Students from KZ get a hands on workshop on world of coding

Twenty-one grade six students from Kitigan Zibi First Nation participated in the first coding initiative Thursday at the Wabano Centre in Ottawa.

(Students take part in Canada Coding Week at the Wabano Health Centre in Ottawa. Photo: Jason Leroux/APTN)

Annette Francis
APTN National News
Twenty-one grade six students from Kitigan Zibi First Nation participated in the first coding initiative Thursday at the Wabano Centre in Ottawa.

The one-hour event kicked off Canada Learning Code Week – an initiative to expose kids to computer language so that they can develop a program, game or digital art.

“We’re doing one hour sessions, so it’s really just that first exposure in an hour, they’re going to be able to create quite a lot, said CEO Melissa Sariffodeen.

Canada Learning Code week will reach over 1,200 kids across the country, at more than 500 events in museums, schools, libraries and community centres until June 8.

The students will make a game, animated story or piece of art that will be collected and made into a digital scrapbook collection, which will be revealed on Canada Day.

“The idea is it will set a spark for them, and they can go on and keep learning it and explore and learn on their own afterward as well,” said Sariffodeen.

For 11-year-old Mercedes Go-Go Cote, it was a great opportunity to learn how to create digital art.

“I really enjoy making animations and I hope I can learn more by doing this,” she said.

According to Valerie Plain, a grade six teacher at Kitigan Zibi School, it’s something she’d like to see more of in the classroom.

“It’s the planning, the logical thinking and all of that, it’s great for the kids, it gets them to becoming more risk takers,” she said.

She said coding education is important for Canada’s future.

“Because technology is everywhere, so the younger that we can start teaching kids how to think critically, problem solve, and use technology,
the better,” said Plain.

“It’s skills they’re going to need for the jobs in the future, or better yet, to create the jobs of the future,” Sariffodeen said.

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