York County Schools Hosts Middle School Codeathon

Virginia's York County School Division hosted its third annual "codeathon" Saturday, an event designed to entice students into computer science and technology fields.

This year's event was co-sponsored by Discovery Education.

Along with coding activities, students were also able to try out robotics and videography.

The programming contest brings together small teams of students in grades 6 through 8 to code customizable robots using Lego Mindstorms. They also used iPads to capture video and photographs to document their experiences and then share the multimedia content on Discovery Education's Board Builder, a tool for constructing virtual project boards. District students and teachers were the first to try out the tool, which went live in 2013.

The event also included a public panel session geared to parents about current computer science opportunities with speakers from the district and other local organizations.

"Knowledge of coding is critically important in today's technology-rich society as it helps students develop essential skills like logical reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking," said Reginald Fox, coordinator of online learning at the district. "We hope to show students the incredible opportunities available to them in the computer science and technology fields and inspire their interest in pursuing these careers."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.