Sixth Grade Computer Science

In sixth grade, students explore what it means to be effective users and creators of technology. As users of technology, we practice what it means to be responsible digital citizens. As creators of technology, we discover how to use computer science to express our ideas.

Laptop Tech Lab
For many students, a GMS laptop is the first piece of technology they take ownership of. With a “try it” attitude, students learn to use their laptops for school work, communication, organization, and digital creations. We start the conversation about what powers and what vulnerabilities we have as digital citizens, and how to take responsibility and heed safety for them.
Scratch Programming
Through a series of projects, such as animating a scene and building a story or a game, students develop a strong foundation in computational thinking skills and coding practices. Motivated by the desire to bring more creative programs to life, they discover and practice the fundamental components of an algorithm, object-oriented programming, decision-making flowcharts, synchronous and asynchronous functions, and understanding variables, conditionals, and loops. The students also learn various debugging practices, such as using code trace and print-style statements, and monitoring values in their code. In each project, we emphasize the iterative coding process of “design, code, test, repeat,” which encourages students to be creative, persistent, and open to new ideas.
Using the VEX VR and V5 robotics platforms, students explore the essential features of a robot, first virtually and then physically. The students learn about robot configurations, movements, sensing, and energy. They transfer their computational thinking and programming skills to this field, where they learn to program various virtual robots in multiple environments to achieve tasks such as following directions, navigating a maze, or retrieving objects. They then assemble and code a simple robot using VEX V5 hardware, culminating in a “Walk-a-Pet” final project.