Over the 2015-2016 school year at Green Magnet STEAM Academy about 14 after school students chose to participate in Code Club, led by Lauren Ruff. Using the online drag-and-drop coding language Scratch, they learned the basics of computer programming, logical thinking skills, perseverance, and more. At the end of the school year they held a 'Code Competition’. Students were challenged to create a game that was interactive, used if-then statements, and loops. The winning project was a two player ping pong created by 4th grader Grayson. You can check it out at Here.
St. John’s parishioners Emma Gilbert, Anne Hawkins, Debbie Fouts, and Roger Fouts all helped lead this opportunity for the students at Green. It turns out the children taught them just as much as they taught the children. “Both Roger and I learned a lot from these bright children. It was a joy to watch them learn and grow! It was a lot of fun interacting with them,” said Debbie.
Code Club was started to provide an opportunity for the kids at Green to get more in-depth experience with computer programming. Lauren said, “When I was in school this wasn’t even an option. Technologies like Scratch weren’t invented yet, and no one ever said, ‘Hey, maybe you should try computer programming.’” According to Code.org, “71% of all new jobs in STEM are in computing and there are 500,000 current job openings in computer science, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.” “The goal of Code Club is twofold,” said Lauren. “I want us to build relationships with these kids, which I think we’re doing pretty well, but I also want to introduce them to a real world skill. A skill that, if they stick with it, could lead to a successful career.”
Lauren is planning to continue, and possibly expand, Code Club in the fall. If you’re interested in helping out, contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org. No computer programming experience is necessary, but training will be offered closer to the beginning of the school year.