Design, Create, and Code at Bugg Magnet Elementary
Imagine a place where children work alongside structural engineers to construct a model city out of milk cartons. Imagine a class in which computer programmers inspire students to design, create and launch their own mobile apps. Imagine a space in which students, from kindergarten to fifth grade, learn to code, build robotics, and acquire the digital citizenship skills to support and guide their own learning. This place is Bugg Magnet Elementary Center for Design & Computer Sciences.
Thinking, Acting & Applying
Bugg Magnet Elementary is the first school in the Wake County Public School System to offer a program like our Center for Design & Computer Sciences to elementary students.
The program focuses on providing in-depth, hands-on instruction that introduces children to the design cycle process and integrates computer science into many aspects of the curriculum. Thanks to this approach, Bugg graduates will enter middle school well-positioned for higher-level math and science and far ahead of the technological learning curve.
Students at Bugg Magnet Elementary will learn how to:
- Take ideas and problems apart (Decomposition)
- Identify patterns and similarities to solve problems (Pattern Recognition)
- Focus on the important factors (Abstraction)
- Create solutions using a list of ordered steps (Algorithmic Design)
Thinking Like a Computer Scientist
Bugg Magnet Elementary boasts an instructional framework based on computer science and design thinking. Students practice working with various programming tools as well as using computational approaches to problem solving. For example, younger students learn to program Bee-Bots to move across community maps they create themselves, while older students use Ozobots to illustrate the plots of stories they write.
Students also participate in electives and before- and after-school clubs in two Innovations Labs. The labs house interactive technological devices including a 3D printer, laser cutter, video production equipment and green screen, virtual reality kits, robotics equipment and more.
Bugg Innovation Coach Carrie Gisondi especially loves teaching her students how to use ScratchJr. and Scratch programming languages because they help students to think creatively and use their problem-solving and coding skills to design original interactive stories, animations and games. “It is so great to see students’ excitement when they build their own projects and they transform from consumer to creator,” says Gisondi. “I get to be a part of the moment when students begin to see themselves as computer scientists!”
A Technology-Driven Educational Experience
Understanding technology and using it to solve real-world problems is the name of the game at Bugg Magnet Elementary. To support this goal, students take project-based, technology-focused elective courses including:
- Computer Programming & Coding
- Digital Music and Composition
- 2D and 3D Digital Art
- Web Design and Global Communications
- Health and Fitness Technology Innovations
At Bugg, school faculty partner with leading technology businesses and institutions, such as Vanbara, Inc. and North Carolina State University, to design and implement hands-on learning opportunities for students every day. These experiences mold young learners into the computer scientists, designers, programmers, engineers and collaborative problem solvers we will depend on in future.