Incorporating Culture Into STEM Curriculum:
August 14 is National Navajo Code Talkers Day. This was also our designated Teacher Training Day at Little Singer Community School. During our time with the entire staff of LSCS, we facilitated open discussions on how the teachers felt culture and coding could be taught in the classroom to ensure that their students honored their heritage as they made strides towards developing their futures.
81 K-6th grade students learned the basics of coding through online material offered by Code.org and Code Avengers. The students were able to direct robots, code their favorite games, like Minecraft, and build simple functions. We implemented paired-programming, and encouraged students to get out of their seats, help their friends, and create a community environment in the classroom.
From August 14-17, we visited Little Singer Community School and facilitated a professional development session for the teachers and a 3-day coding bootcamp for the students.
It helps us as a staff, community school, and our students if we call awareness to the existing prior knowledge and funds of knowledge. By building upon our pre-existing understandings of what is code, we will accelerate our learning curve. In addition, such an approach will help us more easily identify why we should teach code to our children."
5th-6th grade teacher & STEAM program coordinator