Students from Red Deer Public Schools and Chinook’s Edge School Division were showing off their computer coding skills with video games they created at the first ever Central Alberta Innovation Day at Red Deer College on Friday.
About 500 students have been developing their games since last fall as part of the program Coding Quest that incorporates science and technology, mathematics, language arts, visual arts and social studies.
Grade 5 student Chloe Penz, of G.W. Smith Elementary School, created the video game Desk Disaster: A Kidnapping Adventure.
It was the first time Penz coded and may look into a coding career. She liked putting her ideas into code and seeing them appear on the screen.
“I just felt really free to do what I wanted,” said Penz at the RDC video game arcade where each student set up a laptop to allow others to try their game.
“The hardest part was probably the glitches and programming the characters to say what is what.”
Grade 5 student Presley Richert, of École Barrie Wilson Elementary School, created the maze game Les Filles du roi-Journey to Canada.
“It’s about women who came to Canada to help populate New France, which is now called Quebec,” Richert said.
She said adjustments were necessary after developing her story because what she had planned required more coding skills.
“It’s a lot of problem solving and changing your ideas along the way. It took me about 5,000,000 times to get it right. It took a long time.”
But Richert said it was fun to see the end result and she will code again.
Grade 5 student Lyla McKeage, of École Barrie Wilson, said she didn’t really like computers, but likely it won’t be the last time she codes.
“I had so many more ideas for my coding, so yes I’d probably do this again.”
For her game Anastazia and Olekly from Ukraine to Canada she researched the history of Ukrainians in Canada.
“I just got that idea from the things Ukrainians actually had to do to get here,” McKeage said.
Barrie Wilson principal Chris Good said the students did a really good job on their games.
He said instead of just teaching coding, coding was used to teach the curriculum in a more innovative way.
“What they’ve done is create a story behind the video game. They’ve done a lot of writing with it,” Good said.
Students learned fundamental coding skills with the help of The Learning Partnership, a national charity dedicated to enhancing publicly funded education to prepare Canadian students for a globally connected world and provided training so teachers learned how to teach coding.
During the event Red Deer College set up innovative stations around the college to show the young students how they can use coding in a future career.