Prince Rupert Middle School students demonstrate how to program a drone on Dec. 7. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Middle School students demonstrate how to program a drone on Dec. 7. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Students learn how to code a drone in SD52

Prince Rupert Middle School students tested their programming skills during the Hour of Code

The high pitched sound of buzzing drones echoed through the halls of Prince Rupert Middle School (PRMS) on Dec. 7 as the school’s students used their coding skills to program the small machines.

The activity was a part of School District 52’s (SD52) participation in the annual Hour of Code event which took place from Dec. 3-9.

“It’s great to see these kids having an opportunity to develop these skills in the classroom,” said PRMS vice principal Peter Scott.

Every year, more than 3,000 students from across the country practice their coding skills in a variety of activities throughout the week.

These activities are designed to help the students build critical and computational skills that are critical in the modern work place. In addition to the drones, students have been learning to program with miniature robots, computer generated avatars, Ozobots, and programmable spheres called Spheros.

Scott said they enjoyed having the opportunity to develop and explore their skills.

“You can definitely see the problem thinking going on where they’re trying to test something and then retest so it’s really building that perseverance in each student,” he said.

The students used block codes to program the drones, which could be directed to fly in specific routes or patterns.

Jacob Taylor, a Grade 8 student at PRMS, loves to program and said doing it at school doesn’t feel like work.

“My life is programming, I’ll do Scratch, Unity, drones because I like learning new things and it’s my favourite things,” he said. “I asked my parents to buy me one of the drones for Christmas.”

READ MORE: Robots take over Roosevelt Elementary School for programming competition

READ MORE: Coding camp brings programming skills to North Coast students



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