Coding Trails- Can your pupils find signs of coding in the real world?

Maths trails are very popular in primary schools in Ireland. They are especially popular during the national maths week, which is currently running. Maths week, Computer Science Week and EU Code Week all happen in October, making it a busy month for primary and secondary educators.

When I was teaching code, I often found that children just saw it as something they did in school and other than apps, they didn’t see how coding has a direct link to things we do every day. I decided to take the maths trail idea and create a code walk to see if students could notice things that might need coding in their locality. Before leaving the classroom, we discussed items in their homes, such as the oven, washing machine and TV, that depend on coding to make them work. As I was working in a town centre school, we walked into the centre of the town. We also spoke to a local supermarket where the children could observe items in the store that needed coding to work.

I asked the children to create a list and take photographs. Here are some of the images children might capture of items that need coding.

 

Petrol pump with scanning for rewards card.
Petrol pump with scanning for rewards card.
 
Contactless Credit/Debit card machine
Contactless Credit/Debit card machine


When we returned to class, the children used maps to find the area they investigated. They took a screenshot of the area, and from there, they used markup to add their observations to the map.


 

Map annotated using markup.
Map annotated using markup.

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Posted on October 22, 2022

A great idea to showcase the many ways coding is used in class. Thanks for sharing!

Posted on October 22, 2022

I love how this activity helps to build relevance for the coding skills that students are gaining in class. Great idea!

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