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Ahmed A.
GK Trainer

Third and fourth graders at PS 96 in East Harlem are our youngest students participating in Global Kids programming this school year.  All year, I’ve had a chance to lead GK’s DLL elementary school program, MakerSquad, and have had a great time with these amazing kids.  
To start off the year, I led workshops focused on online safety, but as our students began to be concerned about the proliferation of “fake news” stories leading up to the presidential election, the DLL team found it critical to dedicate time to helping students identify legitimate news sources through news outlet exploration and discussion.  
As the year progressed, I introduced projects to my students that would develop their computational thinking skills, focusing on game design.  My students worked with a great new game design online platform called Ready Maker that can create projects such as short animations and games without the use of block coding.  This program was especially helpful with our younger students because they didn’t associate it with coding (which can be intimidating), so it was easier to introduce this as a stepping stone to more complex coding down the road.  
David Bennahum, the creator of Ready came and conducted a workshop for the DLL staff earlier this year and stated that average age of Ready Maker users is 18.  The program introduces users to cause and effect codes as well as problem solving strategies.  
Using Ready project templates, students at PS 96 followed their trainer’s instruction to complete projects independently. Students conducted a workshop on pair programming and then completed another Ready game with a partner, at their own pace.  Below are samples of my students’ work. Enjoy!

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