Guest Blog: Benefits of Teaching Kids To Code That No One Is Talking About

Written By: Michael Rosario, Inspired to Educate

Scratch - Teaching kids to code

“In previous blog posts, we have discussed the necessity to encourage science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) especially in the United States. As our culture has become increasingly digital, we have coined this term of “digital natives” to describe the current generation of kids who grow up playing with IPads, cell phones and computers.

In conversations I have had with advocates of STEM education, some believe it’s important to get kids interested in learning about STEM topics before the 4th of 5th grade. Why? Around middle school, children start to form opinions about what is “cool” or “not cool.” Most kids put things like math, science and computer science into the “un-cool” category.

Mitch Resnick of the MIT media lab and his team of researchers have taken up the challenge of teaching kids to become fluent with technology. While we commonly call kids “digital natives,” Mitch challenges us to take students to the next level. Students should not be passive consumers of knowledge and entertainment. In Mr. Resnick’s view, digital natives should have the ability to make and create technology. In an increasingly digital world, he suggests that students should develop a basic fluency in computer programming and gain a sense of how software works.

I really admire the work he and his team have done on Scratch, a computer programming environment created for kids. It’s designed to be very fun and interactive. Using Scratch, students can create very dynamic interactive experiences and games by simply connecting puzzle pieces together. Many of these student experiences are not trivial to code using traditional programming tools. In the following TED talk, Mr. Resnick describes his passion for teaching kids to appreciate computer programming and how Scratch works.


I really appreciate that Scratch helps kids to have fun with math. Without a doubt, tools like Scratch are encouraging students to become creative. Creativity is such a precious skill that we need to promote to our students. With tools like Scratch, students are getting a fun introduction to design thinking and systems thinking.
Things don’t always work out well when you’re programming in Scratch or any other programming environment. You have to learn how to work through bugs and imperfections. Mr. Resnick suggests that students who use Scratch learn a sense of persistence. Since students engaged in getting their game or their creative project working, they naturally start asking questions, find answers, and learn to work through problems.

I love Mr. Resnick’s closing idea. Teaching kids to code is not about programming itself. It’s about promoting creativity, curiosity, teaching persistence, and giving young people a sense of how they can create technology. All of these fluencies are needed in our rapidly changing world.

Related Links:

Please visit the following links to learn more about Mitch Resnick and his research.   I have also included other links related to teaching computer programming to kids and teens.

“Inventors Workshop” series at the Museum of Aviation

In 2017, Check out the “Inventors Workshop” series at the Museum of Aviation.  We’ve designed these workshops to introduce young makers to engineering and tinkering with code, digital fabrication, and robotics.   Through making and tinkering, participants will learn S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills using their hands, grow their creativity and become more curious about their world and test the limits of what is possible.

Learn more here.

A big thank you to Michael Rosario for this wonderful and educating blog.  To learn more about our Guest Blogger, Michael Rosario, you can visit his website here.

To view all upcoming events and workshops at the Museum of Aviation, click here!

Restoration Update for November

November began with the difficult task of removing almost all of the aircraft and exhibits from the main floor of the Century of Flight building in preparation of the floor being resurfaced.  This task involved towing aircraft and engines, removing large parts of exhibits, and driving a reluctant fire engine out of the hangar.

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With the hangar almost empty, floor crews came in to transform the well worn floor into something that lends a pristine light to the space.  With the floors completed, our team now has the task of replacing all aircraft and exhibits.

In addition to the floor project, our Restoration team continued work on the B-17 and the HU-16 Albatross, along with keeping up with general Museum maintenance.  Take a look below to see what has been accomplished.

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Annual Fund Drive

There are numerous ways to support Museum programs, community events, and restoration efforts throughout the year, but the Annual Fund is the most simple way to donate.  The Annual Fund also gives you a chance to make a last minute write off for your 2017 taxes, while propelling the Museum into the upcoming year.  Click to view the Annual Fund Donation site, or click here to read our Annual Fund letter, and see how your donations continue to help us benefit communities around the state of Georgia.

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Planes & Trains, Mannequin Challenge, and a Mystery to Die For.



This year Planes & Trains had to be relocated to the Eagle Building due to the floors being remodeled in Century of Flight.  This gave us the opportunity to “ride the rails” around the F-15 and through scenic villages.  Click the here to see the full video on YouTube.

November’s hottest social media trend was the Mannequin mannequin-rosieChallenge.  After seeing some creative videos, our staff thought doing the challenge at the Museum would be a great way to showcase our aircraft, exhibits, and our upcoming Winter Wonderfest.  Even Rosie the Riveter made an appearance during the video.  Take a look.


Ever wanted to attend our Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, but wasn’t sure if it was for you?  Click here to read an honest review of Ho Ho Homicide, then keep an eye on our

website and Facebook pages for the next Murdery Mystery Dinner Theatre.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, an Honest Review

Dinner theatre is not my thing.  I can’t say that I have ever wanted to go to one.  I have been to the ballet.  Hated it.  Yes, I can recognize the artistic merit of live theatre, ballet, and poetry readings, but that is not where I would choose to be; especially not on a Friday night.  So, when my best friend, whose birthday was coming up, called me on Monday and said, “let’s go to the theatre”, I was not thrilled.  However, since she is an absolute angel of a person, and I was at a loss as to what to get her this year, I said sure.

When Friday arrived, I steeled myself for the agony that I knew was coming.  I met her at the Museum, and went into Hangar 1 ready to be bored for the next two hours.  When we were seated, I noticed that there were people in ugly sweaters everywhere.  Some were ugly, some were just hysterically funny. If nothing else, I thought that I could at least get a good giggle out of what others were wearing.


As we waited for dinner to be served, the actors went to each table telling lies and spreading rumors.  When they came to our table, they asked what department we worked in. So, unsure of what to say,  we quickly said Research and Development, hoping that was an appropriate answer.  As the actors continued to make their rounds, we quickly found that Wendy was the most hated person in the office, and that the janitor would make Jason Bourne’s skill set seem tame.

During dinner we chatted with our table mates about kids, date nights, dogs, and the joys of homework. Dinner was tasty, but the dessert was fantastic.  I really wanted to snag the one that was sitting at the empty seat next to my friend, but thought better of it.  While we ate, the cast continued to make their rounds, trying to get the audience as wrapped up in the act as they could.  Then the real show started.  The actors interacted with the audience as if they were truly employees of company.  Pink slips were given, accusations made, and secret lovers revealed.  I was enthralled.  By the end of the first half hour, I was laughing out loud.  By the end of the show, I was ready for the one coming in May.  So, while I am still not big into theatre, I am definitely into this one.

Cast and directors of Ho Ho Homicide

By: Christin McFarland

Restoration at the Museum

During the past year, the Museum’s Restoration team has accomplished much, and have done so without incident.  This was brought to light last month when Museum Director Ken Emery, along with the Restoration team, were honored to receive the Team Robins Safe Site Award.  This award signifies that they provide a safe work environment that meets all RAFB standards.  This award was earned during a heavy maintenance time, and is a testament to the team keeping safety in mind.

In Restoration news, the Museum has recently acquired a T-34 Trainer.  Once used at the Aero Club at Robins AFB, it is now in the maintenance shop to be restored before going on exhibit.  This aircraft is just one of many under restoration at the Museum.  Our B-17 Flying Fortress has been de-painted, the vertical stabilizer has been completed, and the tail section has been placed with the front fuselage in the WWII hangar.  Also in WWII is the HU-16 Albatross.  Our volunteers have been working on the interior of the aircraft and the engines to get them display ready.  You can hear their progress each Saturday morning as the team spends their day sprucing up the Albatross.

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Volunteer Aaron Robinson, along with General Rick Goddard (USAF Ret.), have made significant progress on the F-100 Super Sabre over the past year.  Located in the rear of WWII, the Super Sabre now has its wings attached, ailerons, instrument panel, and new glass in the cockpit.  The Museum is hoping to have this aircraft completed by next Spring, so keep an eye on your inbox and our Facebook page for more details.

In addition to the Trainer, B-17, F-100, and Albatross, the team has also been at work cleaning  aircraft in preparation for paint.  The B-1 Bomber, located at the front of the Museum, has been pressure washed, and is almost ready for a new paint job.  Outdoor aircraft need to be painted to keep them from deteriorating.

At the end of October, Restoration was tasked with moving aircraft and exhibits from the Century of Flight building.  This move was necessary as the main floor is being restored, and should be completed by the beginning of December.  Until then, larger aircraft will be located behind Century of Flight, and the P-51 Mustang will be in the WWII hangar.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all Restoration news and updates.

Coming Up at the Museum

If you loved our Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre in February, don’t miss

HO HO Homicide beginning November 4th.

Click the photo for more information on Ho Ho Homicide

Planes and Trains begins November 18th, and will be in the Eagle Building Rotunda.


Click the photo for more information on Planes and Trains

For more information on these events, as well as a full event schedule, including all Education Workshops and Labs, click here!