Blackbird’s “Coding as a Conduit” Makes Coding a Core Part of Education.
PORTLAND, Ore., March. 22, 2022 – Blackbird, dedicated to making coding a core part of education, today announced results from the world's first Middle School cross-curricular computer coding pilot. Blackbird worked with Bellevue School District to teach a two-week magnetism unit from within core physics classes. Students learned the fundamentals of text-based computer programming in order to model their own physics simulations. Created to bridge the gap between introductory game-based curriculum and advanced computer science, Blackbird was built to make coding a core part of education.
The pilot was implemented in 18 sections of eighth grade science in Bellevue School District. The sections were taught by 4 teachers and reached 447 students. Despite having no previous experience with computer programming, teachers successfully taught the material after a one-day training session.
83% completed the unit indicating the ability to code a physics simulation involving velocity and acceleration.
Average time spent learning: 3.3 hours
Average number of lessons completed: 30.3
Average number of lessons completed (no hints): 22.1
For a freely reusable infographic detailing the results and findings, please visit https://blackbirdcode.com/pilot-infographic
“This validation marks an important first step toward making coding accessible to all students – not just the privileged few,” said Bjorn Hansen, Blackbird's Director of Technology. “We’ve spent years building and refining our technology and are so excited by the results of this pilot.”
“Results from the pilot demonstrate that coding can be taught to every student in a school or district without isolating the subject in elective classes,” said Mike Lynch, Blackbird’s Director of Education. “Larger adoption of units like this could have a major impact on educational equity and accessibility because all students would learn the basics of this critical subject.” Currently, very few students are exposed: only those who choose to take coding electives, which aren't available in all schools. Research has demonstrated that students who learn STEM subjects in middle school are far more likely to pursue and succeed in STEM fields later in life.
Blackbird is currently developing additional short units that use coding to teach core science and math principles at the middle school level. They are also actively looking for schools and districts to co-develop units with. If you are an administrator or teacher interested in a program like this, you can apply for a co-development pilot on their website. www.blackbirdcode.com/pilot
The Blackbird education platform is now open for students and instructors. Blackbird offers full access to our coding content through a 15-day free trial. Their simple, affordable pricing structure includes full support and professional development. Teachers do not need coding experience! With Blackbird, any science or math teacher can teach a coding elective, or even include coding in their regular curriculum. With district-wide scalability, superintendent consultation and ongoing expert support, Blackbird is designed to enable school districts to efficiently implement code education to reach all students from middle school on.For more information, visit Blackbird on the web at https://www.BlackbirdCode.com.