear Microsoft people, Today was a great day. I got to learn some new things today. My favorite thing was editing how the tortuous move and what color line he drew. And I also liked how you let us have a Small Basic. Like I said before today was a great day.
I enjoyed working with computers and learning new things i’ve never seen or heard before and I appreciated the help and I would like to try new things. Also I am great full for the opportunity u gave us and having a good experience. Thank you. And thanks for the food.
I enjoyed the IGNITE program very much and my favorite part was at the end when we had to build a house because the instructor went fast and it was a challenge keep up since I never done it but the other things we did I already knew how to do them.
View the Broadview Thomson K-8 Chapter page