SSA Celebrates Computer Science Education Week 2017
JS Hour of Code
CDS Hour of Code
MS 3D Design
Chirs May

Students at Shady Side Academy celebrated Computer Science Education Week from Dec. 4-8, 2017, by participating in a variety of computer science activities at each campus, including the Hour of Code, 3D design and a cybersecurity guest speaker.

Elementary students at the Junior School and Country Day School joined tens of millions of students worldwide in participating in the Hour of Code, an introduction to computer science designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

Junior School students completed a variety of coding tutorials and games during their computer classes with teacher Karen Sandora. First graders explored coding using Scratch Jr. and Code Speak Labs, while second graders played the coding game The Foos from codeSpark Academy. Third and fourth grade students took a journey through Minecraft, built their own Star Wars galaxy, ran a restaurant with Code Avengers and did some wayfinding with Moana, while fifth graders went on a coding quest with Tynker's Dragon Blast.

At Country Day School, fifth graders learned to use Scratch to write and animate their names, making the letters change colors, rotate and make sounds, with teacher Michael Commendatore and librarian Courtney Anderson. Second graders completed fun Hour of Code activities on iPads using Scratch Jr. with Anderson and teacher Anne Shelby.

Middle School students explored 3D design and printing using tutorials in Autodesk's 3D design suite, TinkerCAD, in their computer classes with teacher Tim McGuigan. Sixth graders learned the basics of 3D design and shape manipulation, while seventh and eighth graders focused on more challenging tasks, designing custom candy molds, dreidels and toy soldier ornaments. Afterwards, some students joined an overtime session during conference period in the Middle School 3D design lab, where they worked on the skills of rendering, slicing, and printing their 3D designs.

The Senior School Computer Science Department welcomed a guest speaker to all-school assembly on Monday, Dec. 4. Christopher May is the technical director of Cyber Workforce Development team within the CERT Division of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, where he leads a diverse team of cybersecurity professionals on large-scale projects with numerous U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. He spoke to students and led them in an interactive Kahoot quiz about cybersecurity and hacking, talked about what people can do to defend themselves in cyberspace, and spoke about about his career. May's visit was coordinated by Computer Science Department chair John Wizzard.

To submit an idea for a website news story, please email