Career day presentations for 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders. I'm a Software Engineer. Help!

My niece is an elementary school teacher, and because I love her, I agreed to speak at her school's career day. I am a Software Developer. I will be giving three 30-45 minute presentations to a 3rd grade class, a 4th grade class, and a 5th grade class. My niece says that something interactive or hands on would be helpful.

Any ideas for creative ways to engage the students while explaining some aspect of building software?

I thought about doing something like this, but I'm not sure it's appropriate for 3rd-5th graders, and I'm worried that some kid will be allergic to bread or something.

I present to adults who have become used to boring presentations at work all the time, but the thought of presenting to these kids has me shook!

Any ideas or encouragement are appreciated.

Hey - BraveOne,

I've taught all those grade levels, and the bread example as an engagement is wonderful, and completely appropriate for third grade.

Linked here are several hands-on activities, some of which I've participated in as professional development activities facilitated by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab: https://classic.csunplugged.org/bina...

The grade levels you're working with are able to access more vocabulary than some would think, when we are purposeful in providing context. Just be mindful of field-specific jargon. I've watched a lot of parents present and woo boy do they lose the kids when they talk as if they were speaking to someone who already knows the field.

I would also say due to many schools being peanut free zones, might want to choose a nut-free spread of some kind. If that's too pricy, dying some other safe spread is an option.

Thanks for the help!

It turns out the school made a scheduling mistake, and I ended up presenting to a 7th grade class instead of to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.

I decided to teach them how to make a (very) simple text adventure game using Twine. Given the time constraints I was only able to walk the through using variables to replace the main character's name throughout the story, but overall it was a big hit. The students were very imaginative.