Students Participate in Coding Quest Arcade

Elementary students intently coding on laptops
Elementary students demonstrating their coding skills on laptops.
Montreal - Monday, May 14, 2018

Elementary students from 15 different schools gathered at Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount recently for the Coding Quest Arcade to showcase video games they made themselves.

Coding Quest is an initiative the Learning Partnership, a national charity dedicated to promoting, supporting and advancing publicly funded education in Canada, had launched last year with the aim to bring the coding language into classrooms. The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) focused program was designed to be easy to integrate into existing school curriculums to save teachers any unnecessary hassle. Last October, teachers and principals were given training on coding, which they brought back to their students. Students then spent months learning to code using Scratch, a free programming language and online community, and creating their video games, which they showcased at the Coding Quest Arcade. Although a total of 24 schools participated in the training, only 15 of them were able to be at the Coding Quest arcade because of space limitations. Some schools did, however, hold their own arcades.

The first Arcade event last year only had a few participating schools, but this second one brought 84 students together to display their projects. Claude Dansereaux, former principal of LaurenHill Academy in St. Laurent and program manager of Coding Quest, credits the teachers for the success of the program. “The teachers who embarked on this project did it as purely voluntary and because they recognize the value of the program,” he said. I hope to see more schools involved in it in the future,” he said. Elementary students from grade one to six participated in the Arcade event, many of their video games aiming to educate players about social and environmental issues.”

Students from John Caboto Academy in Ahuntsic, for example, created a two-player game where competitors had to sort trash into their respective bins at varying speeds. “It was challenging and fun at the same time,” said Go Hoang, Grade 6 student from John Caboto about his experience with the Coding Quest project. His teacher Martine Brosseau had wanted a game that incorporated what her students learned in class. “Next year probably would be even better,” she said, inspired by the students and the games surrounding her. ”I can already start thinking what we can do, and how to do it.”

”Next year probably would be even better, I can already start thinking what we can do, and how to do it.”

Grade 6 students Go Hoang, Damian Babanicos, Alysha Singh and Vanessa Couture from John Caboto School showcase their “Trash Gone Wild” project.  Teacher Yasmine Joseph from Royal Vale School in NDG also found the event inspiring.  “The games are getting more complicated,” she said. “They’re really, really getting into it, which is great,” she said about her students.

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