Summit Students Learn Problem Solving Skills with Programming

“By 2018, there will be nearly three times as many job openings requiring computer science knowledge than qualified applicants. This goes well beyond just becoming a professional programmer — learning computer science can teach problem solving skills, new ways of breaking down complex scenarios, and a means to build something tangible in our software-driven age.” Source: USATODAY

In a time when fewer schools are teaching computer science or have moved away from computer teachers and labs, Summit School of Ahwatukee is a good example of why they are still very relevant. Not only is the Tech Lab a place where students come to integrate projects with their regular classroom curriculum, they also are learning important skills for becoming successful 21st century citizens.

One skill that students are learning is computer programming or coding. Starting in third grade, students are exposed to and learn how to use the program Scratch, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They also have been using the new online resource Botlogic teaches kids the basic concepts of coding, including introduction to the proper syntax, in a fun puzzle type of game. Other programs that students at Summit use as they progress through the grades include Alice, Kodu, Gamestar Mechanic, and Code Academy. Last year sixth graders competed for prizes for completing the most tutorials in the Academy. Whether it be JavaScript, Ruby, or Python programming languages that they are learning, it is always a challenge for every student. Even students as young as second grade have gotten excited about coding. As a young student recently said, “I can make the computer do whatever I want it to!”

And the learning doesn’t stop in the computer lab. An after school program called Tynker Club is offered to students to continue learning programming skills.

Does your school do something similar?

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