iQuest Volunteers Adopt 4th Graders at George Barițiu National College

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Six volunteers from iQuest have taken up the challenge to coordinate a Scratch programming club for a class of 4th graders from the George Barițiu National College in Cluj-Napoca. The club meets up once a week over the course of the second semester of the current school year. The students involved in the program are taking the first steps towards learning the algorithms of programming with the help of the programming language Scratch. This programming language has been developed by a team of MIT scientists and professors and lets children create small games and animations.

Ciprian Căprioară is one of the iQuest volunteers involved in the project. He took over the task of coordinating his colleagues and the activities in class. He follows the lesson plans from the manual and together with his colleagues he created an activity plan.

The students are very enthusiastic. They learned much more quickly than we expected. While we were creating their accounts, they were already playing and understood many of the functionalities of the program. Ciprian Căprioară

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Alina Vicol, Communication Specialist at iQuest is excited about the curiosity and how capable the students are to learn new things.

I really like how involved and interested the students are. You can tell this is a generation that picked up a lot of things and has a thirst for knowledge. Alina Vicol

The volunteers who coordinate the Scratch club are thankful for the involvement and dedication of the teacher Maria Țulean for supporting them each session.

The project is a support for teaching and an opportunity for students to get in contact with the specific language used in programming. The parents have access from home to the projects made in Scratch. The students and volunteers quickly became friends and see this activity as relaxing. They develop their collaboration and digital skills, which together are a good guide for the current society that is based on multiple technologies. The parents and students are excited about the collaboration, the implementation of this project in the school and about the involvement of the volunteers. Maria Țulean

Alina-Monica Bărăian, Principal of George Barițiu National College in Cluj-Napoca sees this project as an opportunity to include new technologies into teaching, to satisfy specific performance needs at an educational as well as social level.

The partnership between the schools and the community is key to educational success. It is a tool that diversifies and makes the teaching process more efficient by involving stakeholders, as it is the case with the association Cartea Daliei and iQuest. The usefulness of the project is in the long term. The students benefit from the support of the volunteers to build specific programming-related skills, which then contributes to the development of logical and mathematical reasoning. Moreover, the project offers potential guidelines for their future career orientation. The management of George Barițiu National College wants to thank the project initiators and volunteers for the benefit they bring to the students. Alina-Monica Bărăian

The Scratch club is part of the project “Adopt a School” of the association Cartea Daliei that creates partnerships between companies and schools in Cluj-Napoca. The volunteers who are employees of the companies, organize activities that involve technology for a class of the ‘adopted’ school. This way the students can develop skills that are necessary for the 21st century labor market, such as teamwork, creativity, and systemic thinking.  All these skills are important in any profession the students are going choose when they grow up.

The project “Adopt a School” is supported by SAP Romania in partnership with iQuest, Yonder, Xoomworks and Evozon, who adopted the Emil Isac Secondary School, George Barițiu National College, Sigismund Toduţă Music School, Ioan Bob Secondary School and the Sports High School of Cluj-Napoca.  The project is implemented with the support of the City Hall and Council of Cluj-Napoca and the School Inspectorate of Cluj County.

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Original article published by Erika Kramarik on the  Cartea Daliei Blog.

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