SACO — Seventh-grader Grace Harbour and fourth-grader Ella Marston sat in front of a computer screen looking at a dog graphic that Harbour helped Marston create.

“Do you want to make it bark?” asked Harbour.

Marston nodded. “Yeah.”

Harbour led her through the computer coding process to make the dog bark. Marston laughed as she listened to the sound.

Marston named the dog “Ava” and with Harbour, created a squirrel named “Chippy.”

Then it was time to give Ava and Chippy some context.

Harbour went over different backdrops they could use ”“ a castle, the Grand Canyon, a ginger bread house.

“They can be anywhere you want them to be,” said Harbour. “They can be on the moon if you want or they can be having a party.”

Marston decided that Ava and Chippy should be at a party, and Harbour helped her add a fluttering butterfly.

“That’s cool,” said Marston.

Harbour was one a group of seventh-graders from Saco Middle School teaching fourth graders at C.K. Burns School computer coding Friday in conjunction with Hour of Code, a national initiative to introduce students to coding.

The students Friday seemed to be enjoying the activity.

“I like teaching people,” said Harbour.

Seventh-grader Braeden Blow said he wants to be a computer programmer when he grows up. Blow said he likes to use his own ideas to create things, and make “your own world.”

Saco Middle School Media Center Educational Technician Jen Bishop said Friday’s activity made learning fun for both the fourth and seventh-graders. She said the seventh-graders have to think of different ways to teach coding, to accommodate different learning styles.

Different students are at different levels, said seventh-grader Alec McAlary.

“Even if you’re a beginner you can have fun with it,” he said.

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]



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