A joint project of the teachers Yordan Hodzhev and Georgi Gotchev from St. Kiril and St. Methodius Primary School, in the village of Chelopech, will be funded by the Digital National Coalition and SAP as part of the Hour of Code Initiative. Both teachers are part of the Teach for Bulgaria’s community. Georgi is a first-year teacher under the program, Yordan completed it in 2016 and is currently teaching. The center for extracurricular engineering and scientific activities I Know and I Can to Georgi Benkovski Primary School, in the village of Mirkovo and managed by Yordan, will additionally join the project. Both will receive funding and a guest visit by a software developer. The award will be used for providing exchange teaching to the students in Chelopech and Mirkovo to create computer games, robotics and 3D modelling. The funding will also be used to purchase materials for subsequent regular events.
“The very fact of winning a project gives the students confidence that they are successful and what they do at school does matter. Computer literacy is getting more and more essential, a type of literacy to be placed on a par with reading and functional literacy. The sooner it begins to thrive, and this is very easy with the resources of Hour of Code, the smoother and more amusing mastering of those skills will be. It goes without saying that in this way children’s access to opportunities in their career development is significantly increased”, Yordan Hodzhev, a teacher of natural sciences and art, says about his motivation to participate in the project.
“Regarding the students’ development, I decided that it would be beneficial to them to take part in the Hour of Code. It has proved to be very interesting and useful. They chose themselves which tasks to do. They played (coded) Minecraft Hour of Code, Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code, CodeCombat, Play Lab and Write your First Computer Program (Аngry Birds). I only helped them with some of the tasks; they accomplished 90% themselves. Through Hour of Code I wish to develop further the robotics club we set up by adding classes in programming,” adds Georgi Gochev who is teaching math and extra robotics classes in Chelopech.
The purpose of the award funding of Hour of Code is to promote programming at school and stimulate students to gain new knowledge in the field of science, technologies, engineering and math. Winning the project is also an example of successful cooperation between the current teachers, being trained as part of Teach for Bulgaria Program, and their colleagues from the region who have already completed it. Georgi and Yordan are also working together towards building inter-subject connections and development of the ХХI century skills in children – teamwork, digital literacy, and study skills. A key factor for their success is also the support provided by the teachers at the schools of Chelopech and Mirkovo villages. The region of Srednogorie is one of the first regions with which Teach for Bulgaria has been working since 2011.
Hour of Code is a global movement that has reached millions of students from over 180 countries. Every year, within a week, every person around the world can organize Hour of Code to inspire others in the field of software development. Hour of Code 2016 took place between December 5 and 11. A major focus of the 2016 edition has been placed on supporting teachers with creative and sustainable ideas for the development of their students’ STEM skills (abbreviated from English by putting together the words science, technology, electronics and mathematics).
* The center for extracurricular engineering and scientific activities I know and I Can to Georgi Benkovski Primary School, Mirkovo village, has been established with the support of the Institute for Promotion of Vocational Education and Training Foundation under the Child and Youth Strengths-Based Development Program of the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation funded by OAK Foundation.