Dickson High School students share computer games they coded with pre-k students

The students in Jennifer Krimmer’s pre-k class recently went on a special field trip. They crossed the Dickson Schools’ campus to visit the high school to try out the games created and coded by the students in Kristin Williams’ computer class. 

“I have to tell you something really cool about all these games,” Williams said to the preschoolers when they arrived. “All of these big kids in here made them all by themselves. So you guys get to be the first ones to test them.”

Williams, who teaches four computer courses in addition to coaching the softball team, discussed some of the work that went into creating the games.

“They’ve been working on the games for about a week and a half,” Williams said. “But we did several activities for about three weeks in advance, working up to that.”

Senior Tanner Smith described working on the project. 

“It was really fun,” Smith said. “I liked playing other people’s games and seeing how creative other people are because you won’t always think of everything yourself, and there are some really creative people in this class.”

Krimmer said the children in her class actually have quite a bit of experience with computers themselves.

“We go to computers once a week, and we have a few kids who know how to do everything,” Krimmer said. “The computer games we do are all ABCs and 123s, but we also play some first and second grade math.” 

She also said working with computers helps the children’s hand-eye coordination and reading skills. 

“They have to match the words with things that are in the kitchen or the bedroom, and they can do that,” Krimmer said. “It’s amazing. They’re like sponges. You give them anything like this and they pick up on it very quickly.”

Each of the preschoolers picked an older “buddy,” then went around the room playing each of the different games. At the end of the class, the preschoolers chose their favorite. The clear top choice was “Rainbows and Unicorns” created by Parker Garrett and Graci Idleman.

“Gracie said that we needed to have a unicorn character,” Garrett said. From there, they both decided they wanted the game to be really colorful so they added things like shamrocks and cakes. 

With these ingredients in mind, the ultimate object of the game is to use the arrow keys to fly your unicorn around the screen while collecting clovers and avoiding the falling cakes.

“The hardest part was learning the codes and which numbers we needed to put where to make it do what it’s supposed to do,” Idleman said.

“I really like unicorns,” pre-k student Kenzie Royal said.