Football Star Jonathan Jones Inspires Kids to Code and Get Active with Unruly Splats


Jones’ Next Step Foundation Gives $20,000 Scholarship to Schools for Cross-curricular STEM Education

This December, students are pushing their desks out of the way for the Get Active Coding Challenge during Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week. Unruly Studios is partnering with Patriots football star and two-time Super Bowl champion Jonathan Jones to make computer science in K-8 education more approachable, fun, and physically active.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Jonathan Jones for a national competition combining coding with active play that will reach hundreds of classrooms across the country,” said Bryanne Leeming, CEO and Founder of Unruly Studios. “By teaching kids to code through games they might play at recess, we’re breaking down stereotypes around computer science education and bringing joy into the classroom when it’s needed most.”

For the Get Active Coding Challenge, students can build and play Jonathan’s “Playbook” of games including Race In Place, Relay Races, and the Cornerback Challenge. Students will create the games with Unruly Splats, programmable floor buttons that students code to light up, make sounds, and collect points when stomped on.

“I want to create opportunities for more kids, including my daughter, to be exposed to lots of ideas and experiences at a young age so that they feel they belong anywhere, whether that’s in the classroom, on the football field, or in the boardroom,” said Jonathan Jones. “I’m partnering with Unruly Studios to help kids and teachers look at coding education differently and inspire them to give it a try.”

The Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation is offering a $20,000 scholarship to expand access to cross-curricular computer science education in K-8 schools. The first school to receive the scholarship is Carrollton Upper Elementary in Carrollton, GA, Jonathan’s hometown. More schools will be selected in the New England area through an application process.

“I’m excited that the Next Step Foundation has offered this opportunity to integrate coding education in such a fun way using Unruly Splats in our classrooms,” said Charles Young, STEM teacher at Carrollton Upper Elementary. “Mr. Jones has set a great example for our students on the importance of education and giving back to the community. This scholarship, starting with the Get Active Coding Challenge, will show that STEM learning doesn’t always happen in front of a computer. I can’t wait to get started using them with our students.”

The scholarship includes a three-year membership with Unruly Splats that empowers teachers to combine coding and active play in any subject including PE, math, english language arts, and music. Schools receive access to extensive teaching resources, lesson plans, and coding challenges developed by curriculum experts as well as ongoing coaching and professional development opportunities to ensure teachers feel confident incorporating coding into their classrooms.

For more information about how your school can participate in the Get Active Coding Challenge with Jonathan Jones and Unruly Splats, visit this link:

https://www.unrulysplats.com/hour-of-code-with-unruly-splats

About The Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation

Jonathan Jones, two-time Super Bowl Champion and New England Patriots cornerback, established his nonprofit organization in 2019. The organization’s mission is to get kids ready for the future by offering mentoring, coaching, professional development, and educational opportunities. Through the foundation, Jonathan strives to inspire dedication to sports, school, and community for all kids.

About Unruly Studios

Unruly Studios is the creator of Unruly Splats, a cross-curricular computer science education program that combines coding with active-play. Students build their own games with programmable floor buttons that they can code to light up, make sounds, and collect points when stomped on. 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.

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