Upper School Students Give Back to the MICDS Community by Virtually Teaching Lower School Students

Cross divisional connections remain strong, even in the distance learning environment. Our youngest learners look up to their older peers, whether it’s in person or on a computer screen, and Upper School students are finding unique and helpful ways to give back to the community by volunteering their time to virtually engage with Lower School students. Two Upper School students recently taught lessons in art and computer science for knowledge-thirsty Lower School students. 

Harper Graves ’22 collaborated with Lower School Art Teacher Sarah Garner to deliver an engaging online lesson for 4th graders. They conducted a color wheel object scavenger hunt and directed students in drawing donuts and ice cream cones. The 4th graders loved the lesson, although the latter part may have left them craving a sweet treat!

Graves shared her reflection on the experience. “I decided to do this because I love working with little kids! Art helps me relieve stress and the combination of these two factors convinced me to offer my help to Ms. Garner. When I was little I loved to paint and draw. It was so inspiring to see that same enthusiasm from those little kiddos. Giving back is very important to me, and it is very hard to do that in a time like this. I felt so happy that I could offer my help to Ms. Garner.”

Meanwhile, in another virtual classroom hosted by Lower School Coordinator of Instructional Technology Greg Stevens, Lower School students seized the opportunity to learn about coding and computer programming from Lucas McCarty ’21. McCarty developed the lesson plan to explore fundamental concepts of modern programming, including programs, loops and variables. Students learned through simple analogies and even some fun movement exercises!

McCarty wanted to give back this important skillset to the community that gave so much to him. “Throughout my time at MICDS, I have found programming to be a very important skill to learn. I wanted to share that knowledge and passion for this subject with these younger students in the hopes that they might be inspired to continue to learn about computer science as they continue their education. It’s always a good thing to give back to the community. After all, it was the MICDS community that gave me the programming skills that I have today. I feel that it is only fair to give the next generation of students the opportunity to learn those skills as well. Hopefully, the lesson, albeit short, either interested some students in programming or furthered their knowledge of the subject. Knowing that my efforts could have done either is rewarding.”

Stevens applauded McCarty’s efforts and shared, “My favorite part was when you said ‘Computers are stupid. Programs are smart because we’ve programmed them to do smart things.’ Thank you for taking the time to do this and doing it so well.”

Thank you, Upper School students, for inspiring the next generation of lifelong learners!