The ABC’s of Coding

The ABC’s of Coding

Grace, Year 3, sees big changes for our future with the help of coding and technology. That’s why she wants to see the next generation, and in particular young women, as part of the change for the better.  

“Even if you are small, if you put your mind to something you can achieve great things.”

Grace joined Melbourne Girls Grammar in the Barbara Tolson Early Learning Centre as a three year old and first discovered coding in Prep when she wrote her first simple code. Since then, Grace has used coding programs in her Victorian Science Talent Search (STS) and Maths Talent Quest (MTQ) projects. Each year she has pushed herself to learn a new coding program and is always looking to do more. 

Grace in Year 3 has been teaching other children how to code throughout lockdown. Photo Credit: Wendy Tuohy, The Age

“Coding is a good skill for everyone to learn, because everyone will come across coding in their lives – whether they’re lawyers, doctors, scientists, engineers or accountants,” said Grace. “Learning the ABCs of coding is like learning to read a book.”  

As a firm believer in the future of STEM, Grace led a proposal to explore the idea of installing solar panels on the Morris Hall roof. Grace calculated the costs and developed a Scratch coding piece to explain the mechanics including the roof area, electricity use, and number of panels needed.  

Now as she progresses from Scratch, BBC Microbit, and Cognomite Machine Learning onto Python, Grace used the lockdown in Melbourne to share her passion for coding with others. With the support of Old Grammarian and Member of Parliament for Higgins, Dr Katie Allen, Grace launched coding classes via Zoom for students from Year 2 to Year 5 around Higgins. 

“We’ve been working on all sorts of projects together,” said Grace. “On Scratch we made a project that tells you what dog to get depending on the size of your backyard. On BBC Microbits we programmed an alarm clock which uses the light senses and plays music when a light level is reached. Then we used Cognimates to program a rubbish sorting robot which sorts different types of rubbish into piles.”  

Grace has included many more projects, ideas, and exciting applications to stimulate creative thinking for real life problems in her coding booklets. The booklets include video tutorials and are emailed to the students.  

“It’s been so exciting to see everyone come to class every Thursday, and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to have face to face classes and reach out to more children,” said Grace.  

Through this experience, Grace has learned to be a more confident speaker in front of large crowds and has stepped out of her comfort zone to share her love of coding with other students. “I was inspired by Femi Owolade Coombes who was one of the 20 Diana Award recipients. He started code club at age of 10 in South London to teach kids with disability and autism.  This shows that children can learn from children.Even if you are small, if you put your mind to something you can achieve great things,” said Grace. 

At Melbourne Girls Grammar, it has always been our imperative to nurture each and every learner’s interests, and we look forward to supporting Grace’s continued success in her passion for educating others through coding.