Coding with Europeana (LS-HU-541)

During the #petrikcodeweek of October 2020, we still had the chance to attend school in person. We devoted the whole week to coding in a broader sense, our number one mission was to break down the myth of coding to basic everyday levels, to show our students that coding is not just coding in a strict IT sense, but it means logical thinking and problem-solving. And Europeana helped a lot in it.

The story behind

I may have been watching too much Netflix before starting to plan the Codeweek of 2020, but I have come up with the idea of an imaginary robbery: let’s suppose there was a break-in to the headmaster’s office over the weekend and the teams enrolled for Codeweek have 5 days to find out who the robber(s) is/are.

Let’s make codeweek a thematic week

We planned the week so that by each day, students would get closer to the solution. They were given a database of people entering the premises over the weekend and each well-solved task gave them clues that could help them to narrow down the selection of the suspects.

A student working on a coding activity, Budapest, Hungary

The function of Europeana

The basic idea behind the theft was that two teachers (I included of course) stole the Holy Petrik Grail (named after our school). We devoted the second day to cultural hints: students had to escape from a Google forms escape room filled with tasks related to Europeana resources. All artefacts could somehow be connected to the age of Arthur and the Holy Grail. In this way we wanted to inspire students, to navigate them towards the area so that they would know what could have gone missing from the headmaster’s office.

Introduction to Europeana

On the day of the escape room, Sebastiaan ter Burg, the knowledge development specialist of Europeana joined us in a live videoconference session and gave us a wonderful presentation and a bit of insight into Europeana and its mission.

Glastonbury Abbey St. Joseph’s ChapelMuseon – CC BY 3.0

Task types

The link to the escape room can be found here.

  • Pigpen decipher: students had to solve the puzzle and look for the artefact on Europeana
  • Puzzle: solve the puzzle and find out a famous person connected
  • Word lock made with Hart Chart decoding
  • Flipped text: solve the puzzle then find my location using Europeana

Outcomes

For many students, this was the first time they learnt about Europeana and its resources. It is always interesting to see how much they are used to getting ready-made answers. In the escape room, our main aim was to make puzzles that require further investigation and logical thinking, not just putting them into the right boxes to reveal the solutions.

For further information and a short summary video about our #petrikcodeweek, visit our website here.

Learning Scenario

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CC0 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie .

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