The Empathy Foundation helps teach 80 schoolchildren the basics of programming
02.02.2022 — News
Over the first half of the school year, 80 pupils from Verkhnyaya Salda Secondary School No. 3 learned the basics of programming with the support of Mikhail Shelkov's Empathy Charitable Foundation. During 12 sessions, the children learned how to animate characters and created their own games, which they plan to present at the Science Conference in Salda in 2022.
Like the rest of Russia, teachers in Salda plunged into IT with the transition to distance learning during the pandemic. Before they really started programming, the teachers themselves learned the basics of information technology. In 2021, experts from Mikhail Shelkov's Foundation held the first professional development course Digital Tools in the Work of a Teacher. As a result, almost 200 teachers in Verkhnyaya Salda and Nizhnyaya Salda mastered the necessary software and switched easily to an interactive format for teaching online lessons.
"The mass move of teachers online was a step into the unknown. It's like the first spacewalk: it's very exciting, and you don't know what to do or how to do it. However, it was the forced distance learning that gave us the most precious thing - information on what training programmes are needed so that any educator can understand them and use them during the lessons. We are now working in this direction not only with adults but also with children. At the beginning of the school year, 80 schoolchildren and eight teachers set out to create their first computer animated stories, and we were of course happy to encourage them," said Mikhail Shelkov, founder of the Foundation.
As the press service of the Empathy Foundation informed RusBusinessNews, at the request of the teachers of School No.3, courses in the basics of programming were organised for pupils of years 2-9 since September. For six months, 80 children were learning the Scratch programming language, which uses command blocks instead of codes, so even junior school students can quickly grasp the principles and logic of programming. The game format with colourful characters renders learning easy and fun. Schoolchildren created Battle of the Mages, Labyrinth, and even a game about Batman.
ROBBO provided the idea and materials to the teachers, and Mikhail Shelkov's Empathy Foundation financially supported the teachers' extracurricular work. The teachers are proud of the achievements of their charges and plan to send some of their work to regional competitions.
Working with young people is an important part of Empathy's activities. In January, Mikhail Shelkov's Foundation donated money to Nizhnyaya Salda Children's Rehabilitation Center to equip places for a new group of children. And a month earlier, they sent Father Christmases to visit the children with gifts. At the end of 2021, the finals of the Workshop.Salda 2.0 accelerator for teenagers was held, organised by the Foundation together with the Higher Technical School (Tula). Fifty-four schoolchildren worked on urban improvement projects together with mentors and teachers. The four teams that proposed the most unusual solutions will bring their projects to life from this year on.
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