Even though we’re allowed to wear our civvies and have our cell phones in the classroom, we are still serious and focused on our school work. It is Term 3 of 2020 already! Despite the social distancing and safety precautions, the Grade 11s have managed to complete their tasks and have started planning for the Grade 12 Practical Assessment Task (PAT).

Discussions with classmates helps one to clarify one’s thoughts. It’s not easy to “brainstorm” ideas on one’s own. The planning and fact finding stage is the most tedious. Flow charts help up to a point: a flaw in the planning stage leads to glitches in the coding. The idea is to save time.

Flow charts make a programmer’s life easier. But when one has to think through the logical flow of the program, one often comes face to face with one’s blind spot!

Although the PAT is a show case of one’s programming skills, a little help from friends goes a long way. And of course, knowing that one is not alone trying to figure out this daunting task.

The ideas take shape. It’s not easy to decide on a particular problem and then find options that could be possible solutions. One’s understanding in Grade 11 matures and passion for the chosen project may wane over the next 6 months. But, that’s what makes the PAT so special: find a real world problem and solve it with passion.

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