Shawnee’s First Ever LRHSD Coding Night


Sean Etter, Editor-in-Chief

December 14th, 2017 marked LRHSD’s first ever Coding Night. The event was held at Shawnee High School, and kids, students, and parents from all over the Lenape Regional High School District were invited to attend.

All participants in Coding Night met in Shawnee’s Cefeteria, where Ms. Ryann DiNatale gave an introduction to the night as well as an itinerary of the night’s activities.

Participants were led to Shawnee’s Media Center, where an array of online and offline coding activities were set up. On the computers, a Google Sites page for Coding Night contained links to various activities and games that help users to learn coding. These activities were all themed around various multi-media franchise, such as Star Wars, Disney’s Moana, and the hit video game Minecraft. All of these activities were linked to the Hour Of Code, a movement in the U.S. devoted to getting kids interested in and pursuing various STEM carreers by introducing them to the world of coding.

There were also various offline, or unplugged, activities that did not involve computers. In one activity, participants were given white and black beads that represented 1s and 0s in binary code and were taught to spell their own names using binary code. In another activity, participants used Ozobots, which are small, golf-ball sized robots. In this activity, participants drew lines across paper in marker and watched as the Ozobots followed the paths that had been drawn out for them.

After the hour of coding was finished, participants were led back to the cafeteria where they were presented with snacks as well as certificates that congratulated them on successfully completing the hour of code. Shawnee and Seneca High School’s joint robotics team, the Iron Devils, also made an appearance. The students on the team talked about what the robotics team does, how they build their robots, and how coding is used to program their robots. They then demonstrated the robot that they built last year. The coding night participants watched in awe as the robot successfully climbed a robe and dangled a few feet in the air.

The LRHSD’s first ever coding night hosted at Shawnee High School was a success, with a decent turnout of participants and many children leaving the night with a newfound interest in the world of coding.