BELOIT — Fruzen Intermediate School’s “Tech Ninjas” were sharing their bodacious skills with Dee Dee Arp’s sixth grade class on Monday. Wizzes in everything technology-related, the ninjas have hosted an Hour of Code Friday and Monday in 10 different classrooms.
“It’s a fun activity after school. We learn a lot,” said Reid Stadelman, a sixth grader who said he hopes to be the first man on Mars.
In Dee Dee Arp’s sixth grade classroom on Monday, the Ninjas were helping fellow students to maneuver a robot on their iPads using code. Seventh grade teacher and technology coach Karli Kurth explained that Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students around the world. It gets students to try code building in order to bolster interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers.
The eight tech Ninjas leading the Hour of Code included Avery and Reid as well as the following: Alexus Fico, seventh grade; Jason Butler, seventh grade; Emma Shurmack, sixth grade; Julianna Lara, seventh grade; Natalie Bosco, sixth grade; and Sydney Prowse, seventh grade.
The Tech Ninjas, sixth through eighth graders, meet after school to do engineering challenges, experiment with science, technology, engineering and math toys, learn different apps and train and to become technology trouble shooters in classrooms, Kurth said.
On Monday, the Ninjas used the website, www.code.org, to help other kids try their hand at coding.
The Ninjas said being in the after-school program has helped them gain a variety of technology skills to pass on to others.
“I like that we get to learn new things and help people with their problems. We get to learn fun things and use them,” said sixth grader Avery Mitchell, who said she hopes to become a pediatrician and graphic designer.
Avery, said the Ninja’s get to be the “guinea pigs.”
“We get to do everything first and experiment,” Avery said.
Reid said the Ninjas helped teachers use their external DVD drives and have learned to use programs such as ThingLink and Aurasma.