Family fun with robots and coding at K-5 technology night

At the K-5 Family Technology Night, elementary students got a chance to demonstrate what they’ve been learning in technology class. The children and their families visited five different stations to do hands-on activities related to computer programming and robotics.  

Boy coding while mother watches

Coding stations offered different projects for each grade level.

“It’s fun, because I like playing with robots, and I like playing with technology,” said Josie Shane, second grader at Plymouth Elementary. 

Josie was eager to participate in the different stations and share what she knew about the technology with her family. 

“She was excited about it,” said Mary Frances Shane. “She's been telling us about this night for weeks.”

Kevin Morabito, whose son Dominic is in first grade at Whitemarsh Elementary, also talked about his son’s excitement. 

“He enjoys his technology classes very much,” said Mr. Morabito. “It’s interesting and exciting for him. I work for a technology company, so I admit I’m kind of biased, because there’s such a demand for what we do.” 

The coding stations included Scratch, which is a third through fifth grade program, and Hour of Code, which included projects for every grade level.

“This week into next week is the nationally recognized Hour of Code,” said Plymouth Elementary Technology Specialist Christine Ehrlich. “We already do it in our buildings. This is a new way to participate by getting the families involved.” 

students with tablets knocking over cup stacks with robots

Children and families could control Sphero robots in the Board Room at Colonial Elementary School.

Coding units in each grade lead into a robotics unit, and families were able to try their hand at the Indi and Bee-Bot kindergarten robots, Dash the second grade robot, and Sphero the robot used in third grade.

“You can move robots around, and you have to control it,” said Braeden McCracken, kindergarten student at Plymouth Elementary. “It’s fun, because it’s a challenge.”

“This event is an all around way to share with the families what we’re doing in the classroom with technology,” said Mrs. Ehrlich. “We’re giving a chance for the students to show off what they’re learning and giving the grownups a chance to try it out if they so dare.”

The event was held at Colonial Elementary School and run by the elementary technology teachers — Nina Pratowski (Conshohocken Elementary), Christine Ehrlich (Plymouth Elementary), Brianna Daddazio (Ridge Park Elementary), Jordan Kapel (Whitemarsh Elementary), and Kevin Willson (Colonial Elementary) — with help from high school volunteers and Curriculum Supervisor Maria Wileczek.