8th Grade: The focus continues to be computer science. Students will be using Processing,Swift Playgrounds and ComputerCraft to explore conditionals, variables, loops and algorithms. Mr. Russell’s class, who has already completed the Swift unit, will also be exploring the design process via Gamestar Mechanic.
6th and 7th Grade: Students are learning to think like a game designer using Gamestar Mechanic. Students are introduced to Systems Thinking, where a change in one element of game design causes changes into other elements. Students are also introduced to the Design Process: Ask → Imagine → Plan → Create → Test/Evaluate → Improve, and will work in teams to give and receive feedback for improving their designs. Game design is a lot of fun but also takes planning and perseverance to make a game where the 5 elements are balanced. Students will create a 3-Level Game, where each level is more difficult. They will also create a game where the focus is on the action, and a game where the focus is on the narrative. We will end the quarter creating games for the 2017 STEM Game Design Challenge: https://gamestarmechanic.com/challenges/about/STEM17
4th and 5th Grade: During the 3rd Quarter students will be designing maze and pong games using Scratch. Important concepts that students will learn during these units include X and Y Coordinate systems, Events, Conditionals, Looping, Initialization, and Variables.
1st Grade: First Grade will begin a computer science unit focused on commands, sequence, loops and events. Using the website Kodable, students will complete puzzles where they use logical sequences of commands, conditionals and loops to get the fuzz ball through the maze! Next we’ll begin exploring Scratch Jr., an iPad app that allows for a more open-ended exploration of computer science concepts. Students will first create interactive scenes, where sprites complete sequences of action when they are clicked on, then move on to animated scenes, where one event triggers many sequences.
TCS, or 21st Century Solutions, is a class focused on exploring computer science and using technology in a creative way.
About Mrs. Kostecki:
I've been teaching at Disney since 2004. I've always loved technology, especially using it creatively, such as in graphic design, video editing, and coding. Prior to teaching I worked in IT, including 3 years at Disney. I have a Masters Degree in Sociology from Northwestern University, and also recently earned my MA in Educational Technology. I am married and have two kids, and I love traveling, which I often do to visit my mom, three brothers and sister, who all live if different cities!