Creative Programming to 7 & 8 Graders
M.E. Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics, Computing Science and Information Technology at Immaculata University, has been co-teaching a Creative Programming course to 7th and 8th graders at Villa Maria Academy during the fall semester. Melissa Dow, Instructional Technology Coach at Villa Maria, is co-teaching with Dr. Jones.
The introductory, creative programming approach is explored through the “Alice” programming system (www.alice.org) that Dr. Jones developed as a result of a National Science Foundation Creative IT grant. The course has been designed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to Villa’s middle school students and invites students who would not consider studying programming to potentially identify an unrecognized talent.
The Alice programming system is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy for students to create animation for storytelling, design an interactive game, or produce a video to share on the web. The course began by connecting the planning, organizing, and detailing of writing a story to the programming process. Creative concepts are taught first and then connected to an equivalent programming concept.
Immaculata University is a comprehensive, Catholic, coeducational institution of higher education, located on the Main Line between Malvern and Exton, 20 miles west of Philadelphia.