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Early learners submersed in computer coding camp

Ozzie Day Camp camper playing with a VR headsetLocal early learners in the first through fifth grades participated in a teaching and learning lab at the University of North Florida's College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) where they engaged in hands-on coding projects, challenges and STEM activities with UNF staff and camp counselors for three fun weeks.

Ozzie’s Playful Computing Camp was hosted by the COEHS Northeast Florida Center for STEM Education (NEFSTEM) and the STEP Lab (Solve, Tinker, Explore & Play).

The main objective of the camps was to teach young learners the fundamentals of creative coding using block-based coding platforms Scratch and Scratch Jr., as well as effective collaboration and communication when working in groups on complex engineering design tasks.

Each week, around 40 students across two cohorts focused on a theme that the instructors and counselors weaved throughout lessons, unplugged activities and semi-structured experiential learning times.

During the first week, students learned what makes for a compelling and sound story and how Scratch can be used to facilitate the communication of narrative throughlines to a target audience. Week two’s focus was on what elements make an engaging game and how Scratch can be used as a platform for game development. In the final week, campers built and programmed robots using the Lego Education Robotics brick system, sensors and probes to complete specific tasks, answering the question of what tasks/challenges in the real world are optimally performed or aided by remote operators or preprogrammed robotic devices.

Learn more about Ozzie’s Computing Camp by viewing the College of Education and Human Services webpage.