This twelve-unit course provides an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new micro:bit microcontroller board, and Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. The course is a project-based curriculum, with a maker philosophy at its core, that provides a context for learning coding and computer science concepts through the act of making physical objects.
The course is comprised of twelve units with each focusing on specific computer science concepts and programming skills. Each unit includes three lessons that combine unplugged activities to introduce the concepts, guided or “birdhouse” activities to gain hands-on coding experience, self-directed independent projects to apply their new skills in creative ways, and assessments to test their knowledge and skill development. Teaching all twelve units and their included lessons will total approximately 22-30 hours of educator instruction/facilitation time and approximately 16-27 hours of student independent project-based activity time.
When students complete this course they will have a good understanding of more than ten computer science concepts that can serve as the foundation for future study. They will develop powerful design skills that they can use in future projects of all types, whether they are designing 3D printed prototypes or creating apps that serve a real world purpose.
Educators without a computer science background or who have never taught computer science before are encouraged to incorporate this course into their curriculum, regardless of their subject area, and should feel free to customize the curriculum to meet individual school or district resources and timeframe.