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Friday, October 14 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
5A: How 3D Construction Projects Teach Coding

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Young gifted students benefit from learning to code using Scratch and other introductory computer science programs. These experiences become even more powerful and meaningful when students are challenged to represent their code using 3D construction materials like LEGOs and wooden unit blocks. Tangible construction projects can also be used in partnership with virtual world-building games like Minecraft to build spatial reasoning skills, as well as extend content learning in other subject areas, including math, engineering, design, and architecture.

In this session, the presenters will draw on their experience developing and implementing enrichment programs in computer science and robotics for gifted students in PreK through grade 3. The presenters will summarize the constructivist learning concepts that support multi-media and cross-media learning and describe new neuroscience research that demonstrates the importance of pairing tangible and virtual learning experiences.


In alignment with NAGC Standard 3.4, this session demonstrates instructional strategies that incorporate critical thinking, creative-thinking, problem-solving, and inquiry-led learning to meet the needs of students with gifts and talents. Participants will gain new understanding of the value of tangible, sensory and kinesthetic learning experiences when teaching abstract computer science content. The presenters will also provide resources and suggestions for immediate and practical use in both general and gifted classrooms.

avatar for Ann Gadzikowski

Ann Gadzikowski

Early Childhood Coordinator, Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University
Ann Gadzikowski brings more than twenty-five years experience to her role as Early Childhood Coordinator at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Ann is also the author of textbooks, teacher guides and parenting books. Her most recent publication is "Creating... Read More →

Friday October 14, 2016 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Sandstone 8