IES Årsta Students Engaged in Programming
Programming is all around us and we rely on it daily yet, only about 0.5% of the world's population knows how to code. This leaves the future of our society to be driven by a very small population, unless more people learn how to work with technology and grow it! This is why it is absolutely imperative that our students learn programming skills, so that they can be empowered to make a difference in our world and contribute to our ever-growing society. At IESÅ, we are committed to ensuring our students have the skills they need to be successful in today’s technology driven society, which is why we have made programming a central focus throughout our school-wide scaffolded technology program. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our students leave our school with good knowledge about programming concepts, resources, and have acquired skills to produce work in technology, ultimately preparing them for working life.
To engage our students with their community and the importance of coding, we warmly welcomed imagiLabs, a start-up company located here in Stockholm. Their mission is to create fun and realistic opportunities for students, particularly young girls, to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects. They are passionate about getting youth involved in the art of programming, and have created both hardware and software to spark interest in code for students aged 7-14. During their visit at IES Årsta, our year 7 students participated in a grade-level appropriate workshop on how to program using the Python programming language, and were able to test a new product that the company is going to release to market (the imagiCharm). This product is aimed to create a social experience for students when it comes to practicing code. In order to complete the workshop and imagiCharm activities, our students downloaded the imagiLabs app for free, giving them the ability to later practice coding skills at home, in transport, or with their friends. Our students were some of the first to try this product out, and were asked to provide valuable feedback to the imagiLab team on how to make the programming products (both the hardware and software elements) better. Our students had a unique opportunity to not only be involved in the development of a new product that can help students around the nation learn to code, but also witness technological product development in real time. This allowed them to gain understanding about what it is like to work in the technology industry. Our students were inspired to learn more and practice coding with their peers. In the end, our goal is to prepare our students for working life. By providing our students with opportunities to pair with community partners and make a real difference within the subject area, we ensure that they connect with the subject content on a deeper, more personal level. In turn, they are prepared to take on new challenges and are empowered to steer their own future.