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Newport News Summer STEAM Camp Introduces Kids to Coding with Unruly Splats

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Virginia’s Newport News Public Schools recently offered a free STEAM Camp for students to learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. 50 campers jumped into learning to code with Unruly Splats, a computer science education tool that combines coding and active play. Using an iPad or Chromebook, students can code Unruly Splats to create games that promote movement and collaboration.

“Campers had the opportunity to engage in physical exercise and teamwork, all while learning to code,” said Kevin Nelhuebel, a STEM Instructional Specialist for Newport News Public Schools.

For the first two weeks of the camp, students learned about how to work with Unruly Splats using basic block coding. Students learned to code Unruly Splats to light up, make sounds, and collect points to play active games like relay races or whack-a-mole. In the last week of the camp, students were tasked with designing and building their own games.

“My campers learned so much about coding, and as a group were able to code their own games from scratch,” said Lauren Hancock, a teacher and STEAM Lead at Knollwood Meadows Elementary. “One group made a game that was a mix of tag and four corners. Another group made a floor-is-lava type game where all of the Splats lit up red or orange, and one turned green, which was the safe Splat to stand on. Another group did a play on basketball and football.”

“One of our campers created a game where he placed four Splats that randomly lit up different colors and the player had to step on only a specified color,” shared Kaitlyn Edwards, a teacher at Passage Middle School. “He included a timer on the game, sound effects, and the speed of the lights flashed faster as the game went on. It was awesome!”

On the last day, campers presented their games during an Expo Day at Hines Middle School that was open to family and friends.

Newport News Public Schools introduced Unruly Splats in elementary and middle school classrooms in the spring and will continue using them during the upcoming school year to combine coding and active play across the curriculum.

Unruly Splats help schools fulfill a range of high-priority objectives including:

  • Cross-curricular coding: A Gallup study found that 73% of principals believe that computer science is just as important as offering core subjects like math and English. Unruly Splats allow teachers to incorporate coding into any subject, including PE, general education, science, and even music!
  • Recess-like play combined with STEAM: The games kids play with Unruly Splats encourage physical movement, helping to combat a decades long drop in active play for children.
  • Hands-on teacher training and support: School memberships come with lesson plans developed by teachers and ongoing bite-sized professional development opportunities to ensure teachers are empowered to incorporate STEAM into their classrooms.

To learn more, visit

About Unruly Studios
Unruly Studios is the creator of Unruly Splats, the first STEM learning tool that combines coding with active play. Unruly Studios’ vision is to create an electronic playground that makes learning more playful, collaborative, and inclusive. The team is made up of experts in cognitive science, toy manufacturing, education, and technology who bring broad industry experience from Scratch, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon, iRobot, Disney, and MIT Media Lab.

Media Contact
Charlotte Ward
[email protected]
(530) 563-6860

SOURCE Unruly Studios

Originally published at
Images courtesy of PixaBay

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