Category: ICT

Hour of Code

This week millions of students in over 180 countries are participating in “Hour of Code” to raise awareness about the importance of computer science around the world and in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. I have been a bit reluctant to embrace coding in my classes, thinking that it was all too difficult and unnecessary. Just like the driver of a car can get from A to B without knowing how a combustion engine works, a computer user can operate the device without knowing how to code. However, every driver can benefit from some basic mechanical knowledge and every computer user can benefit from some knowledge of basic coding – and they may even find it fun and interesting!

There are many “Hour of Code” resources available for teachers and students, making it very easy to introduce coding in your classroom, no matter what age your students are. I have curated some links to resources at the end of this post. At Hawkesdale College, students from Grade 5 to Year 9 used Code Studio to create their own Flappy Bird game using simple drag and drop commands. Many of these students progressed to creating Angry Birds mazes and Frozen snowflakes.

“My favourite game was flappy birds because I learnt how to make a game which I enjoy playing. It was fun because I was trying to get a massive high score.I created a flappy bird game and a frozen game, but I did not like the frozen game as much as the flappy bird game.” ~ Patrick (Year 9)

“I made the flappy bird and angry birds game. My favourite was the angry bird one because the scene and characters change throughout the learning and it’s a bit more challenging.”~ Catie (Year 8)

“I created snowflakes in the Frozen game, which was quite fun.
I like experimenting with the Flappy Bird and the Angry Bird codes.
I like the idea of putting codes together quite easily and customising the game to suit us. I would like to do more of this stuff in our daily classes.” ~Vesna (Year 7)

“I made a flappy birds game and an angry birds game. The flappy birds game was quite fun but I liked the the angry birds game better. I like how things change around during the angry birds game. It was good to learn and it really tests your brain.”~ Hannah (Year 8)


3D Printing for VCE Biology


I have been fortunate to attend the Quantum Victoria Centre several times since it opened in 2012, participating in 3D Printing and Gaming workshops with students from Year 7 to Year 10. Hawkesdale P12 College has also been lucky to receive a 3D printer, which has been installed in our Systems and Engineering shed. This week I have exploring opportunities to print scale models of hominid skulls for use in Unit 4 Biology. These models are useful for demonstrating to students comparisons of canine teeth, brow ridges, sagittal crest, protruding jaw and cranial capacity. The African Fossils site has the best models I have found for 3D printing hominid skulls, which need to be .stl or .obj files.

I have found files for four of the skulls shown above, although we haven’t been able to print any successfully yet. I’ll keep you posted!