BSD Schools Host Hour of Code Activities During Computer Science Week

STEM initiatives at BSD this school year were complemented by Hour of Code activities at our schools during Computer Science Week. The one-to-one computer initiative, made possible by levy funding, gives every student the opportunity to participate, even from home.

A student in Brooke Weber’s Python Coding class at the Big Picture School interviewed Jennie Ferries, Microsoft Engineer II, about how to prepare for a career as a computer programmer before the class’s Hour of Code activity. Ferries spent 14 years teaching in the Bellevue School District, including the Big Picture Python coding class, before moving to Microsoft. Learn more about Jennie Ferries.

student seated at table with laptop and a teacher is standing near.
students watch online video from micrsoft
Student with mask working on laptop at desk

Tyee Middle School students in Mrs. Leonard’s Computer Science Discoveries class coded computer simulations to model predications about a virus outbreak. Students created one moving “virus” monster and coded healthy monsters to watch for patterns and make predictions about the speed at which the virus spread. They ran the model several times with different variables about how masks slowed the spread of the virus and answered predication questions.

students with mask at seated in row of computers

“Having my students connect their reality of living with COVID to how computer science can assist with preventative medical research is an empowering experience. Using their coding skills to understand a real-world problem in their orbit can help them to feel less anxious and encourage a desire to learn more about science. Knowledge is power!” -Hillary Leonard, Tyee Middle School Instructor

 Second graders at Puesta Del Sol created Hour of Code posters to greet Code.org staff who visited on December 6, 2021. The Code.org representative led a presentation and launched the Hour of Code activity with the students.

3 staff from code.org stand by handmade posters
handmade posters for hour of code event in spanish
students using markers to make poster

BSD Schools Implement STEM Initiatives Across the Curriculum

BSD science teachers are implementing a STEM pilot program using robots and critical thinking funded by the Bellevue Schools Foundation. Students code robots to transplant coral as a solution to declining coral reef health in Hawaii. Grades 6-12 STEM Curriculum Developer, Yusra Obaid, talks about how the pilot program will create an inclusive STEM pathway for students to engage, participate, learn, critically think and develop skills to become creators of their future world.


student uses laptop with teachers instructions. colored pad and ball robot on desk.

Medina Elementary School fourth and fifth grade students coded Ozobots to trace their favorite shapes using the Ozoblockly coding language in preparation to use them for a social studies project. Fifth graders in Shafiqa Darani’s class created dinosaur-themed mazes and used color codes to make Ozobots move around the maze using various speeds and dance motions.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.