Computer Science & Coding
K-12 Computer Science & Maker Spaces
Inspired by Code.org, we have implemented a K-12 coding curriculum that introduces all students to the language of computer programming. In addition, Tonka Coders & Makers simultaneously offers and develops advanced level coursework for students aspiring to specialize in this area. This program is unique– one of the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota.
Computer programming skills have become essential to our students' success. This is not because they will all grow up to program computers, but because our students need to understand the science behind digital devices, which play such an important role in our modern world. Students need to create technology, not just consume it.
- The Journey Begins: K-5 Tonka Codes
- Maximizing the Middle: MME & MMW Computer Science
- The Finish Line: High School
- Long-term Goals of the Curriculum
- Maker Spaces
- Learn More About Tonka Codes & Maker Spaces
In Minnetonka, students are exposed to Computer Science as early as Kindergarten. All students will learn the same basic content per grade level. Decisions about frequency will be made on a school and grade level basis.
K-5 students will learn fundamental computer programming skills using a variety of tools:
- Kindergarten students will use hands-on tool like Bee-Bots and games such as Robot Turtles.
- First through 5th grade students will use Code.org’s Computer Science Fundamentals courses B-F.
- Students in kindergarten through fourth grade will also use apps such as ScratchJr to begin using their coding skills to produce projects that demonstrate their learning in other subject areas such as health, reading, social studies, etc.
- Fifth grade students will also have opportunities to begin exploring Swift Playgrounds, Learn to Code 1 via their 1:1 iPad.
- Participate in computer programming week through an hour of coding event. Different grade levels explore different apps in a district wide effort to introduce more coding in the classroom.
After School Opportunities:
There will be several after-school extension and skill-building clubs, as well as school-wide and District-wide challenges.
The middle school years are critical to building a strong foundation in and love for computer science. At the middle school, students at every level have the opportunity to elect into computer science courses. During 6th grade, students can take CS Foundations, which introduces them to many ways we see code in our life such as, games and animation, physical computing and through apps. In subsequent 7th and 8th grade courses, students can choose which of those areas they'd like to learn more about.
Changing technology has created a growing need for people with experience and education in computer science. Many employers are experiencing shortages of highly trained technical people, especially in computer science related fields. Whether students are planning to go to college, technical college, or into employment right after high school, they will gain valuable information and technology skills. Careers of today require strong academic and technical preparation. By carefully planning course selection, students will improve their employment opportunities.
Minnetonka High School also offer Computer Science course through Tonka Online, which is a great option to consider if you are having difficulty fitting CS courses into your traditional High School schedule. Students interested in exploring User Experience (UX) Design can develop their skills in this unique course offered through VANTAGE.
Our long-term goals of the Elementary Coding program span early childhood to high school. In the curriculum, we will...
- Introduce computer programming through fun, skill-building applications in elementary school English, math, science and art classes to ensure students solidify a foundation of computer programming knowledge and skills.
- Explore the diverse range of careers that require computer programming skills.
- Provide opportunities for co-curricular coding, programming activities and clubs, both during and after school.
- Engage students in programming-based experiences and competitions, including CoderDojo, Droodle, Code Savvy and Girls in Tech.
- Support extra-curricular opportunities as well as state-level and national competitions in the area of programming.
- Design more rigorous middle school and high school electives with college-level curriculum, including AP Computer Science and VANTAGE courses to prepare students for top higher education programs.
- Build a strong portfolio of community and industry partnerships to support higher levels of instruction and better access to industry resources, expertise and opportunities for students.
THINK | INNOVATE | CREATE
Making promotes learning by doing.
The world is changing at a fantastic speed. The future requires people who can problem-solve, adapt, and communicate in workplaces and environments that are increasingly complex. The Maker Space -Hub invites Minnetonka students to build the world they can imagine.
Since spring 2017, the Minnetonka Foundation has supported maker-based learning by providing materials, training and events to support hands-on learning experiences around technology, computer science, design, making and engineering in PreK-8 Minnetonka schools. Foundation involvement provides open-ended student-driven learning experiences that encourage creativity, collaboration and teamwork to achieve a goal.
Learn more about Tonka Coders & Makers:
- Minnetonka Algebra Students Design and 3D Print Bubble Wands for Patients
- Minnetonka Hosts Harvard Weekend Code Academy
- 20 Examples of Makerspace Projects in Minnetonka Classrooms
- 40+ Ideas for Coding Across the Curriculum in Middle School: Math, Band, Language Arts, Science, Spanish & More
- Photo Recap: 7,300+ Hours of December Coding in Minnetonka Schools
- Minnetonka’s Coding Program for Every K-5 Student Now Assessed on Report Cards
- Why Teach Coding? Same Reasons to Teach Writing Even When Not All Students Will Be Writers
- Using Technology to Think Critically About History & Engage Students' Creativity
- Behind the Code: Using Spheros in Middle School for Deeper Learning
- Paperless Hall Passes in School: There's a (Student Made) App For That
- Dancing Robots Programmed in Grade 6 STEM Class
- Video Game Design and Computer Coding at High School
- Minnetonka Linear Algebra 8th Graders Use Bootstrap to Code
- Earth Day at Minnetonka Schools Family Makerspace Event
- The Hub: Minnetonka Makerspaces Launch
Similar to Google Doodles, students code their own unique "Tonka" messages for a holiday of their choice. Their Doodles are then submitted to and displayed below.
November 3, 2021
National Sandwich Day
Created by: Zeke, Dane, & Joseph
People celebrate the variety of sandwiches across the world. People love to eat something that can be very healthy or can be unhealthy. People also help the homeless with them, like a guy passes out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless. It also helps people show their cultures. You can put anything in a sandwich!
November 4, 2021
National Candy Day
Created by: Aidan, Bennett & Griffin
We chose National Candy Day because our group loves candy and candy makes people happy and fills them with joy. We love candy and we hope you do too. Enjoy this Tonka Doodle!
Created by: Samhita, Ken & Elle
We picked Diwali because the celebration reflects Tonka. Diwali is the Festival of Lights. During Diwali people light up lamps called Diyas to bring positive vibes. Kids burst firecrackers for fun and joy. During Diwali everyone eats a lot of yummy sweets and snacks. Spending time with family is also a main part of the celebration. Diwali is celebrated all over the world and has five days of the festival. Diwali reflects Tonka because they are both full of positivity, happiness, diversity and fun.
November 11, 2021
Created by: Mason, Sam R. & John T.
Our group chose Veteran’s Day because one of the members of our group’s grandpa is a veteran. We chose Veterans Day because we wanted to make a project dedicated to the people that sacrificed their lives for this country. Additionally, Veteran’s Day is relatively well known, unlike sandwich day. These are some of the many reasons why we chose Veterans Day.
November 13, 2021
World Kindness Day
Created by: Marcel, Beckham, & Owen
Our day is November 13 in which we celebrate World Kindness day. We celebrate this day because it is important to be kind to people and spend time with family. So we decided to make our project based off of this day of kindness. So we made our T the angel, our O the heart, N to represent the Minnetonka lakes, then then to represent forgiveness and finally the A for peace on earth.
November 25, 2021
Created by: Aneeqa, Francesca, & Paul
We chose Thanksgiving because we want to be thankful to the pilgrims and Native Americans who created this day. Thanksgiving is also a time when families come together and celebrate. We used some traditional Thanksgiving symbols to create our Tonka Doodle.
December 14, 2021
National Monkey Day
Created by: Lennon, Alex K, & Henry H.
We chose National Monkey Day because:
- Monkeys, who doesn’t like them?
- We evolved from them so without them we wouldn’t be here.
- Monkeys are omnivores so they don’t have a restricted diet.
December 25, 2021
Created by: Aakanksha, Sophia, & Caleb
We chose Christmas because it is a time of love and family, it is also a time of unity and kindness. Christmas is celebrated in different forms, some more obscure like the Icelandic Ule Lads, some more famous like Saint Nicolas. But all of them remind us of kindness and compassion. Although some cultures have a punisher (like Krampus in Austria, or Gryla in Iceland.), we think it reminds us that we can always be a better person. Christmas is a season of rebirth, it’s a fresh start. It reminds us of the cold withering away, and life coming back. It’s also a time to review how the year went, and the memories you made. It lets you recenter yourself.
December 30, 2021
National Bacon Day
Created by: Mark, Axel, & Andy
December 30 is a great day because it’s national bacon day which is CLEARLY the best holiday of the year because it helps us really appreciate bacon and it’s amazing flavor. During national bacon day people will add bacon to their eggs, salad, bacon or if they want just eat more bacon. We can only think of one downside: that is some stores might increase the price of bacon but that’s a small price to pay for bacon.
December 31, 2021
New Year’s Eve
Created by: Abe, Brady, & Ian
New Year’s Eve is celebrated on December 31. We decided to do New Year’s Eve because it’s a very important holiday that celebrates a new year.
January 15, 2022
National Hat Day
By: Adler, James & Grant
We chose hat day because we thought hats were cool and could be used for different situations. Hats protect us from the cold and create shade in the heat.
January 18, 2022
National Winnie the Pooh Day
Created by: Adelie and Audrey
National Winnie the Pooh day is on January 18 and it’s there to remember A.A Milne’s birthday. He created Winnie the Pooh in his stories and, don’t forget Christopher Robin. Milne’s stories have been translated in over 50 languages that we can read today. It makes you imagine what you could do with a few sheets of paper.
January 20, 2022
Penguin Awareness Day
Created by: Andrew, Elijah & Kolton
Penguin awareness day is a day to celebrate all things penguin, and spread awareness about the rapid decrease in penguin population in recent years. Our group chose this day because penguins are an endangered species, and we wish to spread awareness about how we can stop the extinction of penguins. If the population of penguins continues to decrease at the same rate they have been, then it won’t be very long before they actually do go extinct. That is why we chose this day, to help our penguin friends escape the deadly corner they’ve been forced into by the poor choices communities have been making around the world for so long, causing global warming.
January 23, 2022
National Pie Day
Created by: Youssef, Gray & Nooh
Who doesn’t like Pie?
Press the green flag, you’ll see the pie explode and see the word TONKA come out, made out of pie parts! This celebrates Pie Day! Pie is a delicious dessert, usually made for special occasions. That means friends and family come over! Bringing people together, and having a great time! Pie can bring joy to our taste buds and ourselves in general. This could not have been done without our coder, Youssef and our artist Gray and our editor Nooh. These people made this scratch project in honor of pie day.
January 25, 2022
National Florida Day
Created by: Aarav, Nathan & Tyler
Florida is nicknamed the sunshine state because of its warm and balmy climate with its natural beauty. Florida is also home to some of the world’s best-known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld where millions of tourists visit each year. We also chose it because we thought it had some interesting parts in the space race from the 60’s to now. Florida is also an active center for space expeditions. From Apollo missions to Hubble Telescopes and Mars Rovers, Cape Canaveral continues missions well into the future. Missions include commercial ventures including SpaceX launches.
January 28, 2022
National Lego Day
Created by: Isaac, Wes, & Andy
Legos make kids happy and give them something to do. It celebrates the day that the Danish carpenter, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, filed the original Lego block toys patent in 1958. Legos are used to make toy buildings, vehicles, creatures, machines, anything imaginable — and they can be taken apart and put back together as often as you'd like. That means endless creative play.
January 31, 2022
National Hot Chocolate Day
Created by: Joseph, Ish & Hanson
Hot chocolate is a really good drink when you're really cold and need something warm to drink. Hot chocolate was made back in 1969, it is made using coco powder or melted chocolate and mixed with milk or water. Hot chocolate increases the microcirculation in your skin, warming you. Hot chocolate is also rich in flavonoids which would improve blood flow and improved blood flow reduces the chance of blood clots. Hence we celebrate Hot Chocolate Day and all of its glory!
National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
Created by: Sophie S, Sophia W., & Lydia
Art is very important! It’s how we express ourselves, without necessarily needing to say it out loud. Our group chose this day because being inspired by art is such a good thing. It inspires the world to make amazing and unique things! We also liked being able to express that not everyone’s art is the same, because the letters we drew don’t look exactly the same, but they are all amazing, and that’s because they are different, sort of like people!
February 6, 2022
National Frozen Yogurt Day
Created by Anna, Chloe and Brooklyn.
We chose national frozen yogurt day because it’s awesome and tastes delicious. Frozen yogurt helps people cope with their life regrets, it makes them feel better. It also helps people meet other people, you may take a friend out to get frozen yogurt and by the end of a bowl you have turned into BEST friends.
February 11, 2022
National Inventors Day
Created by Ishaan, Zander, Bradley, and Teagan
We are celebrating Inventors day on Feb 11. The date was chosen in honor of the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison who invented such important things. Edison invented such important innovations as the incandescent electric lamp, the phonograph, and the motion picture projector and earned over 1,000 patents during his lifetime
February 17, 2022
National Ice Hockey Day
Created by: Oscar, Mach & Wyatt
We chose national Ice Hockey Day because this sport is a great competitive sport to play in the winter. It's also a great way to get exercise and Minnesota is the state of hockey.
February 20, 2022
National Love your Pet Day
Created By: Nolan, Blair & Cade
Many people around the globe love pets and other animals, from puppies to spiders, many different people love many different animals. Pets uplift our spirits, as long as we love them. Pets bring a feeling of love and companionship, as well as teach us responsibility as we need to care for them. Birds like the parrot can offer conversation and animals like dogs can offer comfort. Every animal that can be a pet has a purpose, whether to talk to us or cuddle with us when we are sad, or to keep flies and bugs away in summer, or just being interesting or cute to keep us engaged and happy. Pets are as important as humans, so we should treat them as such. Love your pets as much as they love you.
HAPPY LOVE YOUR PET DAY!