Campers learn to code at HIS enrichment summer camp

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Puzzles, numbers, and lots of problem solving were on display the week of June 19, as Shelby County Schools enrichment campers were hard at work at Camp Code at Helena Intermediate School.

Campers used different computer programs and robots over the course of the five-day camp to further improve their coding and mathematical skills.

The camp consisted of upcoming fourth, fifth and sixth graders as Helena Intermediate Gifted Resource Teacher Shelli Abernathy led the camp.

Campers used computer programs Khan Academy, Scratch and Code.org and also applied their skills using various programmable robot devices such as Dash and Dot or Sphero.

Upcoming sixth grader Brenlie Wingard said math is her favorite subject and explained why the coding camp has been beneficial for her at improving her skills.

“Khan Academy teaches us Java Script and teaches us computer language and how to make pictures and animation that can change the future,” Wingard said. “It shows us how to make movies using code function. We get to learn the language of computers during this camp and I never knew it could do so much stuff.”

Wingard was in the process of drawing different snowmen on her computer screen using different functions. Wingard could navigate back and forth between Khan Academy and Code.org to play different coding games.

Upcoming fifth grader Marlee Parsons also attended the coding camp and was using a computer program to make blocks complete different commands to get to harder levels.

In addition to the computer programs, she said her favorite thing about the camp was using iPads to drive drones on the ground as well as flying them in the air when the weather permitted.

Shelby County Schools specialty enrichment classes will be offered at Calera Elementary, Helena Intermediate, Forest Oaks Elementary and Oak Mountain Intermediate this summer.

The classes are open to students who are zoned for Shelby County Schools and may be limited to certain ages or grade spans.

For more information on enrichment classes, visit Shelbyed.k12.al.us/community/enrich.html.