GREENFIELD — A fifth-grade teacher at Arroyo Seco Academy in Greenfield has been teaching her students to create computer programming code and was recently visited by Google representatives who observed the classroom in action.
Vanessa Robinson stumbled upon Google CS (Computer Science) after her Lego education training earlier this year and decided to introduce the computer science and coding program to her fifth-grade classroom.
“When I realized the program would introduce computer science language, loops, sequences, blocks, etc., to my students, I knew I had to get it in my classroom,” Robinson said. “After implementing it, my assumptions were confirmed — these 21st century students were made to do this.”
Through the CS program, students have animated a version of the school’s logo, created a thematic Google logo similar to the ones the search engine designs for holidays and even began a remake of the Cartoon Network show “The Amazing World of Gumball.”
“These students in Greenfield are so insanely talented, and it is our responsibility to tap into that and give them the access to programs that they deserve,” Robinson said.
Google came across some of Robinson’s shared videos on Twitter showing the students’ progress in coding and reached out to her. Adam Barish and Adele Stafford, representatives associated with Google’s research team, drove down from the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and observed her classroom Oct. 5.
According to Robinson, Barish said, “My job is to look for new talent to join Google, and I think some of those talents are in this room.”
Robinson gave thanks to Greenfield Union School District Superintendent Zandra Galvan for fostering this type of innovation and risk taking among all the district’s staff members.
“When (Galvan) says that every student in Greenfield will reach high levels of learning under her watch, she proves it by supporting her staff and their work,” she said. “I am even more honored that Google has recognized the work we are doing here with our Greenfield kids, and were able to come see their talents in action.”