Nova Scotia invests $1M to support coding in schools

Tuesday May 10, 2016
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
May 10, 2016 - Nova Scotia students from kindergarten to Grades 12 will have a greater opportunity to develop critical skills using new technology to support their learning and to prepare them for new economy jobs.

As part of Budget 2016-2017, the province is investing $1 million to support coding in schools this year. As part of Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education, coding promotes problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking and innovation. These skills are directly linked to many of the growth industries in Nova Scotia, including manufacturing, computer programming, marine and communications.

“This investment in students in all grade levels will provide hands-on learning activities that will develop technology skills and provide students with the basics of coding, technology and design,” said Karen Casey, Education and Early Childhood Development minister at a demonstration event on Friday. “We want to ensure our young people have the skills they need to be successful in a digital workforce.”

Students in Grades primary to 3 were introduced to computing this year as part of the revised Information and Communication Technology curriculum. In the fall, programmable floor robots will be introduced to P-3 classrooms in every elementary school across the province to teach sequencing and programming to younger children.

Starting in September, students in Grades 4 to 6 will learn more about coding and will develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking, resiliency, creativity, and innovation as part of a renewed curriculum. Every elementary school in Nova Scotia will receive innovation and exploration kits, including technology and support devices such as iPads, Chromebooks, Sphero SPRK robots, Makey Makey invention kits and PASCO wireless probes and software.

Students in Grades 7 to 12 will have enhanced learning opportunities for coding through events like the Hour of Code, STEAM Olympics (Science, Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Art, and Mathematics) and partnerships with organizations like Brilliant Labs and Acadia Robotics. All high school students have access this year to Computer Programming 12 through the Nova Scotia Virtual School.

The 2016-2017 investment also includes professional development for teachers in May and June. Training will continue at the IT Summer Camp for Teachers as part of the Summer Learning Academy.

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