HAP Coding in the Arts

CODING IN THE ARTS Session Saturday 9/16 10:30

This STEAM focused session, combining computer science thinking with creative skills, pairs well with the HAP conference theme, Better Together, which seeks to integrate arts education with other subjects.


 2004 Using the Design Recipe and Graphics in Algebra

2002 AP Central – Supporting Girls in CS by Programming with Graphics



Citizens’ Environmental Coalition Conference August 4, 2017

Keep Houston Beautiful Commissions Meeting August 17, 2017

Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region. The Greater Houston Environmental Summit was held at the Community Resource Center at the United Way of Greater Houston. CEC partnered with a variety of environmental education collaboratives to offer an Environmental Education Expo for teachers and informal educators.

Keep Houston Beautiful is the city’s leading organization in beautification, litter reduction, and recycling education. For over 35 years, Keep Houston Beautiful has been reaching out to all segments of our community to educate and empower individuals to take greater responsibility for beautifying and enhancing Houston’s environment. Every year’s successes have created a cleaner and healthier city for all Houstonians.

There were keynote presentations, Small-format table talks and a Panel in conjunction with EarthShare of Texas, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Interesting discussions and ideas for collaboration:

    • The sustainability team addressed the question: “How to get civic scientists and entrepreneurs to get involved with the city?”
    • Table discussion on activism with Sherry Weesner, Scenic Houston Director of Projects. She suggested to get support from City of Houston to define specific needs. What is the plan? Why regulation exists?
    • Douglas with the ambassador program with biking expressed need for more volunteers to help maintain all the bike-ways.  I expressed the same need with KHB, we need more volunteers.  Shared way to increase volunteers would be through the P.E. credit for adventure / outdoor education – §74.71. High School Graduation Requirements.  But, this would take someone to facilitate the paperwork.  Ideas on who?
    • Houston Botanical Gardens Interim Executive Director Claudia Gee Vassar is working on funding. Since together is better, suggested KHB have a representative to help with this new city garden.
    • Donelle Williams, K-5 Science director shared HISD’s approach to environmental education and partnerships. Suggested our education committees collaborate. They continue to support the outdoor education camps for 5th graders and wonder if KHB can share information about recycling. They meet 4:30-6:30, see schedule below.
Tuesday, Oct. 24 or

Wednesday, Oct. 25

The Houston Museum of Natural Science

5555 Hermann Park Dr., Houston, TX 77030

Tuesday, Nov. 28 or

Wednesday, Nov. 29

Oak Forest Elementary School

1401 W 43rd St., Houston, TX 77018

Tuesday, Jan. 30 or

Wednesday, Jan. 31

The John P. McGovern Museum of Health

1515 Hermann Dr., Houston, TX 77004

Tuesday, Feb. 27 or

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center

4400 West 18th St., Houston, TX 77092

Innovative TIME

One day at a time- this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. – Ida Scott Taylor.

Go figure that a 16 month old would be totally absorbed for 3 hours watching the Wizard of Oz. What made a difference? The environment … being able to sit, stand and lay while feeling safe close to her family on the blanket set up by Susan, the wife of the Wizard in the play.  My 2nd and 8th grandsons were just as engaged. If only this was the creative environment in schools today. I connected with Susan Karnovsy an innovative author and teacher at ISTE at the Author Signing for “No Fear Coding.” We are hoping to bring creativity to Austin and Houston schools through Coding in the ARTS.  The real STEAM needed in education.  But to make that happen the system must be changed to bring equitable innovative time equal to test time.

What innovative things do you remember from this summer?

At Spring Branch ISD’s Memorial High School creators at the Design Thinking Camp designed:

Think Tank of Designers


ISTE 2017


Sharing at:

Other presentations:

Other Connections:

I’m wearing my binary bracelet, thinking of you. I’m so happy we met at ISTE!  I needed to get a little distance from the conference to realize that (WHAM!!!!) what I teach about creating songs and musicals is entirely based on computational thinking.Thank you for helping me discover this. – Susan Karnosky (met at the author signing for “No Fear Coding”)



STEAM into “Computer Science for All” by coding in the arts. Lessons to create Mondrian art, digital flowers, snowflakes and a Bee-Bot line dance. Learn about art coding modules developed in technology classes, which lead to The College Board publishing “Supporting Girls in CS by Programming with Graphics” in 2002. Today with many apps using block programming it makes coding graphics so much easier. Please share your ideas to help close the Equity Gap in Computer Science through exposure to coding fun art projects that build computational thinking skills. We must prepare mindset of every child to communicate with computing devices as 50% of jobs are predicted to be automated by 2032.

  1. Warmup – Binary Bracelets
  2. Programming with graphics modules and video
  3. Mondrian Art
  4. Virtual and cut snowflakes, code.org/frozen puzzles
  5. Digital Flower and CS in the Garden
  6. Pro-Bot ART and Bee-Bot Line Dance

  Mondrian Art

Coding Mondrian Art Examples





Details Lessons on the Bee-Bot in the ISTE Book No Fear Code

Pair ProgrammingConnectingNo Fear Coding


How do you plan to connect the dots?


As I sit here watching my 14 month old grand-daughter explore on her own terms, and read “Soaring into the Future” in the TCEA TechEdge, I wonder why schools are taking so long to make the paradigm shift.  The shift to focusing on teamwork, communication, collaboration and adaptability that the article explains is so essential.  The conclusion by providing opportunities for students to build and practice these skills, we prepare them to soar like an eagle when it’s time to leave the nest.  I know that Coding in The Arts is a tool that can help students soar. Next chapter, telling the story with you … as Together is Better.”

Coding in the Arts


The arts can transcend trauma, color, education. National Endowment Arts leaders say the NEA budget is not extracurricular or extraneous. It is essential. Job creation is a prime goal of presidential leaders. Building 21st century job skills is essential for our future economy. 50% of jobs are predicated to be automated by 2032, kids must learn to control computing devices. Technology is about solving problems with limited resources. With limited funding and time, combining computer science skills and art education can save both time and money. It is essential that teachers learn these skills for our children. “Coding in the Arts” will plant the seeds for the 21st century mindset.

From Code.org – See slides on Why

As an educator my goal is to give students the opportunity to explore, experiment and create. The motivation often comes from working with friends to observe what our students like: to code, garden, cook, play sports, build robots… We must give students innovation time with resources so they can discover what they love. And collaborative time to Re-Mix, Re-Design, and Re-Learn.



  1. Mondrian Art – from Legos to Racket
  2. Snowflakes – Fold and Code
  3. Cubes
  4. Gardening –Digital Flower
  5. Binary Code – Jewelry Design
  6. Dance – Robots and Drones
  7. Music –
  8. Generative Art – http://el.media.mit.edu/logo-foundation/services/genart.html
  9. Pro-Bot – A floor robot that draws


  • Design Recipe
  • Walk the Line
  • Thinking in a box – or outside
  • Circle Art – connections
  • Sharing Art by coding in HTML –What brings color to webpages?
  • Clubs – Google CS First Art, Animation, Fashion, Music & Sound, Game Design
  • Coded Art Competition – Perhaps ISTE CTN could sponsor along with http://www.yahouston.org/ and others who support the arts. I presented at their conference and they are a great group to work with.


  1. Would you like to see the code that draws a 5 pointed star of variable size? http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/knorth/Scheme/webScheme.html
  2. What questions do you have about coding in the arts?
  3. Could I do my circle art in code? Line art?
  4. Can you code it, without first creating an example by hand?
  5. Can you add coding art to your maker space?
  6. How do you find “Hidden Figures” in every classroom?
  7. How do teachers as leaders of the class inspire action?


Together is Better

We all need Inspiration!

And better in the great outdoors partnering with nature.  See CECHouston for ideas on what to do this summer.

Vertical farming at New Lab innovating and creating products such as industrial athletic packs to prevent injuries. See the ideas on CBS Sunday Morning. Building a network of innovation to stimulate learning to do good. Together in one space.

In August 2016 it became compulsory for every Finnish school to teach in a more collaborative way; to allow students to choose a topic relevant to them and base subjects around it. Making innovative use of technology and sources outside the school, such as experts and museums, is a key part of it. – Could subjects be a thing of the past? Should standards based education and Carnegie begin to be replaced with innovative time? As Together is Better!!

Memorial Day

Spring Branch ISD Hunters Creek Elementary School Passion Project

Before the Memorial Day weekend, Hunters Creek has planned an event to honor and learn more about the memorials and the people that they commemorate.

These lost teachers and students have touched the lives of so many current and past HCE staff, students, and families.  The HCE Leadership Council, Mrs. Cummings and Mrs. Chvatal have planned a wonderful week of memories that will educate our current students and staff about the lives of these special, missed Cougars. We want all students and faculty to understand what each HCE memorial represents and why these people are so special to HCE.  We will end this sharing of memories with a special ceremony on May 25.

They will honor the following people and their memorials on HCE campus: Robin Woods, HCE teacher; Kelly Sewell, HCE teacher; Nancy Ray, HCE teacher; Alana Harris Greenshaw, HCE student; Sam Schubert, HCE student; and Nicole Lee, HCE student

They will also have a dedication ceremony for a garden that was started and maintained as a source of education by a retired teacher, Mrs. Jeanette Domaschk.  After 43 years of teaching at HCE, she still loves to return to campus to work in the garden when she gets the chance. We will be honoring her service and commitment to HCE that evening as well.

To get ready for that event we had volunteers from AAUW-WHC Garden Divas, Keep Houston Beautiful, Merrill Lynch and RZ Landscaping, as well as HCE teachers and parents. The HCE Garden Club students and sponsors Mrs. Cummings, Mrs. Beinhauer, and Mrs. Thompson planted vegetables and flowers, but the weeds needed to be pulled. Also, the pathways need to be cleaned of weeds and re-paved with decomposed granite.  Thank you to all who gave their time. And to the Kerver Education Foundation who provided the funding along with parents and teacher donations.

Maintained Garden as seen from Google Earth


There are 7 garden areas with pathways in-between.




To get ready for that event we had volunteers from AAUW-WHC Garden Divas, Keep Houston Beautiful, Merrill Lynch and RZ Landscaping, as well as HCE teachers and parents. The HCE Garden Club students and sponsors planted vegetables and flowers, but the weeds needed to be pulled. Also, the pathways need to be cleaned of weeds and re-paved with decomposed granite. Thank you to the 16 volunteers who helped:

  • Project Planning was assisted by my daughter Amy Polidori, who helped numerous days with weeding, volunteer recruitment and donations.  She arranged for my grandson teacher to water the flowers every day. Thank you Kade.  And thank you to my husband Max for numerous trips bringing mulch and tools to HCE.
  • AAUW Garden Divas Pat Farnell and El Divo Mike Farnell helping with weeding and edging pathways.
  • AAUW Garden Diva Loretta Coussirat Pruning and cleaning the hedges.
  • My Landscaper Rene owner of RZ Landscaping & Home Improvement stepped up to help when I was short with helpers. His son, a junior at Yes Prep earned community service points. He was the project manager for two workers and supplied wheelbarrows, roller for the decomposed granite and pruners.  The equipment of professionals made the job much faster and easier.
  • My Financial Planner Stephen Salter whose has been interested in my computational thinking in the garden said he would love to help with this school garden.
  • Garden Club Sponsor Linda Beinhauer and her fiance Andrew. Also assisting with flower planting was HCE Counselor Andrea Chvatal.
  • Parents Marty Collins and Forrest Green
  • Fellow Keep Houston Beautiful commissioner and HCE Dad’s Club president helping on 5/20 with his 3 children.

Design Thinking

The question of whether computers can think is like
the question of whether submarines can swim.

~Edsger W. Dijkstra

I went to 3 robotics competitions / challenges recently:  FIRST Robotics Competition where a Houston area team won, the Ecobot Challenge  and the Bot-Ball Competition in Spring Branch ISD. I met many inspiring teachers volunteering their time to build 21st century skills for our children.

I asked the students what design thinking process did they use in building and coding their robots.  Can your student explain the process they used to solve a problem?  Or are they using Guess and Check experimenting.  The design recipe, the process in solving the problem must be communicated. That is what I am trying to teach. That process must be developed started in elementary school.  How can potential energy be built like Tyrone did in the winning car design from the EcoBot challenge?

My question is whether schools will provide innovative time for student to build computational and design thinking skills. Whether this is in robotics, coding in the arts, or gardening, students must be given the opportunity to build design thinking skills.

An example of an amazing educator doing this is at Memorial High School.“Everyone is an engineer just like everyone is an artist,” said Van Zeelst. … We just need to give students the opportunity to build their inner STEAM”. … We need to build our instruction around our students: vimeo.com/213751590. Spring Branch ISD Superintendent Dr. Muri won an innovate award on behalf of the district. This MHS librarian is one example of what innovators can do. I can’t wait to see design thinking happening in every classroom.


Houston Area STEM Conference

University of Houston Clear Lake

– Decomposition – Abstraction – Pattern Recognition – Algorithms – … Expressing an approach that a computer (human, machine or both) can use to achieve a solution.



  1. Binary Bracelets Warm-up
  2. Why? Inspiration – Fish in a Tank Video
  3. Dancing with the Bees Line Dance Video – Move forward 3 steps, turn right, turn left, turn left, turn right, move back 3 steps.  Repeat 3 times.
  4. Bee-Bot Activities: Play, Control, Movement, Challenge – Program your Bee-Bot to do the same line dance you just did.
  5. Unplugged Lessons: Plant-a-seed
  6. Plugged: Code a Flower
  7. Time? – Feedback Q&A
  8. Computational Thinking – Circle Connections

BEE-BOT ACTIVITIES: codemathteks.edublogs.org/bee-bot
Bee-Bot Activities Using Design Model Document