Some of our KidsTek instructors have been coming up with creative ways to teach Excel to young students. Microsoft Excel may seem daunting and unfamiliar to kids, but when it’s introduced in engaging ways, students quickly learn the value of the program.
In our Aurora elementary schools, instructor Savannah Powell recently taught students how to chart with Excel. Powell explains, “To engage students with the program, I designed a project in which they would input data using different colors of Skittles–once they heard there was candy, the kids were eager to get involved!” It was great seeing all of the students getting excited about changing the colors of the cells and columns. “This was a fun way to engage young students with what can be seen as a boring program, and many expressed interest in using Excel in the future,” states Powell.
At the middle schools, instructors Steve Kessler and Alanna Hernandez have also found ways to make Excel interesting for the students throughout the school year. Kessler calls his project “Excel Olympics.” The kids get to participate in some friendly competition while completing challenges like carrying an egg on a spoon or who can jump the highest. Students input their challenge times into a spreadsheet then learn how to work with the data within the application.
Hernandez also uses this technique when the weather is nice to help get the computer students time outdoors. She sets up several relay race courses which gives another opportunity to create data sets that can be worked with in spreadsheets. Students learn how to order and average data, as well as create many different kinds of visual representations of their data within Excel.
Through imaginative lesson planning, all subjects can be made interesting for students, and in doing so, our instructors are helping to create a love of learning for our KidsTek students.