Naumann Elementary School offers a Coding Club to expose young students to the world of computer science.
Run by the school’s librarian, Karen Jordan, the after-school club seeks to give fifth-grade students the chance to develop skills they may someday need in the ever-evolving workforce.
The club, which has 22 students this semester, meets weekly for nearly an hour over the span of eight weeks.
Using Google CS First to help learn the programming language “Scratch,” students are challenged to create new modules each week – one week it might be a maze game, the next a quest game. Do they want their character to be able to jump by clicking the mouse? Well, there’s a code they’ll learn to do just that.
With a deeper understanding of programming, students said they’re able to see a video game and attempt to recreate elements of that game the next time their club meets.
No coding experience is required at the start of the club, but by its conclusion, Jordan said it’s truly amazing to see how much they’ve learned.
“I go through each of the modules before the kids see them each week so that I’m prepared to help answer their questions,” Jordan said, “but by the end of it, they know more than I do!”
This club helps students with problem-solving skills, and often times, students will collaborate, sharing the new tricks they learned.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to use computers and program my own video games, which is really fun,” said Tate Stegall, a fifth-grader at Naumann ES.