MONROVIA – Plymouth Elementary students demonstrated how they created animated characters for digital stories and video games during the school’s annual Epic Build Showcase on Nov. 15, an event that celebrated the school’s computer science immersion program, Code to the Future.

“Our Epic Build Showcase gives our community the opportunity to not just see pockets of excellence in a few classes, but witness amazing displays of learning in every classroom with the opportunity of every student learning computer science at a high level,” Principal Dr. Greg Gero said.

Through Code to the Future, students work with block-based coding and JavaScript and engage in hands-on programming, robotics, and analog activities. Beginning in transitional kindergarten, students apply the logic of computer science by creating loops, sequences, and animations. By second grade, students begin building video games; by fifth grade, students skillfully combine coding with integrated stories.

“At Monrovia Unified, preparing our students for college, career and beyond is at the forefront of everything we do,” Board President Ed Gililland said. “Our students are learning how to problem solve and think critically, and develop technological literacy, on which they can expand throughout their educational experience at Monrovia Unified.”

At Plymouth Elementary, coding can become a second language for students and, for its Mandarin Dual Language Immersion students, coding can become a third language.

The school focuses on educational skills composed of the four Cs: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Gero explained that the showcase was not just a celebration of coding, but a celebration of the skills students are developing, which prepare them for college and career success.

“Plymouth’s Epic Build showcase gives our students the opportunity to not only engage with one another, but with parents and community members as well,” Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian said. “Through our coding curriculum, our students, at an early age, develop the knowledge and skills they need to pursue science and technology career paths in the future.”


11.15.2019_MUSD_Epic Build 1: A student from Plymouth Elementary School excitingly describes her coding project during the school’s Epic Build Showcase on Nov. 15.

11.15.2019_MUSD_Epic Build 2: Plymouth Elementary students display their completed coding projects during an Epic Build Showcase held Nov. 15. The showcase gave students the opportunity to engage with one another and demonstrate their projects to parents and community members.