Students at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary North Ryde have taken cues from popular video game Minecraft and learnt code to create their own.
The coding exercise, robotics, future problem solving, and movie making will be offered for a second year during the school’s version of ‘Genius Hour’, a movement that allows students to creatively explore their own interests in class.
E- learning reference teacher Jo Pearson said the Years 4, 5, and 6 students often chose to work in pairs because they were used to sharing ideas in class.
“We believe in giving the kids choice and voice,” she said.
“We’re really trying to get them to think for themselves and to do that you have to let go and let them make some decisions.”
Year 5 students Nicholas Saoumi, Chloe Tedesco, and Alexa Yu took part in last year’s version of the projects which they called Mi Time. Nicholas and his group used scratch software to create a single-player arcade game with a space theme.
“I liked learning what to do and putting it into code,” he said.
“The arrow keys were to move left and right and your character had to shoot the other vehicles. When you reached 20 points you won and if you got shot five times you would lose.”
Chloe and Alexa created games that asked the player to jump from block to block and collect coins for points with the app GamePress.
“At first we were just experimenting with the game and trying to see what we knew,” Chloe said.
“We had flies, and jelly blobs and all of these characters that were different. Some of the good characters were a green spaceman and a girl.”
Alexa said she could apply the problem-solving skills she learnt while coding in Mathematics.
“Trying to add sound effects and animate things was difficult,” Alexa said.
“You couldn’t really search up GamePress for instructions because it wasn’t an app that many people knew of – you had to try and figure out everything for yourself.”