Introducing Coding


Hour of Code Challenge

What is ‘good’ code? 

Santiago Gonzalez describes ‘beautiful’ or ‘good’ code as clear and concise.

What’s next? Combine STEM and coding. 

Provide lessons to develop students’ discipline knowledge in Science, Maths and Technology (coding or other technology skills), so they have the skills and knowledge needed to solve a problem.

Students then apply their knowledge in a STEM lesson using the engineering design process:

engineering process

The following two technologies (Scratch and Spheros) are good for further developing coding skills which can be used in a STEM context.

Option 1: Scratch

Scratch Educators’ Guide , with supporting resource scratch activity cards

Tutorials (for students and/or teachers):

Scratch resources for teachers:

Starting Scratch

Ask IT school support staff member to download the following program on all student computers, so students can save their creations. It is free to download from this website:

Scratch Lesson 1: ‘Getting Started’ Scratch tutorial: 

Look at the tutorial on the interactive whiteboard as a class first, students can then attempt the tutorial independently.

  1. Click on the Scratch desktop icon.


2. Click on ‘Tutorials’ on the top left corner

scratch 1

3. Click on ‘getting started’.

scratch 2

4. Follow the instructions in the tutorial.

Scratch Lesson 4 and more… Choose a different tutorial to help students develop skills

Look at the tutorial on the interactive whiteboard as a class first, students can then attempt the tutorial independently.

Scratch/STEM Assessment:
Use the engineering design process to create a digital product using Scratch.

Possible Assessment Criteria

  • Product meets the students’ purpose (eg. communicate, entertain, educate)
  • Creative, original product
  • Range of coding skills demonstrated
  • Use of clear and concise code

Option 2: Spheros

Click here for lesson ideas and resources for a unit on coding Spheros.

If your school doesn’t have Spheros, they can be borrowed (free) from this lending library in Australia: . It took me at least 6 months on the waiting list.

Unplugged Coding Lessons

The lessons introduce students concepts such as binary numbers and algorithms, without needing access to a computer.

More STEM resources

How to get started with STEM

Inspirational ‘real-world’ STEM examples 

Examples of STEM units using the Engineering Design Process 

Unit examples and engineering design process:

Technology lending library (Australia):

Live animal hire and biology science kits in Adelaide:

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