Meet the Teacher
Meet Ms. Heidi Brennan! Ms. Brennan has more than fifteen years of experience teaching students and teachers in both face-to-face and virtual settings. She is the lead author of the Essential Coding to Learn Board Book, and has written over 80 Blockly programs since the //code.Node’s creation.
Prior to joining the PASCO team, Ms. Brennan was an Elementary Science Professional Development and Leadership Specialist for the Lee County School District, where she provided training and support to hundreds of elementary science teachers. She previously served as the K-5 and STEM Education Specialist for the Florida Department of Education, a role in which she collaborated with stakeholders to progress student achievement in science across the state of Florida.
A life-long advocate for science education, Ms. Brennan has received several teaching awards, including Teacher of Distinction, Elementary Science Teacher of the Year, and Elementary Environmental Education Teacher of the Year. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching (K-6).
- (1) Ms. Brennan welcomes the kids with a check-in and answers questions about the previous lesson.
- (2) A science demo that relates to the week’s coding activity is performed to get the students thinking about the STEM topic and how they can interact with it.
- (3) Ms. Brennan introduces a new Blockly coding block or concept and explains how it can be used for a variety of real-world applications.
- (4) Students are introduced to the weekly coding challenge, which emphasizes the new concept and/or coding block.
- (5) Ms. Brennan models the creation of the program, stopping periodically to answer questions and clarify concepts.
- (6) After the session, students use their //code.Node, Blockly, and a recording of the session to complete the coding challenge on their own.
Why does Ms. Brennan demonstrate the activity before asking students to code on their own?
This is a good question, and one that we put a lot of thought into during the camp’s development. In an online environment, such as the camp, it is often impossible for all students to move at the same pace. This results in a portion of the class rushing to catch up to the teacher, rather than focusing on the concepts being taught. For this reason, Ms. Brennan likes to first explain and demonstrate the activity clearly, before asking students to try it on their own. Students can always reach out to Ms. Brennan for assistance, should they need help with the coding challenge.
Showcasing Student Programs
We love providing opportunities for students to expand upon what they’ve learned during a session and encourage them to modify, manipulate and improve the programs provided by Ms. Brennan. Students who wish to share their own programs or creations with the class can send a video, screenshot, or other example to Ms. Brennan’s email. Each week, Ms. Brennan will showcase one of her favorite submissions during the biweekly sessions. Students are not required to submit their programs, but those who have their program selected will receive a prize.
Certificate of Completion
Students who complete the 3-week beginner’s camp will receive a certificate of completion that recognizes the time and effort they spent learning science coding concepts.
What is Included
The full //code.Node Camp registration includes access to live and interactive sessions, recordings of the live sessions, and access to teacher resources for parents who wish to take the instruction a step further. Registration also includes a kit of hardware, software, and other materials needed to complete all of the sound, light, magnetism, and coding activities included in Coding Camp. The kit includes bar magnets, the coding device, device holder, and hard-cover instructional book.
Registrants can cancel and receive a full refund prior to the actual live and online camp. The kit of equipment will need to be returned. We will supply the return label and shipping instructions to assist you. No returns or refunds are possible after the actual camp has begun. Please let us know if you wish to cancel your enrollment before coding camp begins.
Future camps will all use the coding device and coding software. Keep these materials and join us for future camps.